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Director: Roger Gilles
The mission of the Frederik Meijer Honors College is to inspire and empower motivated students to be intellectually curious lifelong learners who contribute to a body of knowledge, and serve as capable leaders and active global citizens.
The Meijer Honors College at Grand Valley State University is intended for students who, in their previous academic work, have demonstrated a distinctly high level of motivation, creativity, and academic achievement. Drawing from all the undergraduate departments, the Meijer Honors College provides its students a program with special academic opportunities and challenges.
Designed to enhance and integrate the intellectual curiosity of students, Meijer Honors College courses help students expand their worldviews and promote personal development. The designation “Meijer Honors College Graduate” on a Grand Valley diploma and transcript recognizes the distinctive work of the students in the program.
The Meijer Honors College curriculum, with its emphasis on interdisciplinary learning, offers a distinctive way to fulfill most of the general education requirements of the university. Meijer Honors College courses, normally limited to 25 or fewer students, are uniquely structured in content and instruction for active learning and critical thinking. Sharing specially designed classes with other students of outstanding potential and motivation creates a special atmosphere in which important questions and student ideas are treated seriously. Uniquely qualified and carefully selected faculty members drawn from many disciplines teach Meijer Honors College courses; in fact, many classes are team-taught, offering students significant individualized attention. Working with a faculty mentor, Meijer Honors College students design and complete an independent project in their senior year.
The greater student-faculty interaction, as well as classes that are specially designed to foster advanced writing and speaking skills, critical thinking, and analysis, prepare students to be competitive for graduate and professional programs. Our students develop high levels of proficiency in research, writing, critical thinking, synthesizing material from multiple disciplines, and applying critical skills to primary sources. Because of these advanced skills, honors students have more opportunities to participate in and present research as undergraduates at Student Scholars Day, regional honors conferences, the National Collegiate Honors Council annual meeting, and other professional meetings.
The Meijer Honors College encourages its students to engage in extracurricular activities to develop leadership skills and an appreciation of the richness and diversity of university life. Honors students frequently engage in service and volunteer projects at the university or in the community. They also have unique cultural experiences and travel opportunities such as subsidized museum visits and faculty-led trips to places like Chicago, Toledo, New York City, out west, and Washington, D.C. Trips for credit are offered to various international destinations such as Germany and Nicaragua, and there are annual summer service-learning program to Ghana. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the other study abroad opportunities offered by the university.
Completion of the Meijer Honors College program should not be confused with “Graduation with Honors,” which is determined strictly by final grade point average. The Meijer Honors College requires not only a high grade point average but also successful completion of a special series of challenging courses. Completion of all Meijer Honors College requirements results in the “Meijer Honors College Graduate” designation on both the baccalaureate diploma and the college transcript. Graduates are eligible to wear a special medallion and stole at Commencement.
To remain in good standing in the Meijer Honors College, a student must maintain a 3.2 grade point average. Failure to do so will result in the student being placed on probationary status and given two consecutive semesters to bring his or her GPA back up to a 3.2. Honors courses may be repeated only with the consent of both the director and the faculty member involved. Students may voluntarily withdraw from honors but will be responsible for completing the regular General Education Program of the university if they do so.
There is no accrediting body for honors, though the National Collegiate Honors Council sets guidelines and offers resources for honors programs. Grand Valley is an active member of the National Collegiate Honors Council.
Applicants must first be accepted to Grand Valley before they apply to the Meijer Honors College. The normal qualifications for the program are a 3.5 high school GPA and ACT score of 28, but other factors (such as quality of essay, paper sample, and honors/leadership activities) are considered for entrance, and all these criteria are weighed to assess academic motivation and potential for success in the program. Transfer students and those already enrolled at Grand Valley who wish to enter the Meijer Honors College may apply for admission if they have a 3.5 college grade point average. The application is available at www.gvsu.edu/honors/.
Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships
The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships, adjacent to the honors offices in 142a Niemeyer, assists Grand Valley students who show extraordinary potential in disciplines all across campus in preparing and applying for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships including the Boren, Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, Gilman, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, Udall, and more. The staff matches opportunities with students’ strengths, interests, and ambitions; helps students design a plan to attain their goals; and provides support throughout the application process. To learn more, visit www.gvsu.edu/fellowships/.
