Honors Program

The Eureka College Honors Program helps students to learn broadly and think deeply.

Learning broadly: As an Honors student, you’ll get to explore a wide array of topics, consider the relationships between different fields of knowledge, and become ever more curious and open to new areas of experience. Through Honors Seminars, you will study topics as diverse as the workings of the American prison system, bioethics, and superheroes.

Thinking deeply: The senior Honors thesis lets you delve deeply into a question that you really care about. By the time you’ve completed your project, you will be the campus expert on your topic—whether it’s the social commentaries embedded in zombie movies or how a public health program can help underserved communities in Peoria.

Writing a thesis and graduating with Honors is also a great way to make your resume stand out when you’re looking for a job or applying to graduate school. Our graduates go on to do great things, and Honors helps them get there.

Dr. Jessica Barr
Director of the Honors Program

Honors Eligibility And Program Requirements – Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to enroll in the Honors program?

For incoming freshmen, eligibility for the Honors program is determined based on several academic considerations. Students with a composite ACT of at least 27 (or equivalent SAT) and rank in the top 10% of their high school classes are automatically eligible; students who do not meet these criteria but have strong academic records may also meet eligibility requirements. At the end of each academic year, the top 15% of the freshman class is also invited to join Honors as sophomores. This is the last opportunity to enroll in the program.

What courses do Honors students take?

Honors students enroll in Honors sections of Academic Writing (first-year composition) and Western Civilization I & II. (If students transfer credit for composition, they do not need to retake it.) They also take three one-credit Honors seminars. Over the course of their last three semesters at Eureka, students earn a total of 5 credits for their Honors theses.

Are there other requirements for staying in Honors?

To stay enrolled in the Honors program, students must maintain a 3.50 GPA and complete a few additional course requirements within the General Education curriculum. See the Honors Program handbook or contact the Director for further details.

What if I start Honors but decide that I don’t want to write a thesis?
Students may elect to leave the Honors program at any time. If you have any inclination at all to participate, then we recommend that you enroll as a freshman and see how it goes—withdrawing from the program carries with it no penalty, and you’ll still benefit from the Honors sections of the required courses.

Descriptions for HON200 Seminars 2014–15

The Medieval Romances of Chrétien de Troyes
Dr. Jessica Barr (English)
Fall 2014: Fridays 10:00–10:50

A twelfth-century French poet, Chrétien wrote (or adapted) some of the tales that have become the mainstays of the legends of King Arthur. His romances—stories of nobles, knights, and adventure—chronicle, among other things, Lancelot’s excessive suffering for Guinevere, Yvain’s bizarre friendship with a lion, and the mysteries of the Holy Grail. In this course, we will study a selection of these strange, exciting, and sometimes hilarious tales in order to explore medieval culture and storytelling. We will also consider how these stories have found their way into modern culture by exploring some modern adaptations.

A Director Prepares
Prof. Marty Lynch (Theatre)
Fall 2014: Mondays 2:00–2:50

Walk through the research process of a director for Romeo and Juliet. Students will explore the play, the history, and adjacent adaptations (film, books, etc.) with the intention of arriving at a production concept.

Healing and the Mind
Prof. Randy Henkels (Physical Education)
Spring 2015: Tuesdays 8:00–8:50

The seminar will provide a broad overview of issues in the field of alternative medicine and non-traditional therapies for illness. Topics will include the definitions of healing, influence of the mind on healing. The seminar will also speculate on the possible future of healing and the mind. We will discuss excerpts from Bill Moyer’s Healing and the Mind vol 2, The Mind Body Connection along with discussions from Depak Chopra’s The Soul of Healing.

Second Language Reading
Dr. Duce McCune (Education)
Spring 2015: Wednesdays 1:00–1:50

While globalization has led to an increasing demand for “just-in-time” language-learning courses and software, these programs generally emphasize developing conversational ability, so little research has been done examining second language reading. This seminar will examine how current research in literacy, second language acquisition, and other subfields of applied and theoretical linguistics can inform the development of effective strategies for improving both second language reading fluency and comprehension.

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Dr. William Lally (Criminal Justice)
Spring 2015: Thursdays 11:00–11:50

The seminar will provide a broad overview of many of the sectors and operations that comprise the concepts of terrorism as well as counterterrorism. Topics will include the definitions and history of terrorism, influence of religion, politics, and ideology, identification of prominent terrorist groups around the globe, and issues connected to counter terrorism efforts. The seminar will also speculate on the possible future of terrorism and tactics employed by both terrorist organizations and states alike.