2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog
Frederik Meijer Honors College
Director: Roger Gilles
The mission of the Frederik Meijer Honors College is to inspire and empower motivated students to be intellectually curious lifelong learners who make positive contributions to their local and global communities and serve as capable leaders and active global citizens.
The Frederik Meijer Honors College is an alternative general education program for students who desire to challenge themselves academically. The focus of the college is to bridge the gaps between traditional academic disciplines and allow students a chance to see the impact each discipline has on the others.
To fulfill this goal, many of our classes are interdisciplinary and team-taught while utilizing smaller class sizes to elicit greater discussion. We understand that sometimes the moments of greatest learning are unplanned. These smaller classes, coupled with the fact that many professors hold office hours nearby, foster a deeper personal connection between students and professors. Another feature of our curriculum is an active schedule of co-curricular activities, both on campus and off.
The greater student-faculty interaction, as well as classes specially designed to foster advanced writing and speaking skills, critical thinking, and analysis, prepare students to be competitive for graduate and professional programs. Our students develop high levels of proficiency in research, writing, critical thinking, synthesizing material from multiple disciplines, and applying critical skills to primary sources. Because of these advanced skills, honors students have more opportunities to participate in and present research as undergraduates at Student Scholars Day, regional honors conferences, the National Collegiate Honors Council annual meeting, and other professional meetings.
The Meijer Honors College encourages its students to engage in extracurricular activities to develop leadership skills and an appreciation of the richness and diversity of university life. Honors students frequently engage in service and volunteer projects at the university or in the community. They also have unique cultural experiences and travel opportunities such as subsidized museum visits and faculty-led trips to Chicago, Detroit, and other cities. There are annual summer service-learning programs to Ghana, Haiti, and Israel, and students are also encouraged to take advantage of other study abroad opportunities offered by the university.
Completion of the Meijer Honors College program should not be confused with "Graduation with Honors," which is determined strictly by final grade point average. The Meijer Honors College requires not only a high grade point average but also successful completion of a special series of challenging courses. Completion of all Meijer Honors College requirements results in the "Meijer Honors College Graduate" designation on both the baccalaureate diploma and the college transcript. Graduates are eligible to wear a special medallion and stole at Commencement.
To attain the Meijer Honors College designation, students must graduate with an overall grade point average of 3.2 or above. Students below 3.2 may complete the honors curriculum in order to satisfy their university general education requirements, but they will not earn the honors designation. Honors courses may be repeated only with the consent of both the director and the faculty member involved.
Students may voluntarily withdraw from honors at any time but will be responsible for completing the regular General Education Program if they do so. Meijer Honors College advisors are available to assist students transitioning out of the program. Likewise, students may apply to transfer into honors from the regular General Education Program, or from another college or university, and honors advisors are available to help with the transition.
Students who earn any additional baccalaureate diplomas using the honors curriculum to fulfill the university's general education requirements will receive the honors designation on the new diplomas and transcripts.
There is no accrediting body for honors, though the National Collegiate Honors Council sets guidelines and offers resources for honors programs. Grand Valley is an active member of the National Collegiate Honors Council.
Applicants must first be accepted to Grand Valley before they apply to the Meijer Honors College. We employ a holistic application process, which means that we consider the whole student, not just static indicators. In the application, we look for demonstrations of strong academic motivation and ability to achieve on a high level. The application asks students to show these through completing a self-assessment, listing academic and leadership accomplishments, writing a strong essay, and submitting a significant analytical or creative paper from high school. Our normal expectation of high school applicants entering college for the first time is a 3.5 high school GPA and an ACT score of 28 or an SAT score of 1300. These are not firm requirements, however.
Meijer Honors College also welcomes applications from students transferring from another college or university or from within Grand Valley. Our normal expectation is that transfer students will have a 3.5 college GPA. The application is available at gvsu.edu/honors.
Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships
The Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships assists Grand Valley students who show extraordinary potential in disciplines all across campus in preparing and applying for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships including the Boren, Fulbright, Gates Cambridge, Gilman, Goldwater, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, Udall, and more. The staff matches opportunities with students' strengths, interests, and ambitions; helps students design a plan to attain their goals; and provides support throughout the application process. To learn more, visit gvsu.edu/fellowships.
Learning and Living Community
One of the hallmarks of the Meijer Honors College is its rich learning and living community. For this reason, honors students, especially first-year students, are encouraged to live in one of the two honors housing centers, so that they strengthen the bonds of community and reinforce each other's commitment to academic excellence.
The Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center is a state-of-the-art residential and academic center with two- and four-bedroom apartments, lounges and study areas, and a computer lab. Most honors classrooms are also in the building.
The Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center is a residential and academic center that provides optimal housing for first-year honors students because it builds rich and deep community.
Arend D. and Nancy Lubbers Scholarship. Those who are awarded presidential scholarships are eligible for a prestigious honors-only scholarship, the Lubbers Scholarship. This award can add as much as $2,000 onto merit-based scholarships and is renewable for up to 10 semesters. It is a significant honor to receive this scholarship, but a student is only eligible for this award if he or she has qualified for and participated in the scholarship competition and has applied to and been accepted by the Meijer Honors College prior to the last scholarship competition of the year.
Frederik Meijer First Generation Honors College Student Scholarship. This is a full-tuition scholarship for a select number of extraordinary first-year students who are the first in their immediate family to pursue a college degree. Candidates must be eligible to participate in the scholarship competition, must have been accepted to the university and the Meijer Honors College, and must enroll full-time as a degree-seeking student. The scholarship is renewable up to a maximum of eight semesters. Recipients must stay in good standing in Meijer Honors College to renew this scholarship.
Felix V. and Gladys A. Zukaitis Honors Scholarship. Those who are awarded presidential or faculty scholarships are eligible for a prestigious honors-only scholarship, the Zukaitis Honors Scholarship. This award can add as much as $1,000 onto merit-based scholarships and is renewable for up to eight semesters. It is a significant honor to receive this scholarship, but a student is only eligible for this award if he or she has qualified for and participated in the scholarship competition and has applied to and been accepted by the Meijer Honors College prior to the last scholarship competition of the year.
Ruth Chamberlain Global Issues Scholarship. This scholarship was initiated by John ("Jack") Chamberlain in memory of his wife Ruth. The scholarship provides support for one or more students in the Meijer Honors College who have shown significant promise, growth, or improvement, and have demonstrated a research or career interest in solving global problems (for example, issues of climate change, natural disasters, energy, population change, sustainability, etc.). Areas of study may include, but are not limited to, natural resources, biology, chemistry, or related sciences. The scholarship may be awarded for a maximum of two semesters, but may be renewable.
Jonathan and Marcia White Endowed Honors College Scholarship. This scholarship continues Jonathan's legacy of public service and commitment to advancing homeland security. It rewards bright students in the Meijer Honors College who are pursuing careers in national security or public service. The scholarship was established in recognition of Colonel Ralph Hauenstein's record of military and civilian service. Candidates must be in honors and enrolled for at least 12 credit hours per semester. The scholarship is renewable up to a total of six semesters.
For more information on applying and competing for the Lubbers, Meijer First Generation, or Zukaitis scholarships, contact an admissions counselor at [email protected] or (616) 331-2025 or (800) 748-0246. For the Chamberlain, White, and other scholarships, visit gvsu.edu/financialaid or call (616) 331-3234 or (800) 748-0246.
Honors Student Council
The Honors Student Council (HSC) is responsible for contributing to Meijer Honors College governance and provides all honors students, not just those living in honors living centers, opportunities to be heard. HSC provides input to the university, develops programming and student activities, and works to build community within the Meijer Honors College. It is an excellent place for honors students to make a difference in and outside of honors, as well as to develop leadership skills and experience.
Peer Mentor Program
Upperclass honors students may apply to be peer mentors to incoming first-year students. Mentors assist students with the transition to the Meijer Honors College and university life in general, and act as ambassadors for the Meijer Honors College.