By Kasey Lynn (Whetstone staff writer)

The Honors program at Wesley helps students think outside the box.

Dr. Jeffrey Gibson The Whetstone / Cochise Lucas

“The classes are more free thinking and fun than just a regular class,” said sophomore Melissa Savin. “They challenge you to think in ways you otherwise would not.”

The program is still fairly new – started by former dean of academics Dr. Paul DeGategno in 2004.

Dr. Jeffery Gibson became head of the program this semester.

“The goal of the Wesley College Honors Program is to provide a challenging and enriching educational experience for students who are intellectually curious,” Gibson said.

It shows a high level of commitment and academic integrity, Gibson said.

Dr. Anthony Armstrong once held Gibson’s position.

“Our goal was to design a program that would provide an intellectually stimulating and personally meaningful experience,” he said.

There are requirements for students who want to join.

First year students must have a high school GPA of more than 3.5, and a minimum SAT score of 1600.

Once a student is in the program they have to maintain a 3.3 GPA.

“Our discussions are pretty insightful,” Savin said.

Classes take the “big question” approach, focusing on the nature of reality, the nature of knowledge, the good life and the social good.

“A deep exploration of the questions about reality, knowledge, and both the individual and social good brings the light of reason and enhanced awareness to a student’s choices in life,” Armstrong said. “They will have greater awareness of what they want and what it is most worthwhile to pursue in life.”

Topics are studied in seminars each semester up until a student’s junior year. Then, it’s research and writing.

During their junior year, students have to complete a research process, and take the Honor’s senior thesis the next year.

“The program sets graduates apart from others when applying to jobs and graduate school,” Gibson said.

Savin agrees.

“It is helping me prepare for graduate school by letting me challenge myself to do my best even with subjects that are not as easy to understand,” she said.

Wesley students who have a 3.3 GPA and an interest in joining should contact Gibson.