Learning and Living Community
One of the hallmarks of the Meijer Honors College is its rich learning and living community. For this reason, honors students — especially freshmen — are encouraged to live in one of the two honors housing centers, so that they strengthen the bonds of community and reinforce each other’s commitment to academic excellence.
The Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center is a state-of-the-art residential and academic center with two and four bedroom apartments, lounges and study areas, and a computer lab. Most honors classrooms are also in the building.
The Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center is a brand new residential and academic center which provides optimal housing for first-year honors students because it builds rich and deep community.
Arend D. and Nancy Lubbers Scholarship. Those who are awarded Presidential Scholarships are eligible for a prestigious honors-only scholarship - the Lubbers Scholarship. This award can add as much as $2,000 onto merit-based scholarships, and is renewable for up to 10 semesters. It is a significant honor to receive this scholarship, but a student is only eligible for this award if he or she has qualified for and participated in the scholarship competition and has applied to and been accepted by the Meijer Honors College prior to the last scholarship competition of the year.
Frederik Meijer First Generation Honors College Student Scholarship. This is a full-tuition scholarship for a select number of extraordinary freshmen who are the first in their immediate family to pursue a college degree. Candidates must be eligible to participate in the scholarship competition, must have been accepted to the university and the Meijer Honors College, and must enroll full-time as a degree-seeking student. The scholarship is renewable up to a maximum of eight semesters. Recipients must stay in good standing in the Meijer Honors College to renew this scholarship.
Felix V. and Gladys A. Zukaitis Honors Scholarship. Those who are awarded Presidential or Faculty Scholarships are eligible for a prestigious honors-only scholarship - the Zukaitis Honors Scholarship. This award can add as much as $1,000 onto merit-based scholarships, and is renewable for up to eight semesters. It is a significant honor to receive this scholarship, but a student is only eligible for this award if he or she has qualified for and participated in the scholarship competition and has applied to and been accepted by the Meijer Honors College prior to the last scholarship competition of the year.
Ruth Chamberlain Global Issues Scholarship. This scholarship was initiated by John (“Jack”) Chamberlain in memory of his wife Ruth. The scholarship provides support for one or more students in the Meijer Honors College who have shown significant promise, growth, or improvement, and have demonstrated a research or career interest in solving global problems (for example, issues of climate change, natural disasters, energy, population change, sustainability, etc.). Areas of study may include but are not limited to natural resources, biology, chemistry, or related sciences. The scholarship may be awarded for a maximum of two semesters, but may be renewable.
Jonathan and Marcia White Endowed Honors College Scholarship. This scholarship continues Jonathan’s legacy of public service and commitment to advancing homeland security. It rewards bright students in the Frederik Meijer Honors College who are pursuing careers in national security or public service. The scholarship was established in recognition of Colonel Ralph Hauenstein’s record of military and civilian service. Candidates must be in honors and enrolled for at least 12 credit hours per semester. The scholarship is renewable up to a total of six semesters.
For more information on applying and competing for the Lubbers, Meijer First Generation, or Zukaitis scholarships, contact an admissions counselor at email@example.com or (616) 331-2025 or (800) 748-0246. For the Chamberlain, White, and other scholarships, see www.gvsu.edu/financialaid or call (616) 331-3234 or (800) 748-0246.
A.N.C.H.O.R. Honors Student Council
A.N.C.H.O.R. (Alumni, Niemeyer, Calder, Hills, and Honors Residents) is the student group responsible for contributing to Meijer Honors College governance and provides all honors students, not just those living in honors living centers, opportunities to be heard. A.N.C.H.O.R. provides input to the university, develops programming and student activities, and assists in supervision of the mentorship program for new students. It is an excellent place for honors students to make a difference in and outside of honors, and to develop leadership skills and experience.
Peer Mentor Program
Upperclass honors students may apply to be peer mentors to incoming freshmen. Mentors assist freshmen with the transition to the Meijer Honors College and university life in general, and act as ambassadors for the Meijer Honors College.
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