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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

School Spotlight: Ohio University and the Honors Tutorial College

I had the pleasure of driving to Athens for a visit to OU on a spectacular Ohio day, perfect for a college tour. My student tour guide was delightful, a rising senior in the College of Business, who happened to enter OU as a pre-nursing major - direct evidence that a switch to a business major was not a huge hurdle to overcome at this university. She is the product of two OU parents and the youngest of four kids, but the only one to become a Bobcat. I got to eat lunch in the Nelson Dining Hall with Dan Yeatts, the Director of Outreach and Recruitment. Dan is a terrific resource for prospective students and was incredibly generous with his time and knowledge. At my request, he organized a visit with Breanne, the Assistant Dean of the Honors Tutorial College, as I was curious to learn more about this unique academic option for intellectually curious students.

Here are some highlights from my visit to the Honors Tutorial College:

The Honors Tutorial College is the only tutorial-based approach offered at a public university. There are only a few other colleges that offer this model, which is based on teaching models used at Oxford and Cambridge. It is designed for high-achieving, self-motivated, academically curious students who have a passion for digging deep into topics and a desire for creating their own educational path. Each semester, students complete at least one 3-credit-hour tutorial as a part of their 15 credit hours. They will either work individually with a faculty member or be a part of a small group. By senior year, the students will be matched with a faculty advisor to help guide them through the completion of a senior thesis or professional project, which is a graduation requirement.

HTC students can choose from 35 different majors (Public Health and Sports Management will be added in the next couple of years) and are matched up with a Director of Studies, who will work with them to design their curriculum.

HTC students enjoy several benefits, including priority course registration, access to courses that typically require pre-requisites, access to graduate-level courses, and significantly reduced graduation requirements - the general education requirements for OU undergraduate students do not apply to HTC students.

Students have the option to live in honors housing but do not have to. OU does have an Honors program for students seeking a bit more academic rigor and challenge, as well as a new 1804 Scholars program. The 1804 Scholars program is a residential program, creating a smaller community and offering co-curricular opportunities for students who are looking to build stronger relationships with peers and faculty and maximize the resources available throughout the OU community.

First-year students who are admitted to the HTC receive the Ohio Premiere Scholarship, one of the Ohio Excellence Awards, which is valued at 100% of in-state tuition and is renewable for four years. Out-of-state students can also qualify for additional scholarship awards.

Each year approximately 100 students are offered a spot for the HTC. While 800 applicants indicate some interest in the college, closer to 400 submit completed applications that are forward to HTC for review. If you are interested in applying, you will apply to OU and indicate an interest in HTC. If you are identified as a strong candidate, you will be invited to interview for the program. Additional details on the application requirements can be found here.

You will want to submit your application by November 15. Interviews are conducted in late January/early February and decisions will be communicated by March 1.

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