Honors continues to grow
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 16:11
Although the Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC) was built only three years ago, the Honors College has grown significantly since then and is in need of more living areas.
Last spring Rebecca Oliver, director of honors, realized the jump in freshmen enrollment, from 191 in 2010 to 239 in 2011, would lead to a demand for more residence halls.
“We knew that at some point we would have to build more housing, but we didn’t think it would be this soon,” Oliver said.
The construction for the fourth Honors hall was a week behind schedule due to weather delay, David Handwork, director of engineering services, said at the Oct. 9 SGA meeting.
“They’ll catch up pretty quickly, and then they’ll turn it over to the university July 1 of next year,” Handwork said.
The HLLC can hold 219 residents, and holds students of all classifications.
“For this fall we wanted freshmen to have the experience of the Honors community,” Oliver said.
With 232 Honors freshmen, the college got creative and made the third floor of Kays Hall its own Honors residence.
“The new dorm will add 102 more beds,” Oliver said.
With the Honors College having a total enrollment of 815, not all students can live in the Honors housing.
The Honors College allows for a very mixed living situation. N’Deea Lee, a sophomore honors student and RA for the third floor of Kays, believes living with upperclassmen benefits freshmen Honors students.
“HLLC benefits first-year students by providing a welcoming community that gets the students involved with the campus and the Honors College,” Lee said.
While they don’t live with the Honors community, Lee said the freshmen living in Kays have become a close-knit community.
“The majority are so focused on building a community here that they don’t think about the option of staying in Honors next year.” Lee said. “I do believe they will be excited about it, if they can all be near each other.”
Lee said there is an increase in Honors students because more incoming students are realizing how beneficial Honors can be, not just for graduating purposes.
“Honors knows who they are and when students visit, they see that Honors does what it says it will do,” Lee said.
When ASU raised its admissions standards, so did the Honors College. In doing so, the college gained more highly qualified students.
“Students now know it’s an institution of quality,” Oliver said. “The right student at the right time chooses ASU and Honors College.”
The Honors College avidly recruits by going to high schools to set up appointments with prospective students. Oliver and other directors of the Honors College typically have an appointment per day with possible Honors students.
“We work really hard to make sure this is the best place for our students,” Oliver said. “We believe that when it comes to choosing a college, it has to be a right fit.”
Oliver said the Honors College and ASU recruit hard but it is actually the students who recruit without even realizing it.
“Students tell their friends about their experience in Honors College,” Oliver said. “Not just students, but parents tell other parents about what their kids are doing with Honors College and they are interested.”
Students are constantly explaining their experiences to friends as well as high school students and Oliver believes that is the biggest reason of the fast growth of the Honors students.
“We have a brochure that tells the facts and numbers of the Honors College but word of mouth and the experiences of our students mean way more to prospective students and you can’t put that on a brochure,” Oliver said.