The AmeriCorps Bonner Leaders Program is a scholarship-like program for Young Harris College students who have a real passion for making a difference on their campus, in their community and in the larger world beyond.
Bonner Leaders work 10 hours each week during the school year at non-profit agencies throughout the community. This work can include, but is not limited to, mentoring elementary school students in an after-school program and through an outdoor leadership program, constructing affordable housing or providing food for low-income families, coordinating recycling and other sustainability efforts throughout the campus and community, removing invasive plant species and other pollutants from local streams and lakes, offering support to those coping with the death of a family member or close friend, and providing services to victims of domestic violence and child abuse. Bonners also have the option to choose a site at which to work during the summer months as well.
In addition, Bonners meet together regularly with their peers, faculty, staff and community leaders to help deepen their understanding of themselves as individuals, as Young Harris students and as citizens of the global society. Students also attend regional and national Bonner conferences throughout the year, as well as partner with Bonner programs at other institutions.
Bonner Leaders make a significant commitment of their time and energy and, in turn, receive financial assistance for that commitment. Through a combination of work-study funds and AmeriCorps education awards, Bonners may be eligible for up to $14,128 in total compensation over a four-year period. Packages that offer an additional summer stipend from an approved non-profit community partner agency are also available.
Ethics across the Curriculum
Young Harris College instituted the Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC) program during the Fall 2008 semester. The program has included workshops and luncheons on ethics in practice, ethical theories, moral reasoning and teaching ethics.
The EAC program seeks to make ethical reflection a vital part of the ethos of Young Harris College. It promotes creative and critical conversations on ethical issues and values as a vital part of the mission of the college. The program encourages discussions about, “how we ought to think,” “how we ought to act” and “who we are” among students, faculty and the rest of the YHC community. The program provides resources to support faculty, administrators and staff who wish to integrate discussion of ethical issues and values into classrooms, extracurricular programs or other initiatives.
The goals of the EAC program are to provide students and faculty with tools to more easily and clearly recognize the moral implications of our decisions and to make better-informed moral decisions. More specifically, after completing a four-year degree at YHC we expect students to be conversant with “value” terms; for example, “consequences,” “duties” and “virtues” in the context of moral decisions, able to recognize and explain one or more fallacies in moral reasoning and able to recognize and offer a general response to the most prominent moral questions in their field of study.
Over the next five years, we plan to increase the average participation rate among full-time faculty to around 50 percent, expand our budget in order to supplement expenses for participating faculty members who wish to attend conferences on moral topics in their fields of specialization and develop a team of students to compete in the National Ethics Bowl competition.
The Young Harris College Honors Program offers exciting intellectual challenges for students interested in maximizing their collegiate academic experience. Students enrolled in the YHC Honors Program take special courses reserved exclusively for Honors students. These courses are innovative, discussion-based, and taught by the best professors at the College. Students may select Honors sections of courses offered as part of the General Education Core Curriculum, one-hour seminars on special topics within various academic disciplines, or a combination of both types. Honors students also receive academic scholarships, vouchers for textbooks and other course related materials, priority registration for classes, and special opportunities for travel. Upon completion of their academic program, Honors students may earn an Honors Degree.
Prospective freshmen with outstanding High School GPAs and SAT/ACT scores are invited to join the Honors Program prior to enrolling at the College. They are not required to complete a separate application for admission to the Program, but they may be invited to submit materials to compete for additional academic scholarships awarded through the Honors Program.
Students who do not enter the Honors Program as first-semester freshman but wish to join after enrolling at the College may apply through the Honors Program Director. The Honors Program admits a maximum of fifteen current students each year. Students wishing to enter the honors program must apply before they have completed 90 credit hours. Applications are accepted in April for the next academic year. Students must submit at least two letters of recommendation from current YHC faculty members who have taught them and a 500-1000 word essay explaining why they wish to join the Program. Students must also have a cumulative YHC GPA of 3.5 or better. Applications will be reviewed by the Honors Program Committee. After final grades have been submitted, the Honors Program Director will confirm students’ GPAs with the Office of the Registrar and notify successful applicants.
Requirements for Remaining in the Honors Program
In order to remain in the Honors Program, students must successfully complete at least one Honors course or Independent Honors Research Project each semester. Successful completion is defined as earning a “C” or better in an Honors course or seminar, or having an Independent Honors Research Project approved by the student’s professor and the Honors Program Committee. Students must also maintain a cumulative YHC GPA of 3.5 each academic year. Students’ cumulative YHC GPAs are verified at the end of each spring semester. Students who fail to complete successfully at least one Honors course or independent research project each semester, or who fail to maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA at the end of each spring semester, will be dismissed from the Honors Program, lose Honors scholarships and textbook vouchers, and be prohibited from taking Honors courses. Students who wish to rejoin the Honors Program after being dismissed must reapply for admission.
