Monday, September 15, 2014

Susan Koch: Examples of excellence showcased in honors program

The following is a portion of a guest column written by UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. It was published on September 15, 2014 in The State Journal-Register.

"A front-page headline a few days ago in Springfield’s The State Journal-Register announced a record enrollment at the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois.

That’s great news for both the campus and for the larger Springfield community —where UIS students live, work, volunteer and contribute to the local economy.

I’m pleased, most assuredly, with our continued growth, but it is equally gratifying to know that the reputation of UIS across the region continues to advance. Achieving excellence has been a consistent strategic goal for the faculty and staff at UIS and one of the best examples of that excellence is the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

Established in 2001 when the UIS campus first admitted freshmen, the Cap Scholars program welcomes about 120 highly qualified and motivated students each year who have been selected to participate in a unique and challenging residential college experience.

At the heart of the Cap Scholars program is an understanding that the problems facing today’s world are complex and solutions often require the application of knowledge from many different areas of study. For that reason, the program is centered on an engaging interdisciplinary curriculum where exceptional UIS faculty challenge students to investigate, debate and think critically about the complexities of today’s society.

The development of leadership skills—what Honors Program Director Mark Klingshirn calls 'finding their inner leader' —is also a major emphasis of the honors experience. An Honors Global Awareness requirement encourages participants to gain an appreciation of cultures other than their own and enables students to study abroad and learn other languages."

Read the full article online