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High honors, indeed!
This year's HTC grads have reached new heights

June 8, 2007
By Anita Martin

They've engaged in professional research at national levels, raised social awareness on campus and pursued their academic passions across disciplines and oceans. And this year - for the first time in recent history - all 40 members of this year's Honors Tutorial College graduating class will earn cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors. 

Meet two members of the class

The stories of biology student Aiden Shearer and communication studies student Micah Mitchell offer two examples of the inspirations, pressures and sheer academic hustle that characterize the Ohio University tutorial experience.

"This level of academic achievement has taken place within programs of study that are some of the most challenging on campus," says Ann Fidler, dean of the Honors Tutorial College. "These young women and men have heavy academic weights to pull."

But HTC students are no bookish highbrows. You'll see them getting their hands dirty for Habitat for Humanity, writing for The Post or even leading Ohio University's Project Runway Fan Club. They simply are passionate and creative individuals interested in pushing their intellectual boundaries.

Some 3,000 undergraduates (about 1,500 each in separate morning and afternoon ceremonies) will participate in Ohio University's 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. exercises Saturday. HTC grads will march in the afternoon.

HTC students working on Habitat house photo by Eric KayneThe Honors Tutorial College engages students through the academic tradition of Oxford, Cambridge and other "ancient universities" of the British Isles. What's more, Ohio University remains the only degree-granting institution in the United States to offer all the essential features of this tutorial-based education, including regular one-on-one tutorials with faculty, increased levels of undergraduate research and customized curricula.

The academic rigor is particularly intense for seniors, Fidler says. "All HTC students are required to write an honors thesis, and it is expected that each thesis will make a truly substantive contribution to their discipline," she says. 

Some programs, such as English and theater, require comprehensive oral and written examinations in addition to a thesis. "Students in these programs of study are required to undertake critical analysis of works from multiple periods, cultures and orientations, then demonstrate their mastery of material covered during their undergraduate careers," Fidler adds.

With such academic rigor, there are plenty of ways that an HTC scholar can fall short of perfection. This year, though, 16 of the 40 graduates bagged a GPA between 3.9 and 4.0.

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Published: Jul 20, 2006 3:50:00 PM
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