The honors program emphasizes the experiential teaching and learning so important to Montana Western's collective mission.
Honors classes are reading and writing intensive and offer opportunities to conduct independent research and travel abroad. Students are challenged to perform at the highest levels and experience great satisfaction in meeting those challenges. The honors program is for ambitious students who enjoy being challenged academically and learn best by experiencing.
Here is just one great example of honors courses at Montana Western.
This course provided a survey examination of the Scandinavian peoples from the medieval Viking era through the present time. Viking era themes were focus especially on tribal political structures and competition; the logic and processes of migration; the role of the family, ethics, cosmology and the processes of Christianization and resistance; and literary and artistic contributions. The course included an 11-day trip to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
Participation in this course and many other honors courses are open to the public as well as students. The trip was facilitated by Montana Western Professors of History, Philosophy and Social Science Sara Glasgow and Bill Janus.
Honors students are self-motivated and ready for all the benefits and rewards that come from challenging themselves in both academics and life experience, hallmarks of Montana Western's approach to learning.
A strong background in liberal arts can be more vital to careers and lifetime success than specific training in any single field. Honors students develop a broad range of skills and experience, from superior writing skills to critical thinking skills and the ability to conduct independent research.
While academic performance is an indicator, criteria for admittance to Honors courses is also dependent on the will and determination of each student to take their education to the next level.
Linda Lyon began working with the Honors program committee in the fall of 2008 and is currently serving as the interim coordinator. She is an ethnobotanist and has helped communities in Madagascar to reinforce the traditional use of plants. She is interested in finding research opportunities for motivated students and has advised Montana Western undergraduates working independently in Yellowstone National Park and at the Lokaro Environmental Reserve in Madagascar. Lyon is also the faculty advisor for the campus environmental interpretation club, which sent four Montana Western students to the National Association for Interpretation conference in the fall of 2008.
Glasgow's interest in the pedagogical approaches to interdisciplinary studies informs her work with the honors program. She studies the political economy of health focusing especially on political ideologies informing public health approaches to chronic, noncommunicable diseases. Glasgow co-taught Environment and Society in the spring of 2007, and in the spring of 2010 she taught the Honors course By the Hammer of Thor: Norse History and Culture.
Sean Eudaily is a previous committee member and an active instructor in the Honors program. Eudaily taught Experiencing Ireland, for which he co-led the class on a 17-day trip to Ireland. Eudaily also co-taught Reading England with Bethany Blankenship in 2006. Another 2006 honors course of his, Visions of the West, produced a framework document to help guide the development of a program in Western studies at Montana Western.
Experience One scheduling means students have no other classes to clutter their schedule and can travel freely without compromising their studies.
From the shores of the Galapagos Islands to the historic plazas of Europe, Honors classes have broadened our students' horizons.
For more information about honors at Montana Western, contact department chair Linda Lyon:
Block Hall 321
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