SAU Honors College

The SAU Honors College was founded in 2003 by Dr. David Rankin, president of SAU. Dr. Lynne Belcher served as founding director and recently retired from SAU. The Honors College seeks and admits qualified students who seek to pursue a serious academic program with equally gifted peers and committed teachers. Honors classes are small and provide academically enriching opportunities for students and the faculty who teach them. Currently, SAU enrolls over 175 honors students and graduates about 66% of admitees in four years or less. Anyone interested in applying to the Honors College or seeking further information should contact the director, Dr. Edward P. Kardas at or at 870 904-8897.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Honors College: Past, Present, and Future

The SAU Honors College was founded by Dr. Rankin in 2003. Dr. Lynne Belcher served as founding director until 2009. Mr. David Wingfield, the current assistant director, has been with the Honors College since its founding. I have been the director since July 2009.

The mission of the Southern Arkansas University Honors College is to encourage intellectual and academic growth of the university community by giving academically prepared students the opportunity to pursue challenging and stimulating academic experiences.
The mission of the Honors College is best understood by looking at several interlocking components, all of which point to increased academic excellence. Those include: academic rigor, extramural travel and internships, closer contact with faculty, a sense of academic community, and an external advisory board. We are meeting our mission, I believe.

Facts and Figures
Honors students must maintain a 3.25 GPA in order to remain enrolled in the HC. They must enroll in a minimum of 24 hours of honors level courses. The current GPA of the 184 students in the HC is 3.64. Nearly all will graduate in four years or less. Except for the engineers, most will pursue graduate or professional education. We admit around 60 students each year and graduate nearly 30 each year. The vast majority of those who fail to remain the HC still graduate from SAU.

National and Regional Honors Councils
The HC is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) and the Southern Regional Honors Council (SRHC). Both meet annually and serve as places to disseminate student and faculty research and scholarship. The NCHC sets standards and practices for honors education and conducts research on honors. I have attended all of their meetings since 2009 and have taken students with me when their work is on the program. In 2016 I will take six students with me to their meeting in Seattle. Wingfield and I will present data on our students' "bucket lists." The students will present posters on their research. When I first became director I attended the NCHC's workshop for new directors held that year in Ames, IA.

SAU honors students receive an additional stipend. They also receive priority in registration. They may live in the Honors Hall if they choose, depending upon availability. The HC established 2+2 programs with COTO, SAU Tech, and SACC. That was done to allow transfer students the opportunity to earn a degree from the HC. Some of this year's graduates will: pursue research in Antarctica, attend pharmacy school, engage in grad study in plant pathology and marine parasitology. Thanks to recent generous anonymous donations, SAU students have bee able to travel more. Honors students have taken advantage and traveled to Greece, Italy, and Cuba.

Call us: David Wingfield 870 235 4375 or Ed Kardas 870 235 4231
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Friday, May 6, 2016

English Grads 2016

From L to R: Kristin Kennedy, Talia Burton, and Rachel Jett

Congratulations to our three English graduates. Kristin hopes to travel, Talia wants to publish a novel, and Rachel wants to live happily and reminisce about fond memories when she grows old.

Line Zoa Graduates

Line Zoa

Congratulations go out to longtime Honors College undergraduate assistant Line Zoa. Line has labored many hours helping the Honors College run smoothly. She will soon be enrolled at Texas A&M University-Kingsville to study pharmacology.

Science and Engineering Honors Grads 2016

From L to R: Diana Mukweyi, Shamiso Ngongoni, Daniel Ibinola, Brandon Wallace, Casey, O'Hara, Addison Ochs, Kayla Carpenter, Ricardo Romo, and Katie Buchanan. (Not present: Cullen Shaffer and Arin Shaffer)

Congratulations to these STEM students.

College of Business Honors College Grad: Katherine Deese

Katherine Deese

College of Business Honors College graduate Katherine Deese is adventurous and wants to skydive, visit Scotland, and enjoy a romantic "kiss in the rain." We hope she gets her wishes.

Social Work Honors Grad-Maya Mason

Maya Mason

Maya will soon be in Social Work graduate school at UALR with advanced standing thanks to having graduated from SAU's accredited Bachelor's of Social Work program.

Nursing Honors Grads May 2016

From L to R: Tynasha Dupree, Kyle Herren, and Lindsey Witham

Congratulations to our Honors College Nursing graduates. The SAU Nursing Department has been a good home to them and our other nursing students.

We wish them the best in the future and will welcome them back always with open arms.