The Honors Program Advisory Council shall consist of twelve members selected from the following groups:
- One member each from: Admissions, Student Advising, and Student Affairs. Each of those constituencies shall self select their Council representatives.
- Two members of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- One representative from the library faculty.
- Two Honors Students, elected by their peers.
- One member each: School of Education, School of Fine and Performing Arts, School of Science and Engineering.
- The Director of the Honors Program.
The five faculty members will be elected by their respective faculties.
The Advisory Council will elect its own chair who may be, but is not required to be, the Director of the Honors Program.
The Honors Program Advisory Council will solicit applications from the faculty for the position of Director of the Honors Program for a three year term. From that pool, the Council will recommend a name to the Academic Vice President for appointment as Director.
The Honors Program Admission Committee will consist of three members:
- Two members of the Honors Advisory Council.
- The Director of the Honors Program.
Admission to the Honors Program
The Honors Program begins in the sophomore year, although there is a Pre-Honors program for freshmen. Students applying to the Honors Program will usually be New Paltz Pre-Honors freshmen, other New Paltz freshmen or transfer students. Acceptance into the Honors Program will be based on a balance of the following factors:
- New Paltz GPA (or in the case of transfer students, previous college GPA) of 3.5 or higher.
- Portfolio i.e., two or more examples of writing from the past semester and/or project or project description (for students in the arts or science).
- Recommendations from two New Paltz professors (or in the case of transfer students, previous college professors).
Acceptance into the freshman Pre-Honors Program will be based on a balance of the following:
- SAT scores: 1275 or higher
- High school average: 95 or higher
- Two essays or other representative work.
- Two letters of recommendation
- A portfolio if available
Honors courses may be selected topics courses, new courses, or revisions of existing courses, and any or all of them may satisfy GE requirements. Those which are to do so must be submitted to the Curriculum committee for GE approval, if they are not approved already. The Curriculum Committee may approve an interdisciplinary course for more than one GE category. For any given student, such a course will satisfy the requirement in only one of the approved categories, to be chosen by the student.
Honors selected topics courses to be submitted for GE must first be approved by the curriculum governance body (bodies) of the appropriate school(s) or college. The approval of such courses should be effected in as timely a manner as possible. Once approved, they can be offered up to three times without further approval.
Honors Seminar Requirements
The Honors Program requirement that Honors students take four honors seminars may be modified in individual cases by a waiver of a maximum of two seminars. Each waiver must be approved by the Honors Council. The waiver is designed to accommodate students who transfer in as second semester sophomores or juniors, those who are in accelerated programs, and those who have majors with unusually heavy course requirements. Three seminars are sufficient for students entering the Honors Program as second semester sophomores (have completed 45 credits), two for those who enter as juniors (have completed 60 credits). Waivers due to programmatic circumstances will be determined by the Honors Council.
Honors students must complete a senior thesis by the end of their final year. The thesis must be approved by two faculty members with expertise in the area studied. The thesis should be a substantial piece of work showing expertise in the area considered. All theses must be presented in a public forum such as the Student Research Symposium or an equivalent venue.
Students must complete forty hours of community service prior to graduating. This service must not be reimbursed, nor directed at career advancement. Community service can be performed on campus, in the local community, or in the student's home community.
In addition to the existing Honors brochure, the Admissions Office should prepare and distribute a brochure for recruiting and orientation purposes that includes information on the seminar based honors program and all available departmental honors, Latin honors, accelerated tracks, and double majors.