The following list includes common concerns/questions asked by incoming freshmen regarding the Honors Preparation Year:
Q. I am concerned with being overwhelmed during my first year of college and wish to "get my feet wet" before joining the Honors Program.
A. This is a normal concern. It might help to realize that the additional time commitment required by the Honors Preparation Year is minimal; it's made up of roughly a half-dozen meetings over the course of the school year. Your honors courses will fulfill core requirements that every student needs and the other activities required by the program (attendance at guest lectures or cultural events, participation in extra-curricular activities) are likely to be the kind of thing that a good, motivated college student is going to want to do anyway. From the perspective of the Mercyhurst University Honors Program, the whole purpose of the Honors Preparation Year is to help you decide if the Honors Program is right for you. If you find the program is not compatible with your plans for college, you are under no obligation to remain in the program.
Q. I know that my major will place considerable demands on my time. I don't know if I will be able to complete the Honors Program due to time constraints.
We hope that the Honors Program is compatible with all majors at Mercyhurst University. We have also designed the Honors Preparation Year to give first-year students the opportunity to taste the life of an honors student before formally joining the program during sophomore year. The honors courses you take as a freshman will help you meet core requirements you need anyway, so if you determine that you won't be able to meet the requirements of your major and those of the Honors Program you won't have wasted any effort in trying it out.
Q. Is the Honors Program compatible with being a student-athlete at Mercyhurst University?
A. We very much hope so. Athletics provide opportunities to develop leadership skills that we look for in honors students. The Honors Preparation Year should be an excellent occasion to determine if the requirements of being an honors student are compatible with your practice/training schedule.
Q. I took honors courses in high school. It meant spending all of my class time with the same group of students, and I am not sure this is an experience I want to repeat in college.
A. While this scenario is common in high schools with honors programs, it would be nearly impossible at Mercyhurst University. To begin with, honors courses are primarily in the Core. The courses specific to your major are unlikely to be honors-certified, and a significant number of your core courses during your four years at Mercyhurst will probably be non-honors versions of those courses. In addition, there are roughly 120 students in the Honors Program and honors courses have a maximum of 18 students. This means that even in your honors courses you are not likely to be seeing the same faces every time.
Q. Are any additional fees involved?
A. No. You are not taking any additional classes as an honors student; instead, you will enroll in different versions of courses you would need to take anyway in your pursuit of a Mercyhurst degree.