UCA Honors College
The UCA Honors College is an interdisciplinary program at the University of Central Arkansas. The program was founded in 1982 under the direction of professor of philosophy Dr. Norbert O. Schedler. The UCA Honors College leads to the receipt of a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. Successful completion of the minor requires a senior thesis or a supplemental senior project such as a performance, exhibit, or other creative work. The Honors program derives its pedagogical underpinnings from the traditional small liberal arts college. It prides itself on small class sizes, intimate teacher/student relationships, and intense study of a variety of interdisciplinary subjects.
The Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor degree is satisfied by the completion of a two-tiered system of courses. The first tier of Honors courses makes up the Honors Program. These four courses are considered the "Honors Core" and credit from these classes is applied to the students' general education requirements. During the second semester of their sophomore year, students wishing to continue to the Honors College must successfully complete a sophomore lecture on a topic of their choice. The student must also meet certain GPA requirements to continue in the Honors College, the second tier of Honors course work. The fifteen credits in the second tier of the program satisfy the requirements of the interdisciplinary studies minor. In satisfying the minor requirements, students develop their own curriculum by selecting from a variety of course offerings or by taking advantage of independent study opportunities. For completion of the minor the student will complete two junior seminars, one senior seminar course, and two courses for the research and writing of a senior thesis.
Each year the Honors College sponsors lectures and performance events for its students, the entire campus, and the Central Arkansas community. These include High Tables, a series of lectures given by visiting academics; Soapboxes, a series of discussion groups led by Honors students or faculty; a weekly meditation group; and a Foreign Film Series. Nationally prominent figures are invited to speak and spend time interacting with students and faculty members during Challenge Week events. George McGovern, Ralph Nader, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, Manning Marable, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Klosterman, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have all lectured during Challenge Weeks.
Middleton Honors Forum
Students in the program and college have access to a physical place where faculty and students gather for good conversation, study, and to hear lectures and view films. Middleton Forum has computers, audiovisual equipment, tables and chairs, and a kitchen to support these activities. A room adjacent to the Forum serves as an ethnography laboratory for the preparation of course-related film projects. The forum is named for longtime administrative assistant Glenda Middleton.
Honors Residence Hall
In addition to special instruction there is a special residential facility, Farris Hall, for Honors College students. Farris Hall houses residents in private, suite-style rooms. The hall is named for past UCA president Jefferson Farris Jr.