Augustana offers two tracks in first-year honors studies, Foundations and Logos: Discourse and Discovery in Science. Interested high school students with exceptional potential are offered the opportunity to apply for these programs. Both programs involve a carefully planned year-long course of study taught by a team of teachers from a variety of academic fields. These first-year courses offer intensive writing instruction, an orientation to important books, art, music, history and ideas, and an opportunity to work with their professors as co-learners in a world of interconnected ideas. For details about the program visit the Honors Program site.
Students who successfully complete one of the first-year programs are invited to continue honors study with two more courses. First, a sophomore course brings Foundations and Logos students together to consider bridges between different disciplines. Then, to complete the honors cycle, students also may enroll in an independent study/tutorial course; this course offers students the chance to work under the guidance of a professor in a project of the student's own devising. By the time students complete this cycle of courses, they should be skillful at independent inquiry and expression.
Because the honors program cultivates these analytical and expressive skills, students who participate in it receive general education credit. Completion of first-year honors courses (Foundations or Logos) fulfills the requirement for the general education first-year liberal studies program; in addition, as long as one of the courses in the series is taught by
a professor of religion, these first-year programs also fulfill the Christian Traditions requirement. The completion of the second-year honors course fulfills the Learning Community requirement.
Finally, those who successfully complete the entire cycle earn recognition on their transcripts. Those who complete the program cycle may earn the following designations: Honors Program Completed with Distinction (for students who complete all required honors courses with a grade-point average of 3.33 or higher in those classes, and who earn an overall Augustana grade-point average of 3.50 or better) or Honors Program Completed (for students who pass all required honors courses, but whose grade-point average falls below a 3.33 average for the program or below 3.50 overall).
The Foundations program is a challenging interdisciplinary honors curriculum offering an intensive examination of the basic questions that have perplexed humans for centuries. Foundations focuses on integrated learning and developing critical thinking and writing skills. The curriculum includes specially designed courses that center on intensive study of the cultural and intellectual traditions of the Western world.
Logos: Discourse and Discovery in Science
Like Foundations, Logos is a challenging interdisciplinary honors curriculum, but with a special focus on how science has evolved across the centuries since the 5th century B.C.E., how science has been used and viewed at particular historical moments, and how we live with the fruits of science today. Critical thinking and writing skills are a priority, and courses are designed and taught by faculty from such ﬁelds as philosophy, geology, literary studies, religion and sociology.