LSSC Honors Program Info Session

LSSC Honors Program Info Session


– Hey guys, I’m Amber Karlins, the coordinator of the Honors Program here at Lake Sumter State College. I’m so excited that you
joined us for our very first Facebook and YouTube
live information session. I am so excited to answer
all of your questions here in a little bit. I’m hoping you have some questions. Now would be a great time
to think of questions, if you haven’t already
thought that through. But, before we get started, I’m just gonna fill you in a little bit about our program just in case you’re not already super familiar. So this will be our inaugural
class for the honors program. We are looking for a
cohort of 20 students. We are in the process of
accepting applications. You can find applications on our website at www.lssc.honors, wait, dot edu backslash honors, there you go. So we are accepting those applications. They’re available online. We’ll be making our
first round of admissions decisions on May 1st, so you have not already
gotten those applications in, now is a great time to do so. The honors program at LSSC
comes with a tremendous amount of benefits. We’ve got scholarships
available for all students who are accepted and enrolled
in the honors program. We have an innovative,
integrated curriculum that’s gonna be taught
by award-winning faculty. We have opportunities for
you to work one-on-one conducting research with faculty. Extensive opportunities for mentorship and we also have some really exciting articulation agreements in place, so it’s a really great program and we’re really hoping that you join us. So if we can, I’d loved to see if we have any questions
that I can answer. You guys just me a second. There’s a lot of technology
to coordinate here. Let’s see, all right. First question appears to be coming. Give us just one second. So let’s see. Couple of things you should know about how to be accepted into the honors program. We are looking for a minimum
of a 3.5 unweighted GPA. We’re also looking for documented evidence of academic achievement. I’ve had some questions
about how we assess that, which is a great question. Part of that’s gonna come
through your transcripts, which we do require you to submit as part of your application. We’re also gonna be looking at that letter of rec that you have to submit as part of your application process. Additionally there’s several
short answer sections on the application. That’s another place we’re
just gonna be looking for your college readiness in
terms of reading and writing. We’re also looking in those
transcripts for things like an academically rigorous program, whether or not you’ve taken honors or AP, and we also ask you to share
some information with us about any extra-curricular activities, any volunteer work that you’ve done, things of that nature. So those are really the
minimum requirements to get into the program. Once you’re in program, we expect you to maintain
at least a 3.0 GPA, and we’re also requiring
you to participate in at least two co-curricular
activities every semester. Additionally, we’ll be requiring you to take the courses in the honors program. There’s a total of 24 credit
hours that you’ll be taking through the honors program. Those will be spread out across two years. So if you are, for example, somebody who’s only about a semester away
from graduating from LSSC, this probably isn’t the
right program for you, but if you’re looking to
start with us in the fall, or if you’re very, very
early in your AA degree, then I think we would be
a really good fit for you. Speaking of it, it is an
AA degree-seeking program, so at this point we don’t have an option for students seeking an AS. However, if you’re interested in nursing and you eventually see yourself moving on to a bachelor’s degree, it could be a beneficial
place for you to start. I have a question here about
any tips on the essays. That’s a great question, and I’m gonna say that we
have a whole team of people reading those essays. I am one of those people, as are a couple of my colleagues
in the English department, so I’m just gonna mention that I’m an English faculty member, so proofreading it would be valuable. Definitely trying to make sure it looks polished and professional. Also making sure that you give us good, specific examples regarding the prompts. Things that show us that you’re
familiar with the program, that you’ve really thought about it, and you’ve given a lot of consideration to why you think you’d be a good fit, and why this is good for you. Because we want to make sure
that we’re getting students who are good for our program, but we also want to make sure that we’re getting students for whom this program would be good. I also have a question here about whether or not students can go to Stetson after they’re done at
Lake Sumter State College, and I am very excited to share that we are in the very last stages of the finalizing an
articulation agreement with Stetson University that
would allow our students to transfer directly
from our honors program here at LSSC into Stetson University with scholarships that
would take that price down to be about comparable
with what you would expect to pay if you went on to UCF, so it’s a very attainable goal. Stetson’s amazing, by the way. I don’t know if you’ve
visited their campus, but it is remarkable. I got to go do a campus tour there a couple of months back
and it’s just extraordinary and beautiful to start, but literally there’s an innovation lab in their library that’s just like, walls of 3D printers
