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The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine, Spring 2010

In Pursuit of Excellence
New UT Tyler Honors Program Attracts Top Academic Achievers

In the fall, The University of Texas at Tyler launched its new Honors Program. The 20 students accepted into the inaugural class hail from different hometowns, various academic disciplines and diverse backgrounds. But they all have one thing in common – a pursuit of excellence.

“It’s about excellence,” said Dr. Peter J. Fos, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “We are looking for high ability students. UT Tyler is developing a growing legacy of academic excellence and this is the next logical step for us.”

UT Tyler established the Honors Program to challenge and develop the university’s most capable students, recruit more exceptional students and world-class faculty and pursue excellence as a leading academic force. 

With this new program, UT Tyler joined more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the United States that offer elevated academic programs to enrich the learning experience for the best and brightest students on campus. 

“What makes our program unusual and unique compared to other honors programs is that the real heart of our program is interdisciplinarity and team-teaching,” said Dr. Paul D. Streufert, Honors Program director and associate professor of literature and languages.

Students in the Honors Program benefit from smaller classes with top faculty, challenging coursework, independent learning and research opportunities, personalized academic advising, scholarships, interdisciplinary study and more.

Levi Herrera, an English major from Lindale and member of the program’s inaugural class, said the new program made UT Tyler an even more attractive university choice.  He said, “The Honors Program was a major draw that attracted me to UT Tyler. It seemed like a great opportunity.”

Each fall a new class of students will begin the four-year journey through the UT Tyler Honors Program, which includes core classes that are team-taught and interdisciplinary in focus, a colloquium series each semester, independent study and a senior thesis project.

Dr. Fos said the long-term goal is to grow the Honors Program into a full honors college.

“We are looking for even more high-ability students,” Dr. Fos said. “I would stack our quality and curriculum against any other school. We want those high-ability students to look at us, so we must challenge them with an honors program.”

Dr. Streufert said, “Great things happen when you combine bright students from a variety of majors in advanced discussions about the human endeavor to know. By creating the Honors Program, we offer really capable students a fantastic ‘home base’ for their far-reaching studies and create a special niche for UT Tyler among its university peers.”

In the following pages you can follow the vision for UT Tyler’s Honors Program from dream to reality, hear from professors and faculty involved in the process and meet the bright, motivated students who have joined UT Tyler’s pursuit of excellence.



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