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Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy (left) and Western Illinois University students who were recognized for their research in the Honors College's annual Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day in April 2016. Undergraduate Research Day is one of the many opportunities for student scholars in Western's Centennial Honors College. The College's programs and services can engage students more deeply in their studies, and they can work with faculty mentors to hone their academic skills.
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Centennial Honors College Launches Pre-Honors Pilot Program

October 5, 2016

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MACOMB, IL — Faculty and staff in the Western Illinois University Centennial Honors College are proud to announce the Pre-Honors Program. Designed in collaboration with several Centennial Honors College staff members and practicum students in WIU's college student personnel graduate program, the pilot program, which started this semester, is "truly groundbreaking," according to Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy.

"To the best of our knowledge, there is not another program like it in the nation," Hardy noted. "The Pre-Honors Program will give new undergraduate students a glimpse into what it is like to be a Centennial Honors College member."

The Pre-Honors Program is designed to recruit and mentor undergraduate students who have strong academic potential, but who did not meet the WIU Centennial Honors College's traditional freshman admission requirements.

"Through the Pre-Honors Program, we are reaching out to undergraduate students who display a strong potential to succeed and are passionate about joining the Honors College as full-fledged members in the near future," Hardy explained. "The students we have identified for the Pre-Honors Program already possess many of the academic qualifications we desire. The vast majority will eventually qualify by achieving a high grade point average. Through the Pre-Honors program, we can accelerate the process, so students can fulfill our requirements while taking advantage of the rich opportunities we offer."

The 73 students in the Pre-Honors Program this fall will each meet with a Pre-Honors advisor three times throughout his or her first semester, attend honors courses, connect with current honors students through a mentorship program and attend Student Honors Association meetings and events.

"The program's goal is to not only recruit students to join the Honors College, but also to help the Pre-Honors students succeed and achieve a high GPA during their first years at Western," he added.

At the end of each student's first semester in the Pre-Honors Program, each student who has earned a 3.4 grade point average will be invited to join the Centennial Honors College as a full-fledged member.

"We envision continuing this endeavor for years to come," Hardy noted, "with the goal of growing the Centennial Honors College while helping our first-year students reach their fullest levels of academic potential."

For more information, contact Alex Geisler in the Centennial Honors College at (309) 298-2228 or via email at Visit the Centennial Honors College online at

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