Commentary: Honors program fails expectations

When I was accepted into the Honors Program at Northeastern, I was really excited. I was under the impression that “Honors” translated to “better.” In my short time in the program, however, I have come to discover all is not as it seems.

I must admit the Honors Program has done some really great things for me. I get great housing and the privilege of attending some cool events. Welcome Week was a lot of fun; I feel like I ate more free food in those couple of days than I had previously in my entire life.

But after the initial fun wore off, things began to change.

My biggest complaint about the program is the lack of classes. As a freshman, I am supposed to take two honors courses each semester. This semester, I could only find one that fit into my schedule. Last semester I ended up taking Introduction to Linguistics, which, although very interesting, did not pertain to my field of study. There are just not enough Honors classes offered. I have come to realize this is a common trend in the program, and many people I have talked to have run into the same problem.

If I had to guess, the No. 1 reason students leave the Honors Program is because they would not be able to meet the program’s requirements and graduate on time.

The people in charge of the program make it seem like meeting all the requirements is so easy. And if you look at them, it appears that it is. But who knew taking six honors classes over the course of five years would be almost impossible? When you have a packed schedule, as many students in the Honors Program do, it is simply not a realistic system to impose on students who obviously care about their education and success here at Northeastern.

I would like to be able to stay in the program, but not at the risk of having to stay in school for an extra semester or more. School is already too expensive, and an extra semester for the sake of graduating with honors status does not seem like a worthy investment. If the Honors Program doesn’t realize this problem and fix it, they are sure to lose many students, myself included.

– Chelsea Reil is a freshman

journalism major.

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