Requirements for Honors Degree
Students entering the honors program fall semester of 2011 or later must earn a 3.5 cumulative GPA or better in order to graduate with an Honors Degree at the Associate or Bachelor level.
· To earn an Honors Degree at the Bachelor level, a student must successfully complete twelve Honors courses. At least two of these courses must be 3-4 credit-hour courses (excluding Independent Honors Research Projects). A student must also complete a Senior Capstone Project.
· To earn an Honors Degree at the Associate level, a student must successfully complete eight Honors courses. At least two of these courses must be 3-4 credit-hour courses (excluding Independent Honors Research Projects).
Independent Honors Research Project
Students may earn honors credit in a non-honors class once per academic year by completing a substantial Independent Honors Research Project. The project must be designed in consultation with a professor in whose class the student is enrolled during the semester the project will be completed. By the end of the second week of the semester, the student must submit a project plan including description, requirements, due date, and signature of the professor to the Honors Program Director for approval. If the project plan is approved, the student will work on the project during the semester, consulting with the professor as needed. The student will present the project to both the professor and the Honors Program Committee on a designated date near the end of the semester. To earn approval, the professor and Honors Program Committee must determine that the project would earn at least an “A-” if submitted as an assignment for the course. If the student’s work is approved by the professor and the committee, the student will receive Honors credit for that class, and that Honors credit will be designated on his or her transcript and count toward the fulfillment of Honors Degree requirements. Students who do not submit the required project plan on time or who do not present the project by the end of the semester will not receive Honors credit for the project or class.
Requirements for Senior Capstone Project
To earn an Honors Degree at the Bachelor level, an Honors student must complete a senior capstone project. The Honors capstone project should be the high point or crowning achievement of an Honors student’s academic career at Young Harris College. Since each academic discipline has its own modes of inquiry and means of presenting knowledge, Honors capstone projects will vary by discipline.
Honors students may choose one of the following options for their Honors capstone projects:
(1) Engage in substantial exploration of a topic related to your major program of study (your major). This project must go above and beyond what is required of non-honors program majors pursuing the B.A. or B.S. degree in your field of study.
(2) Engage in a substantial exploration of a topic unrelated to your major program of study. This could be something related to your minor, or simply a discipline that interests you.
Honors program students must publically present their capstone work in the interest of contributing to the body of knowledge of the community. The forum and method of the presentation will be designed by the student. For example, a student might choose to lecture in an undergraduate class or to read his or her work as part of a campus symposium. Each honors program student will select the members of a faculty committee that will advise the student through the project and assess it upon completion. One of the members will be the faculty member working most closely with the student in his or her major, one member will be the honors program director, and one member will be another faculty member of the student’s own choosing.
Each student must present his or her capstone project during spring semester prior to the start of the final exam period. The project and presentation will be assessed by the members of the student’s faculty committee. To be deemed successful, the capstone project and presentation must be “A” quality work. This means that the capstone project would earn an “A” if assigned for an upper-level class in the relevant discipline. Students who make a successful capstone presentation and meet all other program and academic requirements will earn an Honors Degree from Young Harris College.
Honors students receive a voucher each semester to be used for the purchase of textbooks and other materials related to their courses. The amount of the voucher is indicated in the letter that notifies students of their acceptance into the Program. Use of the voucher is subject to the following conditions.
- Students must purchase their textbooks and course materials at the YHC bookstore.
- Students must purchase all textbooks and supplies within the first two weeks of the semester.
- Students must show their YHC IDs, course schedules, and syllabi when using their vouchers.
- Students may use vouchers to purchase only materials that are directly related to their courses. For example, students could use vouchers to buy supplies for an art class, or a notebook for each class.
- Students may not use vouchers to purchase frivolous or excessive “supplies,” such as several packs of pens or multiple staplers.
Alpha Chi National College Honor Scholarship Society
Georgia Xi is the Young Harris College chapter of Alpha Chi, an academic honor society that recognizes and promotes excellence in scholarship among college and university students of good character. Classified as a general honor society, meaning that it accepts members from all academic fields, Alpha Chi inducts no more than the top 10 per cent of juniors and seniors relative to grade point average. Established in 1922, Alpha Chi has more than 300 chapters across the United States. Additional information regarding Alpha Chi can be found at www.alphachihonor.org.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
Lambda Alpha is the Young Harris College chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. To become eligible for membership, a student must demonstrate good character, must have earned a minimum of 15 semester hours of academic credit at Young Harris College, must have completed at least one semester of full-time enrollment at Young Harris College, and must have attained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5. To maintain good standing in Phi Theta Kappa after induction, a student must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.3. Phi Theta Kappa ordinarily holds an induction ceremony in the spring semester. Eligible students receive a letter of invitation at the beginning of the spring semester.
Information regarding international programs at Young Harris College is found at the Study Abroad Page of the College Website.