that you can just walk in and use for free anytime. So it’s a really incredible institution and we’re very excited to be creating ways for our students to transfer
there after graduation. All right, I’ve got a great question here about the difference between honors classes and traditional classes, and whether or not they’re
really similar to AP classes. And that’s a fantastic question. Honors classes are different
from traditional classes, but a common misconception is that they’re just going to be harder, and that’s, that’s really not the case. Honors work is different, but
it’s not necessarily harder, it’s just more challenging. A lot of time students find that they actually perform
better in their honors courses because they’re developing these tight-knit relationships with their peers, as well as with their faculty members. If you are enrolled in our honors program, you’ll meet all of the
faculty that you will have for your honors courses in
your very first semester. We’re gonna have lots of opportunities for you to get to know them, in many instances even
before you’re enrolled in their courses. You’re also gonna be taking
all of your honors courses with the same group of 20 students. So that’s a really neat way to sort of build these relationships which can be very beneficial. Honors program classes
will be project based, which means that you’re gonna be working on something larger over
the course of the semester, which allows you to really dig in deep into various topics, ideas, etc. Our classes are also integrated, which means that what you’re learning in one class one semester is directly connected
to what you’re learning in the other honors class that semester. Sometimes that’s in ways that
really seem easy and logical. For example we’re doing a statistics class that’s paired with our Cornerstone class and that’s where you begin
developing your research project, which you’ll work on
for almost a full year. And so those things, you know, it’s very easy to see
how those will partner. Some of them are a little bit more unique. We’re partnering, for example, our theater appreciation class and our conceptual physics class. So when, for example, you’re learning about lighting design in theater, you’ll be learning about
the physics of light in your physics class. So it’s another way in which
they’re very different. We’re also big fans of
inquiry-based learning in the honors program. So it’s just, it’s an
opportunity to think creatively, to learn to make connections
across disciplines, and to, to work on sort of a deeper level as you’re working through
your honors curriculum. If you happen to live in South Lake and you’re interested
in our honors program, if you’re based in Clermont, you absolutely can live and be based out of the Clermont campus, but all of our classes are offered on the Leesburg campus
for the honors program. But our classes will only take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, so you could do all of
your non-honors classes on the South Lake campus
on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or online or as hydrid, however you wish. We just ask that you keep
that Monday and Wednesday really open and available for us. You do also need to be full-time
to be an honors student, so that’s something to consider as well. We do have scholarships available for every student who is
enrolled in the honors program. At the moment we have at
least $2400 per student, which should be enough that,
if you’ve got at least 50% Bright Futures, which presumably
if you’re a prospective honor student, you probably do, that should cover all
of your tuition expenses for your time here, but we do have at least $2400 in merit-based scholarships
already secured, and then also there are things like the Foundation scholarship, which represent opportunities
to get some additional money. So that’s some, some basic
info about the honors program, but again, I’m eager to
answer more questions. I know I just threw a lot
of information at you, so if you need a second
to think that’s okay, but feel free to just keep
sending us those questions, ’cause I am eager to share with you. Okay, so, I’ve got a question
about our professors. Oh gosh, I could do this all day. Our professors in the honors program are the very best of the best. Lake Sumter’s a very small little college, but you may or may not know that we have incredibly high-performing faculty here. In fact, four of the last 11
Professor of the Year winners for the state of Florida have come out of Lake Sumter State College, and three of those professors will be part of our faculty
in the honors program. So we have at least three
Professor of the Year winners, and one Professor of the Year finalist. So approximately 50% of our honors faculty are Professors of the Year, at the very least for our school if not for the entire state of Florida. They’re also the kind of professors who are incredibly excited
to get to work with you. Professors who love their jobs, professors who are eager to get to share that knowledge with you, and professors who will be very present in your life at the college for the entire two years you’re here. That’s why we wanna make sure that you’re meeting them
right from the get-go. Additionally you’ll have the opportunity to work with faculty not
just within our program, but outside of the program on that Cornerstone and Capstone project
that I mentioned earlier. Now that’s a fairly long project. It begins in the second
