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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston’s Honors Program needs more publicity

The honors program office is located on the second floor of the campus center

The university should call attention to and publicize its rigorous honors program. Running for over twenty years, University of Massachusetts Boston’s honors program has cultivated students with complex analytic skills. Students, who, as their brochure notes, “are united by their pleasure in learning from one another and their appetite for innovative studies.”

An organization such as this, which strives for and produces well-rounded students, should be one with high acclamation and be high on the university’s pros list.

Conversely, very little emphasis is ever placed on the honors program. Even on the common app, the nationally used college admissions application mechanism, the honors program is rather sparsely mentioned.

When speaking with fellow undergraduate students at the university, most confessed to never having heard of the program. Micalla Mallari, a freshman studying biology revealed that she had “never heard of the program.” She went on to add that her high school guidance counselor might never have even mentioned it. Such is the level of anonymity of the program. Its lack of publicity is distressing.

The perks associated with the program — smaller class sizes, personalized advising, priority registration for classes, as well as specially designated faculty to oversee interdisciplinary courses — are surely good advertising points — points which should be widely disseminated in and out of the university.

Seeing as it’s such a demanding and lucrative program, most students are understandably apprehensive of their chances of being accepted into the program. Many of them believe that it’s easier to be admitted into the program as freshmen; a fact which many prospective honors students are oblivious of.

The requirements needed to be admitted into the university’s honors program is an essential facet that needs to be, along with the general publicization of the program, highly publicized. Currently, to be admitted as an incoming freshman, an applicant must have, along with a handful of criteria, a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.

Students who did find out about the program, like nursing major and current Honors College Scholar, Mykiel Williams, whose first choice of university was UMass Boston, found it by going through the university’s website. “I think in general, it was really easy to get into the program as a freshman; it just worked that way,” said Williams. Students whose first-choice university isn’t UMass Boston, do not frequently find out about programs such as these. More must be done by the school to rectify this.

To further underscore the importance of the program, Rajini Srikanth, Professor of English at the College of Liberal Arts, Associate Provost and now Dean of the recently opened, Honors College, describes making the transition to an Honors College as “a real affirmation of the work we’ve done these past years.”

I agree with Dean Srikanth. The creation of an honors program showcases progress. The program’s advertisement should not be so inconspicuous, but extensively exhibited to the university at large.