Everyone needs to learn how to maximize their own strengths and be able to articulate themselves. Arcadia offers courses that hone a student’s abilities and help them grow. The Honors Program focuses in and out of the classroom on students’ potential to create their own success and happiness and help others to do the same. Leadership is seen as the ability to work to your strengths in a team environment where your influence can lead to positive changes.
Creating Leaders Through Study and Practice
Our foundation class, The Study of Self and Teams (HN201), focuses on self-empathy, understanding why you do what you do, and being proud of your motivations, inclinations and strengths, and not apologizing for your needs or inclinations. Then we teach you how to share about yourself so that your team can work in empathy to accomplish its mission. Students move through a curriculum focusing on empathy, storytelling, mission statements, shared vision, values, communication, motivation, teamwork, networking, and innovation. These same areas of emphasis are explored more experientially in HN 390 courses, where Honors Students use those skills to design and innovate in order to problem solve in real world scenarios. Then students are encouraged to use their developing leadership skills intentionally outside of the class in the vast array of supported opportunities to mentor, create campus events, intern, present and publish their work.
By the end of our foundations class, students are consciously aware of how to think metacognitively about their actions and how they can use their skills and strengths to create successful team outcomes in line with their core values. This class also exposes students to presentations by leaders in various fields, and the opportunity to interview these leaders.
Unique Teamwork and Leadership Opportunities
Sample of Signature Classes
Signature Classes in the Honors Program
Students work one-on-one with speakers as they prepare their TEDx Talks. In addition to co-organizing every aspect of the TEDx Arcadia University Conference (fund raising, marketing, speaker format, program schedule, researching and analyzing and collecting primary and support materials for the conference), students collaborate and create their own dynamic TEDx Arcadia University talks. Student will present these at the Conference. They will also create a video/paper final project that chronicles their experience.
The projects for this course are inspired by books, articles, websites and social media accounts from around the world written and published since the term “craftivism” was coined in 2003. We explore historical examples of craftivism throughout history. Students read several books and articles on the history and rise of craftivism. Planned class trips and invited guest speakers shape an understanding of this movement. Students create approximately 8 projects, including a collaborative community class project. The main impetus for this class is to have students refine their activist and artistic voice(s) to find a way to put ideas out into the world using traditional art and craft techniques and processes. Our Craftivism class is the first of its kind in the nation.
Most of us were taught that symbolism in stories means the color blue equals sad, but the world of symbols is so much deeper and so much more intriguing. For example, the colors black, white, and red figure prominently in Harry Potter—even lending themselves as names to three important characters. Mythic patterns, parts of the soul, hero's journeys, alchemy, and more can be found in J.K. Rowling's work, but also in J.R.R. Tolkien's, C.S. Lewis, and even in TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Game of Thrones. In this class, we'll be breaking down symbolic, mythic, and even religious structures in famous fantasy worlds and stories. At the end of the class, students will have the chance to create their own fantastic worlds in whatever medium they choose.
The Color of Poverty
The course is designed to connect the classroom to the community through service learning and collaborative leadership experiences. The focus is to create a mindfulness among students regarding issues of social justice and how to address them through a creative and compassionate lens. Students will research and discuss issues that affect the global community, such as sex trafficking, child brides, clean water issues, and access to healthcare in developing countries. They will also learn how aesthetic entrepreneurship can be used to make an impact in the social justice context. Students will be provided the opportunity to use the arts to influence social impact locally and globally and use their leadership strengths to influence change.
Put to Practice
Everyone should have an internship. We didn’t want students to have to choose between taking an unpaid internship and taking a paid position at a big box store, which they needed to pay their bills. So, we created a class where your work experiences―regardless of where they are―are turned into an internship, ensuring you are creating professional meaning from these experiences.
Preceptorial is an opportunity for you to make the class you always wanted to take. Students decide the focus of the class together. They design the course policies. They divide the course into units and then in small work for 4-6 weeks to design the syllabus, lesson plans, and assessment mechanism for their portion of the course. In the final 8 weeks of class, they teach each other the course material. You will never learn as well as when you learn to teach others.
Students can take an upper-level class in their major and turn it into an Honors class by adding an additional project. They can also take the Office of Career Education’s e3 professional development series or The Love Pilot (a series focused on Anti-Black racism) to get Honors Credit.
Social Justice and the Opportunity Gap
Using HBO’s The Wire Season 4 as a roadmap, this course will explore the current landscape of American Education with an emphasis on examining the structural variables affecting access to quality education. The Wire’s dramatic narrative will be complemented by readings and other media to offer the student an interdisciplinary perspective of our education system and its political, economic, social and cultural dimensions. Students will also gain valuable insight into the internal and external forces that shape the day to day realities of students and families living in distressed communities. We will examine the notion of the “opportunity gap” through many lenses, including resource allocation, accountability, expectations, equality and socioeconomic status. Students will actively participate in activities and discussions aimed at deconstructing the variables affecting quality education. Every class will begin and end with the same fundamental question: How does a student with limited resources but unlimited potential achieve the American Dream?
Everyday Sustainability: Have you ever wondered what it means to live sustainably? Do you want to learn more about sustainable living but think that you have to make huge changes to have an impact? Whatever the motivation, sustainable practices should be a priority for everyone. However, the reality of living a sustainable life is still new to many of us. In this class, we will study and implement sustainable practices in your everyday life. From your choice of clothing and mode of transportation to the length of your shower and the food you consume, we will break down everyday living activities and see how they affect the world we live in. We will research sustainable practices, evaluate the bloggers that claim to be sustainable, take action, and log progress by keeping a sustainability journal, and create a personal project in your own living space. This class is about action armed with knowledge and by the end, you will be ready to live sustainably. This class, unfortunately, was not able to get its' designation prior to deadline, but the professor was hoping to get an SS. It isn't hard to petition for that after the fact, and I can help you.