semester of your first year where you take a course
called Cornerstone, which is gonna help you identify what you really want to
focus on for your next year. So there are two tracks
in our honors program. One of them is a service-learning track, and one of them is a research-based track. You can choose. The coursework is the same
regardless of which track you choose, but the primary difference
is that your Capstone project will either be research-based
or service-based. So if you chose a service learning track, your job for that Capstone project is going to be to identify a
need within your community, to research ways that that
need has been successfully met in other communities, and then to develop and implement a sustainable solution to that need. And then you’re gonna go ahead and write up in a fairly lengthy paper what you did and why you did it in a summary of that research. Alternatively if you pick
a research-based project, you’re gonna identify a research question and then you’re gonna to go
and conduct research on that, gather data, and write that, that up. So either way, it’s a substantial project. You’re gonna work on that starting in the second semester
of your freshman year, and then you present it in your
final semester here at LSSC. And each student will have a
faculty mentor for that project who will work with you
for that entire year. That can be a member of our honors faculty or just a member of
LSSC’s faculty at large, so you can choose somebody who is really specializing
in your area of interest. So I have a question about how I got involved in the honors program, which is also a great question. I am a huge believer in the
value of an honors education. I initially had very big plans of going to a fancy, private
school for my undergrad. I was just absolutely sure
I was gonna wind up at Duke, Davidson, and I had the grades
and that was my intention. My parents are both professors. They worked at a state college. They’re professors at USF actually. And I just, I didn’t
want to go to the campus that I had grown up on
pretty much my whole life. I wanted to, you know, have a
big adventure, someplace new. And then I really looked at the money. I knew that I wanted to
go to graduate school, and I knew realistically
that my parents could help me with one but it was unrealistic to expect them to help me pay for both. And so I knew that where
I went to grad school was going to be incredibly important, because in terms of getting a job, the where of graduate school
is much more important than the where of undergrad. And then USF came to me, and as much as I didn’t
think I wanted to go there, then they told me about
the honors college. And the honors college at the
University of South Florida not only made it possible
for me to go to college without incurring any debt at all, but they also gave me
enough money in stipends that it paid off the car that
I still drive 11 years later. So it’s a very generous program and it also was a really
spectacular education. I learned so much because I
was in this honors program where I was challenged and pushed and I was finally in a room full of people where I never felt like I had to pretend to not be as smart as I was. These were people who were also really intellectually curious and were eager to learn
and that wasn’t something that was nerdy or weird. That was the culture of the place and it was wonderful for me. And it ultimately got me
to my ideal graduate school where I was one of only
two people in my program who weren’t roughly a
quarter of a million dollars in debt when they walked in the door. So I know from personal experience, not just how beneficial
it can be financially to attend an honors program, but also how beneficial
it can be academically. So in realizing that LSSC did
not have an honors program, I was fairly obsessed
for a good, long while at making sure that we had one because I think that’s important. I think that our community deserves to have an honors program
accessible to them. And so as soon as I felt
like I was in a position to pitch something to the college, I knew I wanted it to be this. So I went to my boss, who then took me to his boss, and I met with a handful
of vice-presidents and said you know, this is
really a thing that I wanna do, and I’ve been very fortunate that they’ve been enormously supportive here at the college of this initiative. And now it’s a thing,
which is pretty exciting. All right, so we’ve got
a couple more questions. Let’s see, how big are our classes? So I can’t speak to that in terms of every single class
you’ll take at the college, ’cause obviously that will vary, but your honors classes
will be capped at 20. That is a smaller class size,
even for a state college, so that’s pretty exciting. Also I have a question here of how many decimals of pi do I know. I’m gonna be real honest and tell you I’m an English professor, so 3.14, I feel like there’s a
five nine in there somewhere. I know that’s shameful, I’m sorry. But if you wanna ask
me anything English-y, I’ll crush that. Speaking of books or movies, which is a really great question. I have a soft spot for really good movies, but I am just an absolute
sucker for books. My goal this year is to
read at least 35 books. I can say I always, almost always, prefer the book to the movie if there’s a movie based on a book, but some days you just
really need some movies. Speaking of which we have
a really great film class here at the college that we offer, should you be interested in movies. I highly recommend that. And then I have question
