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(page 2/6 -- First Year Students)

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Participants in the Messiah College Honors Program immediately begin their credit-bearing curriculum with an honors section first-year seminar.  Designed to challenge the incoming student’s academic abilities while providing a context of support, the first-year seminar is organized around a specific topic that classes of ten to fifteen students explore through reading, writing, research, and discussion.  Commenting on his positive experiences teaching his first-year seminar, “An Amish Paradise?” to honors students, Dr. David Weaver-Zercher says, “While some college students are rather shy about offering their own ideas, honors students are usually very eager to do so.  They like to talk about what they’re thinking, listen to others’ arguments and challenges, and then refine their ideas further.”

First-year students also participate in semester-long Honors Congresses, a semester-long series of cultural and academic events that is an integral part of the honors program curriculum. Three semesters of Honors Congress is required.

The first of these Congresses is held during the fall semester, and focuses on the book incoming participants were asked to read over the summer.  First-year students meet during the course of the semester to hear lectures and engage in discussion regarding the reading.

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“My first-year seminar was a very formative experience for me. I learned to think and write at a deeper level, making me a better student.”
—Alan Thrush
(pictured above)

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