Go back

APSU to open Honors Commons for high-achieving students

When Liza Kurtz, a senior sociology major, enrolled in Austin Peay State Universitys Honors Program as a freshman, she discovered a community of likeminded students who motivated and challenged her academically.
When Liza Kurtz, a senior sociology major, enrolled in Austin Peay State University's Honors Program as a freshman, she discovered a community of likeminded students who motivated and challenged her academically.

That's exactly what she was looking for in of her college-experience, and next semester, she'll be able to spend even more time studying, attending meetings or simply hanging out with these friends in APSU's new Honors Commons — an 8,000-square-foot space in the heart of campus that will house both the University's Honors Program and the President's Emerging Leaders Program.

“I'm really excited, and I think it's going to do wonders for the program,” Kurtz said. “This is going to give us the opportunity to build community around a shared space rather than shared classes.”

The newly renovated building, located next to the Morgan University Center and the Ann Ross Bookstore, is scheduled to open next fall.

“It gives the honors students a place to gather and be a true community,” Dr. Linda Barnes, director of the APSU Honors Program, said. “The honors students may not have other things in common except the fact that they're all good students. That's a pretty strong bond and this will give them a place to not only gather socially, but to practice presentations, work in a computer lab, attend meetings and study.”

The space will also include classrooms dedicated for honors classes, a quiet study area and a music practice room. Students in the Honors Program were invited to help design the building's interior, and they recommended couches and other comfortable furniture be included, allowing students to relax and lounge between classes.

“At Austin Peay we have made helping students build success a centerpiece of our University identity,” Dr. Tristan Denley, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs, said. “This new Honors Commons will provide the perfect place for our honors students to do extraordinary things.”

“I couldn't be more pleased with the provost's vision to create an Honors Commons at Austin Peay,” APSU President Tim Hall said. “It will help take our Honors program to the next level, as academically gifted students from across the state increasingly choose APSU as the place where they pursue their university careers.”

The Honors Program at APSU allows motivated students to pursue their education in a more challenging, interdisciplinary environment. About 250 students are currently enrolled in the program.

“We're certainly growing,” Barnes said. “The students currently in the program have more offerings of courses. We have more departments involved than ever before, more opportunities for upper-level honor students. And we are making efforts to develop honors as a living/learning community.”

It's not too late for students or incoming freshmen to apply to the Honors Program at APSU. Program qualifications and applications are available online at www.apsu.edu/coal/honors.htm.

For more information on the program, contact Barnes at 931-221-7119 or honors@apsu.edu. -- Charles Booth