Professional Perspectives

  • “The emphasis at other honors colleges seemed to be on working harder rather than on deeper learning. Instead of the interactive teaching and critical thinking that distinguish honors courses at IUP, at other schools we found the equivalent of three extra chapters to read.

    “Some programs even count as part of their ‘honors curriculum’ any regular class In which the lone honors student does some extra credit.

    “There really is a great deal of difference among honors programs. Most of them do not offer the community of honors students that Emily has come to value so much at IUP—most other programs either don’t have a residential component at all or, if they do, it is optional and not well integrated into the academic goals. In some cases, there is just an honors office somewhere, or maybe an honors study lounge—that speaks volumes about the values of their programs.

    “Among her circle of friends who went to many fine schools, Emily has had the most positive experience and is the happiest.”
    Dr. Cathy Abrams
    Parent and Professor of Art History
    University of Southern Florida

    “The Honors ‘Core course’ really attracted me as a professional educator. It exemplifies the best practices in education today—it’s both interdisciplinary and student-centered.

    “The small class sizes and exceptionally friendly faculty also drew me to IUP. I have a son at [another university], and hearing his 500-students-per-class nightmares, I was determined that my daughter would have both reasonable class sizes and professors who are available to students.

    “I was also impressed by the high degree of student involvement in the planning of both the college and of each student’s course of study.

    All in all, with these features, the lovely campus and small-town setting, the Honors College rivals private colleges costing many times more.”
    John Poynton
    Parent and History Teacher
    Academy Park High School

    “The Cook Honors College has an innovative core curriculum. The core courses bring an integrated, cross-disciplinary approach to ‘Great Questions.’ The program is designed to hone critical thinking skills while providing a survey of the important writings in several disciplines.

    “[The Core course] fosters close interaction, critical thinking, communication skills, mastery of the English language, and cooperation rather than competition among the students. This is, without a doubt, the beginning of one of the most cutting-edge curricula in North America.”
    —Donald Asher,
    Cool Colleges for the Hyper-Intelligent, Self-Directed, late Blooming, and Just Plain Different. Ten Speed Press

    “I want to compliment the RECHC staff and faculty for doing an outstanding job creating a culture that fosters responsibility and critical thinking. I have truly found your students to possess both the motivation and the metacognitive skills that most college graduates lack. The fact that we can task your undergraduate interns with serious projects is a testament to the success of the mission of the RECHC.

    “What you are doing and what you have accomplished are unquestionably unique. You should be very proud. Your undergraduate interns have far outperformed MBA students that worked with us in the past.”
    —Michael Toth, CEO
    Learning Sciences International