CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – New this spring, the Honors Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will offer its graduating members a new and unique distinction – having the honors program insignia and the citation, “Honors Program Graduate,” on both the paper and digital version of their diplomas. Dr. Joshua Ozymy, Honors Academic Director and Associate Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, says he brought the idea to his colleagues after he saw an opportunity to elevate honors graduates a step further beyond the medallion they wear during commencement.
“This was one of those really important items that somehow got overlooked over the years,” said Ozymy. “The dedicated faculty and students that participate in the Honors Program know how difficult it is to finish the curriculum. We needed an obvious symbol that reflected this fact. Both the Provost and Registrar’s office were extremely helpful in getting this done ASAP, and we are grateful.”
As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the Honors Program at the Island University was established in 2005 to create a domain in which students could pursue research interests, plan and execute various activities and test-drive ideas beyond the standard college curricula. Located in Corpus Christi Hall, the program boasts a large study and meeting room for members of the Honors Student Association, the official Islander honors organization.
“The Honors Program is proud to have initiated the creation of this valuable designation of academic excellence. This provides merit to the accomplishments of our TAMU-CC high-achieving undergraduate students,” said Elizabeth Shope, Professional Assistant
Students are able to graduate from the Honors Program if they take a minimum of 30 Honors credit hours and earn at least a ‘C’ in each course, maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.5 for all courses and complete a Project of Excellence (POE)– which is a comprehensive and original research project. Then, they must defend that project in an open forum.
“I recently took over this job and attended my first POE defenses this week. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the work. At that moment, I just knew the sky was the limit for these young adults,” said Ozymy. “The Honors Program is a place for your best students to reach their maximum potential. These are the students who, with the proper funding and encouragement, can and do bring prestige to the University on a national and international level.”
Up until now, the Honors distinction was listed only on the student’s official transcript.
“People generally do not hang transcripts on a wall,” observed Michael Rendon, University Registrar and Director of Veteran's Affairs. “This new distinction benefits our students, creates goodwill and showcases their academic achievement in a public way.”
Three students were able to meet the stringent requirements to graduate from the Honors Program this semester.
“The Honors Council and Honors Students are grateful to have the help of Dr. Ozymy, the Office of the Registrar and the Office of the Provost, with finally making this scholarly distinction a reality,” said Shope.