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ASU Closes Honors Program to Enhance Broader Undergraduate Experience

April 08, 2011

To enhance the overall undergraduate experience and better prepare all bachelor’s degree recipients for the workplace, the decision has been made to phase out ASU’s Honors Program, beginning this fall.

Dr. Anthony P. Blose, ASU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, announced the decision on Thursday after an extensive review of options. Multiple factors, including a reallocation of scholarship monies in line with strategic plans and a resulting goal to provide a broader academic experience for all ASU undergraduates, led to the change.

“We are tailoring our overall academic program to our strengths as a university and in concert with our strategic planning process,” Blose said. “Change can be difficult and these are the types of decisions we will face in the coming months as we prepare for reaffirmation of our accreditation by aligning the university more precisely with our strategic goals and maximizing our resources in a time of reduced budgets.”

Blose said that strategic rather than budgetary factors were the main reasons for the elimination of the Honors Program. Though some ongoing funding through state-appropriated line items was in doubt for the upcoming biennium, the major factor was a reallocation of scholarship monies to reach a broader range of students than just those eligible for the Honors Program.

Students currently holding Honors scholarships will continue to be eligible for financial support, Blose said. However, no new Honors scholarships will be awarded for this fall. Students accepted for fall 2011 enrollment in the program will be notified of its closing. For students currently enrolled in the Honors Program, courses will be available for them to graduate with the Honors designation.

Blose indicated that the university would move toward implementing an undergraduate research experience to enhance the educational offerings for all students working on a bachelor’s degree. Resources for the expanded undergraduate research initiative would come from a new fee of $1 per semester credit hour to be considered by the Board of Regents of the Texas Tech University System this summer.

In making the strategic change, Blose reiterated that Angelo State remains committed to high-achieving students.

“We believe this undergraduate research initiative will ultimately provide more students with the type of educational experience we aspire to at ASU,” Blose said.

ASU’s Honors Program was established in 2002. During the 2010-11 academic year, 130 students were enrolled in the Honors Program.