about what you should do as a high school junior
to prepare for honors. Let me just first say
that I’m really impressed that there’s a high school
junior thinking about honors. That shows you’re the kinda
student we’re looking for because that’s some good
planning and foresight. There’s a couple of
things that you should do. A, you should keep an
eye on that GPA, right? We wanna make sure that we’re hitting at least that 3.5 unweighted. The other thing to think about is if you are taking any AP
or dual-enrollment classes, it would be wise to just keep an eye on the courses in our honors program. Because our classes are integrated, we, there are some classes
which you kinda have to take with us regardless
of whether or not you’ve already taken them. We’ve tried to pick classes that generally students don’t do a whole
lot of as dual-enrollment, but let’s say for example, in your first semester
here as an honors student, you would need to take speech,
which is paired with our Intro to Honors seminar. And so when that happens, if
you have already taken speech, you won’t have to enroll
in the speech class, but because our curriculum is paired, you will still need to
attend the speech class and complete the assignments, so you’d essentially
be auditing the course. You wouldn’t have to pay for it, and you get additional
instruction for free. So that’s all good stuff. But, in terms of just sort of
maximizing your efficiency, I would recommend keeping an
eye out on that honors program as you start mapping out your AP and dual-enrollment classes. And in case you’re curious as
to what’s in that curriculum, the first semester you take
speech and honors seminar. In your second semester we
have a lot of honors classes. This is by far the
biggest honors semester, that second semester. So you’re taking theater appreciation, which is a humanities gen ed. You are taking conceptual physics, which is a science gen ed. You would be taking statistics,
which is a math gen ed. And then you would also be
completing that Cornerstone class that I talked about. Then in your first semester
of your second year, you’ll take American government honors, which is a social science gen ed, and also fulfills your
civic literacy requirements. And then lit 2000 honors, which another one of
those humanities gen ed. And then your final semester, it’s just that Capstone class. Couple of things of note
with that sort of class list as you can sort of hear, I hope, it is fairly heavy in term
of humanities gen eds. So if you’re thinking about taking classes and you’re a junior, you might wanna sort of steer
away from humanities gen eds for either your AP or your
dual-enrollment classes. And then the other piece of that is that we really need you to be ready for stats by your second semester, which means that your first semester you need to be taking
a college level math, probably college algebra, so it’s very important that you make sure that you’re college read in terms of math. By the way I have an update on pi. It is apparently 3.14159, so I was right about a five
nine living somewhere there, two six five three five. I’m sure there’s more numbers ’cause pi goes on for a really long time, but that is a start. And then, let’s see, is this like HSCA? If you’re not familiar with HSCA, that is our college’s Health
Science Collegiate Academy. It is similar in the
sense that we are doing a co-horting model, which means that you guys are together all the way through your two years. It is different in the sense that it is not targeted to
high school students. It is also much smaller than HSCA and it is specifically
for a very small group of very high achieving students. And we don’t care about
what you’re majoring in. So health sciences is really specifically for health science high school students. This is for high
achieving college students regardless of major. What’s different when you graduate? Oh, that’s a great question. There are a lot of
things that are different when you graduate from an honors program. First and foremost, you
can directly transfer into UCF honors program if you graduate from our honors program. UCF honors college does
not take transfer students unless they transfer
from an honors program that they have an
articulation agreement with. We are one of those colleges. And that opens a ton of
doors for you at UCF. There are scholarship opportunities at UCF that are only available to
honors college students. There are dorms that are only available to honors college students. There are research
opportunities and study abroad and a host of other things
that are only available to honors college students. It is also different, really
sort of wherever you go, this gives you a tremendous
leg up in terms of transfer. Obviously this is our first year, so I can’t speak directly to
where our students have gone, ’cause we haven’t had any students yet. But I can tell you that other
state colleges in Florida have placed their graduates
at a number of Ivy Leagues. In fact the school that I taught at before I came to Lake Sumter, Hillsborough Community College, has placed graduates
of their honors program at every single Ivy League
school except for Brown. So there’s a lot of opportunities. There’s also scholarships
across the country that you are eligible for as
an honors transfer student, as well as scholarships that
you can get as a PTK graduate, which is an honor society that
we have here at the college. It just makes you much more competitive in terms of transfer. It also looks really good on
