Aiming Higher: Reflections on the GCU Honors College

By Sean Christopher Quow Thomason

A notebook with writing in it

The work of an ambitious individual with something to prove is a precious commodity that shapes and defines a professional landscape. Acting as a catalyst, the work and efficiency of those interacting with the individual will be amplified. From these beds of communal improvement, it is all too common for well-oiled, productive environments to be established. However, the art of harnessing this resource is not a matter of influence or superiority, but one of solidarity and cooperation, a point easily forgotten by overzealous leaders.

Grand Canyon University’s Honors College exemplifies these principles in every facet of leadership and has thus been able to establish an ever-growing community of student leaders with designs on creating and reshaping vital components of campus organizations.

The sphere of influence that the Honors College commands has grown exponentially over the organization’s four-year tenure, encouraging personal, cultural and intellectual advancement among those in its ever-deepening ranks. With an average incoming GPA of 4.13 – a value projected to increase even further with the induction of next year’s freshmen – it would not be an overstatement to claim that the Honors College targets the best and brightest.

This explosive emergence consistently humbles and motivates the colleges’ leadership as they reflect on the far-reaching scope and impact of its members. From student government officials to start-up executives, the university’s honors population has seemingly ingratiated itself so deeply within the concept of change and influence that there is seldom an occasion that a campus initiative is started without an honors student.

Accolades aside, GCU’s Honors College proudly wears its commitment to nurturing its students and communities on its sleeve. Boasting an abundance of opportunities, honors organizations (Honors College Student Board, Honors STEMists, Colangelo Scholars, etc.) strive to continue the Honors College’s mission on a peer-to-peer level. The Honors College’s immersive support system has enabled widespread student excellence.

In hopes of reaching greater heights, it has thus become the college representatives’ responsibility to ensure that each honors student is more than capable of reaching their next desired professional milestone, a goal accomplished via active mentorship, networking and community-based support. This safety net of like-minded individuals from which students draw both motivation and foundational friendships not only encourages students to succeed, but also to make a difference.

However, while the college wishes for each of its honors students to perform to the best of their ability, there is a consensus that an abundance of pressure of this nature does more harm than good. Having studied the detrimental effects overly competitive honors programs have had on student morale and cooperation at various universities, GCU practices a form of leadership preparation designed to best groom its students for continued scholastic independence. The clearest example of this method stems from the college’s Project Management Fellowship. By allowing students to tackle real-world scenarios and propose practical, implementable solutions, the Honors College offers invaluable experience within think tank-based groups.

This system is intended to expand the elasticity of an individual student’s problem-solving abilities far beyond typical classroom applications. Like cogs in a Swiss watch, each student plays an invaluable role in helping the Honors College operate at peak efficiency – adding to its brilliance with a precision and uniqueness only it can offer.

Grand Canyon University’s Honors College seeks to help bright and motivated students make the most of their college experience. Learn more by visiting our website or filling out the Request More Information form on this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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