Am I smart enough for honors?
"Sure, I made good grades in high school and got a pretty high score on my standardized test, but I'm not really all that smart. Sometimes I think I just have everyone fooled."'
You would be surprised to find out how many high-caliber students tell us they are not really "smart enough" to join the HSP. In fact, this may be the one common denominator among our very diverse group of honors students. This misperception is so common that it has been dubbed the "Imposter Syndrome" by honors programs across the country. Research has shown that smart students are savvy enough to know their own limitations, unlike less smart students who often believe they are capable of much more than they actually are. Thus, honors-caliber students often rank themselves lower on self-evaluations of intelligence. If you join the HSP, you will be surrounded by students who not only share many of your strengths but who also have similar doubts - it is within this kind of community that "iron sharpens iron."
Will the HSP be just like my high school G&T program or AP classes?
"I did my high school's Gifted & Talented Program, and I just got burned out trying to make perfect grades and keep up with my AP classes. Is this what your honors program is like?"
While there are some amazing G&T programs and many highly devoted high school teachers, more than a handful of our incoming students express concern about the workload that might be required by our program. These high school graduates have done their time in "honors" and don't care to repeat the experience. We totally understand, but we do believe that we offer something a little different. First, keep in mind that you will only take approximately one honors course per semester. The rest of your classes will be "normal" ones. Second, honors classes do not emphasize "coverage" in the same way that many AP classes do. Our goal is to dig deeper into the subject than non-honors classes. Thus, you will likely read more primary texts than in AP courses and be asked to develop your own opinions about course concepts and think of ways to apply them to your own life. Our belief is that this deep-learning approach will resonate with high-caliber students who are looking for a fresh start in college.
Will Honors classes hurt my GPA?
"I want to go to medical school, and they're really looking for students with high GPAs. I'm worried that if I take a bunch of honors classes my GPA will suffer."
This is a possibility, but we doubt it. For the reasons listed above, students often feel more engaged by honors classes. Our classes are considerably smaller than non-honors classes, and students are asked to think in-depth about ideas or concepts. This means that students most often feel engaged by the class and have to worry less about "busy work," such as rote memorization of long lists. Much of the engagement will come from their fellow students — discussion and/or debate with classmates often bring course ideas alive and reveal their significance for Christians living in the 21st Century.
Will Honors classes limit my social life and fun?
"I want to do more in college than take lots of hard classes and spend all my time in the library. Besides, I want to play a varsity sport and maybe be an RA in my sophomore year. Honors would probably get in the way of all this."
The short answer to this is: No! We're looking for three-dimensional students who want to love the Lord not just with their minds but also with their heart, soul and strength. First, keep in mind that the vast majority of our honors classes meet core requirements. Thus, being in the HSP won't necessarily take any extra time. You will be satisfying JBU requirements as you move through the program. Second, because our goal is to fully develop our students, we actually encourage you to take advantage of the co-curricular opportunities that JBU offers. For example, we celebrate our honors students who play on a varsity team. Many of our honors students also serve as RAs and Passion Group Leaders, sing in Chorus, play in Chapel Band and are officers in the Student Government Association. These co-curricular experiences combine with our classes to make for a powerful developmental force.
How does Honors apply to my major or career?
"I'm majoring in photography, and I don't think being in honors will help me get a job after I graduate from JBU."
Graduating from the HSP does not guarantee lucrative employment nor automatic admission to the graduate school of your choice (nor does it guarantee fame and fortune!). We do not offer vocational classes in engineering, youth ministry or in graphic design. However, we believe that time in the HSP will make our engineering, youth ministry and graphic design students better prepared to enter the work force.