Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 24, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Letter to the Editor: Misconceptions of IC Honors

As the director of the Honors Program, I am always disappointed to hear that our outstanding program did not meet a particular student’s expectations. Unfortunately, Frances Johnson’s opinion piece in the Oct. 3 issue of The Ithacan contained numerous misconceptions about Ithaca College’s Honors Program.
Our program was compared to the “Track 2” option at Colorado State University where honors is offered in departments. Interestingly, one will find that its “Track 1” option is similar to our program. More to the point, honors programs are as varied as the institutions in which they are found.
The article stated students in our program are prevented from pursuing departmental minors with a specialized focus, yet many students in the program complete multiple minors and even double majors. Further, many departments on campus have options for departmental honors, IC’s “Track 2” option.
The article said the program consists of “a collection of random seminars.” True, our seminars do not constitute a specialized, discipline-specific body of knowledge as a departmental major or minor would. Our seminars commit to intellectual challenge, open inquiry and critical thinking.
Our Honors Program has undergone some changes, mainly to assure access to students in all programs, but the general spirit of intellectual curiosity remains. Accurate descriptions of our program can be found on our website.