The Mission & Four Pillars of Honors
The Honors Program, established in 2008, is designed to enhance and enrich the academic experience of talented, highly motivated students at Merrimack College. The Program offers challenging classes, encourages interdisciplinary approaches to learning, and provides opportunities for students to pursue independent study and research with individual faculty mentors. It can supplement academic degrees and majors in all departments and schools of the college.
Inspired by St. Augustine’s philosophy of teaching and learning, the Program is dedicated to:
- Learning in Community – We believe that learning with friends in small classes is the best way to succeed academically and personally.
- Active Learning – Honors courses are lively seminar-based discussions. They may include service and experiential learning such as community service, field trips, concerts, and plays.
- Transformative Experiences – The Honors Program challenges students to reach beyond their comfort level, to try new approaches and activities in a process of self-discovery.
Please visit the Program Benefits page for more information about the advantages of participating in the Honors Program.
The Four Pillars of a Merrimack Honors Education
The Merrimack Honors Program strives to provide a rigorous and coherent experience for its students. Every aspect of Merrimack Honors—academic, extra-curricular, and social—is organized around what we call the Four Pillars of a Merrimack Honors Education: Community, Service, Research, and Leadership.
- Community- Learning is best and most lasting when it is done in the company of friends. Merrimack Honors seeks students who strive to excel, and who challenge, support, and celebrate one another in their efforts to do so.
- Service- What we learn finds its greatest value in the ways it benefits others. In a college nationally recognized for service, the students in Merrimack Honors participate in and often take the lead in service projects that enrich the classroom, the campus, and the larger community.
- Research- To effect meaningful change in today’s world requires a knowledge that is both deep (disciplinary expertise) and aware of connections to other fields (interdisciplinary competence). The Merrimack Honors curriculum is designed so that our students practice and master essential research skills in their chosen field, while always keeping in mind the larger picture—in all its scientific, social, and human complexity.
- Leadership- Merrimack Honors imparts the skills needed for true leadership. Through opportunities ranging from topics in classroom discussions (e.g., why is Socrates a charismatic leader even though he claims to know nothing?), to the Honors Student Council (the student governing body that has a voice in every aspect of the Program), to our emphasis on educating the whole person (with all the possibilities and limitations of being human that this implies), we strive to prepare students for when they will no longer be students, in whatever their chosen field and way of life.