your resume after the fact as well as after you finish
your four year degree as well as now. It’s also helpful in terms of
gaining leadership experience. One of the things that I really
love about an honors program is that you get to be kind of
a big fish in a small pond. So it’s an opportunity to really develop yourself as a leader, to really get a nice, you know, one-on-one relationships
with faculty so they’re able to write you better
letters of recommendation because they know you well. They’ve spent two years
working with you, closely, and so that also is very advantageous when you’re applying for jobs, or when you’re applying to
transfer to other universities. Do you have to maintain your
GPA as an honor student? We ask you to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA throughout your time in the program. You can take classes in
the summer, if you wish, but honors classes are only
offered in the fall and spring. So, you don’t have to take summer classes, but we do really wanna encourage you to make sure you are completing
your degree in two years. So if you don’t come in with a whole lot in the way of AP or
dual-enrollment credit, and you are majoring in STEM field, specifically something like
engineering, chemistry, biology, those classes
have a lot of pre-reqs and things that have to
be taken in sequence, and it can be really
challenging to fit that into a two year program if you don’t take some summer classes. So it may be in your best interest to take some summer classes, but we absolutely don’t require it. Can you change tracks? You don’t have to identify your track until your second semester. So we’re gonna try to give
you a lot of opportunities to really nail down what
it is that you wanna do. And in terms of your track,
but also in your life, your honors seminar is
going to be focused largely on really helping you map out where you wanna go and how we
can best help you get there. So really by the second semester you need to have that
fairly, fairly nailed down because you are going to be spending that entire semester in
your Cornerstone class identifying that project,
getting a mentor, and getting all of those pieces sorted, so changing after that
would really put you behind the eight ball a little bit. FSU and UF. UF does not accept transfer students into their honors program, into their honors college. UF, you can still
absolutely go to after here. The things that you learn
here would certainly be beneficial at UF. We’ve bumped into similar issues with FSU, however I can tell you
that USFs honors college is eager to take graduates of our program, so you could go directly
into USFs honors college. Now if you just wanna
transfer to FSU or UF, and you’re not married to
being in an honors college, definitely being in our honors program will be beneficial for you there. You’ll have better
letter of recommendation, you’ll have a better transfer application. We have honors faculty and
other faculty at the college who are dedicated to
providing you feedback on scholarship essays
that you write when you go to transfer on your transfer application, so again you just have resources available to you through the honors program that are going to benefit you throughout that process wherever your
target school is to go. Also there’s a question here about the website and it’s
reference to conferences. That’s something we’re very excited about here in the honors program. Because the college has
been really wonderful and supportive of making sure that we make this program as beneficial to our students as humanly possible, to making sure that you guys develop the skills that you need as
you go on in your careers, they have provided
funding so that I can take every single one of you to a conference if that’s something that you want. We’re looking specifically, and I’m gonna get this acronym wrong, but the basic gist of it is they’re the Florida Council
of Collegiate Honors Colleges, that’s maybe the right acronym, where honors colleges
from the state colleges and universities and community colleges come from across the
state and they gather, and it’s student-led research, so it’s students giving presentations about what they’re working on and we are eager to take
students in their first year to go get a look at the conference, to see what’s accepted
and what’s expected, and then bring them in
to their second year and hopefully have them present. They also hold some
competitions for writing, and I believe art. There’s poster presentations, and so we’re very eager to support that. We will also have an honors day at the end of the second year where students
will have the opportunity to present their research
to the college community. And we have money in the budget as well to support poster presentations for that. All right, I think that is
about all the questions we have. So I just wanna remind you again that our application is
available on the website. I think I’m gonna get this right now. www.lssc.edu/honors. So please check that out
if you have not already. We are accepting applications
and will continue to do so, but if you would like to be consider for this round of review, I would encourage you to get those in, let’s say, absolutely no
later that April 27th. We’ll be doing our review by May 1st. And I think that’s everything. So thank you so much for joining me, and I’ll look forward to
receiving your application soon.

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