The Wesson Honors Program

The Wesson Honors Program offers intensive academic, cultural and social opportunities for the most motivated and capable Colby-Sawyer students who combine a solid work ethic and natural ability with intellectual curiosity. Honors classes are taught in small seminar settings and explore topics from multiple perspectives.

Program members are committed to taking on leadership roles in a community of scholars and participate as catalysts for inquiry and discussion across the college

Benefits of the Program

  • The Idea Fund awards grants each year to support independent student research projects that have included career exploration, testing American teaching methods in China, and organic beekeeping.

  • The Honors Suite in Colgate Hall provides an airy, colorful space where students can study and gather 24/7.

  • An even more rigorous academic learning experience with Honors courses offered every semester in multiple disciplines.

  • Identification and recognition of outstanding intellectual inquiry.

  • Development of each student's leadership in the immediate and extended community.

  • A fostering of intellectual exchange between students, faculty and students, and the college community as a whole.

FAQ about Wesson Honors

How do entering students join the Wesson Honors Program?

Students are invited to join the Wesson Honors Program at the time of acceptance if they have a high school GPA of 3.75.

How does a student graduate with a Wesson Honors Certificate?

The Wesson Honors Program is similar to a minor in the Colby-Sawyer curriculum. It consists of a minimum of 16 credit hours. Typically, an Honors student fulfills the requirement by taking:

  • Honors FYE (4 credit hours)
  • Three additional Honors courses (12 credit hours)
  • Honors Capstone Seminar (2 credit hour)

Students can also fulfill the requirement by taking:

  • Honors FYE (4 credit hours)
  • Two Honors courses (8 credit hours)
  • One Honors Contract (4 credit hours)
  • Honors Capstone Seminar (2 credit hour)
What is an Honors Contract?

An Honors Contract is a proposal negotiated between the student, a faculty member and the Honors Coordinator to add an interdisciplinary component to a regular catalog course.

For example, an interdisciplinary component might be added to Psychology 101, such as an exploration of cross-cultural perspectives on individual behavior. The student, Honors Coordinator and professor discuss in advance how that component will be manifest in the class (i.e. extra papers, class presentations, poster project, a presentation on Scholar's Day, etc.)

What is an Honors Capstone and what is the Honors Capstone Seminar?

Senior Wesson Honors students must add an interdisciplinary component to their department's Capstone requirement. Students do this by seeking a second (Honors) reader for their Capstone from an academic discipline other than their own department. The student's department evaluates the Capstone and credit hours vary widely. In order to serve all students and departments, the 1 credit Honors Capstone Seminar acts as a clearinghouse for the development of the Honors Capstone Proposal. It also allows Honors students to meet once a week during the spring semester to share their Capstones with each other and to discuss as a closure to their honors experience what it means to take academic and co-curricular leadership in Colby-Sawyer's community of scholars.

Can students become a part of the Wesson Honors Program after they enter Colby-Sawyer?

Yes. Each semester the Honors Coordinator looks for students whose academic achievement has been acknowledged by inclusion on the Dean's List and invites them to consider applying to join the Honors Program. The Honors Coordinator meets with those who are interested, explains the program's advantages, and invites them to apply by writing a letter of interest and intention. The Honors Coordinator presents this letter to the Honors Advisory Group for evaluation.

Another way for students to join the Wesson Honors Program is through an advisor's recommendation to the Honors Coordinator, which will lead to a meeting with the student and the same evaluation process by the Honors Advisory Group.

For more information contact Professor Russell E. Medbery, Coordinator, Wesson Honors Program, or call him at 603-526-3870.