Why 1st Year?

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Why First Year Honors?


The McBride Honors Program has been so successful that CSM will be expanding it over the next several years.  Beginning fall of 2016, there is a new and exciting way to join the Honors community: the First Year Honors Experience.  Students who successfully complete First Year Honors will have the option to move right into the McBride Honors Program or continue through their regular degree programs.

Advantages of the First Year Honors Experience include:

  • A signature year-long Honors class on “Innovation and Discovery in Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS)” that uses real-world problems to prepare us to be successful scientists, engineers, and citizens.  It integrates open-ended design problems and discussion of ethical dilemmas in science and technology with core skills needed for success: communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking.  This Honors course substitutes for two other courses that Mines students have to take (Nature and Human Values and Epics I), so students can join the program and graduate on schedule.
  • An Honors Themed Learning Community, in which some students in First Year Honors will have the opportunity to live on a special floor of one of the dorms and participate in special events, lectures, and activities.  Our research suggests that students who take advantage of communities like this do better in their coursework, become more involved in campus life, and find it an enriching and enjoyable aspect of the Mines experience. Students can also choose other housing options that offer similar advantages.
  • Mentorship from older Honors students. Mines is challenging, but there is lots of support.  Juniors and seniors will “adopt” first year students and act as navigators and mentors through the Mines world, offering advice on everything from choosing classes and studying abroad to joining clubs and finding good eats.
  • Priority admission to the McBride Honors Program, which begins in the sophomore year. Students who do well in First Year Honors will be able to skip the application process and be considered automatically for admission to McBride, which features distinctive classes, travel and research options, Honors Enrichment Awards, and a community of students and professors who want to explore ideas together. Admission to the McBride program is competitive, and will be contingent upon space available and academic performance. In addition, other great Honors program options are being developed that you may get involved with also.
  • The opportunity to earn an additional scholarship. Ten First-Year Honors students will receive $1,500 scholarships from Phillips 66 for the first year, and will be excellent candidates for their Shield scholarship program. Students who apply to First Year Honors will be considered automatically for these scholarships, plus a few others. If you receive one of these awards, we will notify you when we update you on the status of your First Year Honors application. Please note that Mines offers many other scholarship opportunities, administered by Admissions and Financial Aid, and you will still need to follow ordinary procedures to be considered for those awards.
  • Chances for involvement and leadership. Most of our fellow Honors students are deeply involved in such things as the campus newspaper (Oredigger), creative arts, varsity athletics, Greek life, service activities, entrepreneurship and design groups, and programs like the Multicultural Engineering Program. Our Honors Student Directors even get to share in decision-making for the Honors program. Honors helps you get involved!
  • No delay in graduation timeline. The core First Year Honors course and most of the McBride Honors Program courses count toward your degree, so most Honors students are able to graduate in four years. In fact, Mines Honors students are much more likely to graduate in four years than their peers.

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