The Honors program has struggled retaining students over the last decade, but after an enrollment plunge in 2015, numbers over the last four years show improvement.
This year, the Honors program has seen its highest enrollment number
Ten years ago, less than a third of Honors students graduated or stayed in the program through the end of the year. This figure has jumped to 73.2 percent in 2018. The creation of a pair of programs, Honors ambassadors and peer
Honors ambassadors recruit students into the program by tabling in the Muenster University Center and serving as a resource on visit days, while peer mentors guide them through the early Honors landscape, which includes curated coursework, smaller class sizes and windows into campus involvement. The two initiatives have since combined into one.
Dallas Doane, Honors Program Coordinator, said many students tend to drop Honors within the first six weeks.
“What we try to do is make sure that prospective students are aware of what the Honors program does and the benefits of being in Honors,” Breuninger said.
The percentage of students graduating with Honors is on the climb. In 2011, 32.1 percent of incoming Honors students graduated with Honors. The class of 2015, who graduated this spring, was at a 48.6 percent graduating rate, the highest mark in the last decade.
57.7 percent of the 2016 Honors group, who will graduate this year, are still enrolled.
The Honors program has improved its enrollment and graduation numbers, but is still trying to find new ways to combat the number of students dropping, Breuninger said.