Honors work is a different kind of work. It asks students to take more responsibility for their education and in doing so fosters greater opportunities for academic experiences best suited to their needs and interests. Honors work requires students to take the lead in developing their own intellectual curiosity and abilities. There is extensive contact with the faculty. No extra credits are required for graduation and honors students rarely need an extra semester to finish the program.
Students design and carry out a research project guided by a faculty mentor and two other faculty/community readers. The honors thesis is a minimum of 40 pages. An honors project has a more creative or practical dimension than the traditional thesis, yet it still includes a written component. For example, a software development project would include a computer program and full documentation. Upon completion, students defend their thesis/project in a public forum and a bound copy is catalogued in Siena’s library. Students can major in one subject and write a thesis/project in another discipline in which they have taken four or more courses; for example, a science student might decide to write an English honors thesis, or a business student might pursue a project in the creative arts discipline.
The Standish Honors Program has enough flexibility that studying abroad or completing an internship are possibilities. As with any combination of major and experiential learning, careful planning is necessary. The earlier the student identifies the desired opportunities, the easier it is to work toward them.