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
Ethics Across the Curriculum (EAC) is a co-curricular program that seeks to make ethical reflection part of the ethos of Young Harris College. It provides resources to support faculty, administrators, and staff for integrating discussion of ethical issues and values into classrooms and extracurricular programs. EAC programming 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 broader YHC community.
Young Harris College is an institutional member of the international Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum, whose mission is “to stimulate scholarship on ethics and the teaching of ethics in all academic disciplines and to afford an opportunity for the exchange of research.” 1
History and Activity
Young Harris College implemented the EAC program in the Fall 2008 semester and programming includes a collection of library resources to equip faculty for introducing moral philosophy to students in all disciplines, workshops and luncheons on a variety of topics in moral philosophy, and an annual Ethics Awareness Week symposium.
The goal of the EAC program is 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 abstract moral discussions and practical moral decisions, to be able to recognize and explain one or more fallacies in moral reasoning, and to be able to recognize and offer a general response to some of the more prominent moral questions in their fields of study.
Over the next five years, we plan to increase the average participation rate among full-time faculty to between 50 and 60 percent, to provide travel and conference funds to more faculty members who participate in or attend conferences on moral topics in their fields of specialization, and to develop a team of students to compete in the National Ethics Bowl competition.
1The Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum
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, priority registration for classes, and special opportunities for travel. Honors students also have the opportunity to earn an Honors Degree in their chosen field of study.
Admissions Process for Incoming Freshmen
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.
Admissions Process for Current Students
Students who do not enter the Honors Program as first-semester freshmen 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 who have earned 90 credit hours or more are ineligible to join the Honors Program. 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 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.
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.
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 publicly 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.
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.
Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society
The Omega Tau chapter of the international communication studies honor society Lambda Pi Eta was founded at Young Harris College in 2011.The honor society aims to recognize, foster and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies, promote and encourage professional development among communication majors and stimulate interest in the field of communication. Election to membership in Lambda Pi Eta is open to undergraduates enrolled as communication studies majors or minors with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 with 60 credit hours completed and 3.25 for communication studies courses with 12 credit hours completed.
Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity
The Zeta Kappa Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon was founded at Young Harris College in 2011. Mu Phi Epsilon is an International Professional Music Fraternity whose purposes are the recognition of scholarship and musicianship and the promotion of friendship. Its aims are the advancement of music throughout the world, the promotion of musicianship and scholarship, loyalty to the Alma Mater, and the development of a true bond of friendship. Election to membership in Mu Phi Epsilon is based upon scholarship, musicianship and character. Undergraduates must be enrolled as music majors or minors and have attained at least second term freshman standing, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in music subjects and 2.0 in academic subjects.
Sigma Tau Delta
The Alpha Sigma Omicron chapter of the international English honor society Sigma Tau Delta was founded at Young Harris College in 2011. The primary objective of Sigma Tau Delta is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies. The society also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature. The organization strives to provide cultural stimulation on college campuses, serve society by fostering literacy and promote interest in literature and the English language in surrounding communities. Founded in 1924, the society has more than 800 active chapters. Election to membership in Sigma Tau Delta is open to undergraduates enrolled as English majors or minors with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0, at least three semesters of coursework completed and a class rank in the highest 35 percent. The Alpha Sigma Omicron chapter of Sigma Tau Delta is organized in conjunction with the English Majors Organization (EMO) at Young Harris College.
Information regarding international programs at Young Harris College is found at the Study Abroad Page of the College Website.
The Learning Management System used at Young Harris College is Moodle. All syllabi are posted on Moodle and many professors post course notes, calendars, projects and tests on Moodle. To ensure a secure and consistent environment, Moodle usernames and passwords will be the same as the College network username and password.
Summer Online Courses
Young Harris College offers online courses for eight weeks during the summer, and all YHC students, other than first time freshmen, are eligible to take these course offerings. Online courses primarily use Moodle for course instruction, and each online student is required to pass a Moodle Orientation before gaining access to any online course.