Thursday, April 7, 2011

it would be an honor...and more

One of the things I am most proud of about MIS at SJSU is our honors program. As far as I know, it is the only one in the country that runs as a two-semester sequence, spanning an entire school year, allowing time to do a full-scale practicum project that has the depth and breadth of what is found in the real world. We took a risk when we designed this–it's more challenging for students to fit into their schedules, etc. but I'm convinced it was the right thing to do and this has been confirmed in the successes we've had including an exhibits project for the Tech Museum of Innovation and  a commendation from the San Jose City Council, presented by Major Chuck Reed to an honors team that developed a particularly impressive portion of the city's main web site (see pic). It's plain and simple - if you're one of our top students, you ought to be in our honors program.

The MIS Honors program simply replaces 119a and one MIS elective with the two-semester Honors course sequence, so no extra units are required. Honors students get to work with other top students and do projects that are beyond the scope of 119a. And since the class size is so small (12 students), they get a much more personalized learning experience. The Honors designation impresses the heck out of employers, instantly, and opens up opportunities for special overseas trips for honors students only, etc. When the faculty are asking each other "who should we recommend for this job or special award, etc.?" we often hear "how about this student - she's in honors."

Are you really one of our top students? Well, it's not all about GPA, though you need a 3.0 or close to it to apply. (A bit lower can might under exceptional circumstances.) And you need to be motivated to learn and work with a team.

The deadline for next year's class is near - April 25 and you need recommendations from your professors to get in which means get started now so you can give them at least a week's notice to write to you a letter. There's an optional informational session for anyone interested on April 11, 5-6pm, in BBC032. And all the details are found on this Honors web page.

This is a golden opportunity to really enrich your experience while you're with us at SJSU. Don't let it go by without a serious look, at least.

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