Dec 10, 2010

Honors program

High-achieving students at Central Lakes College, completing the first semester of a new Honors Associate in Arts program, are enjoying their academic journey. The students in this ground-breaking group range in age from a home-schooled 15 to a mature 46. Their common goal: A transfer degree for established academics, status that says they qualify for intellectual engagement at their next institution of choice. The 12 students have participated for one semester in Honors Composition taught by Matthew Fort and Honors Theatre Experience taught by Dennis Lamberson. Both are three-credit courses, part of a 16-credit honors core toward the 60-credit AA degree. Margaret Tiede of Brainerd, 15, is one of the critical thinkers to benefit from small-class size, optimal instructor contact, and problem-solving studies centered on investigation and analysis. “I have very special memories of all the things we’ve been through together,” she said, noting her last institutional schooling was as a kindergartener. English class has been the most rewarding. “I’ve never had the opportunity to really talk about books with people” Tiede said. “Our discussions are all over the map, from ethics to challenges with drafting to an author’s particular voice and style, and everyone contributes something. That’s the class that excites me for next semester.” Tim Lee, 30, of Wadena said his 100-mile roundtrip drives to CLC for the honors experience pleasantly surprised him. “Things are different in Honors.” He was prepared for “the depth of the material and faster pace, but there’s something more personal about the experience.”