“Benedictine Scholar” is an honorary designation conferred upon undergraduate students at graduation. Those so honored have, at a minimum, met each of the following seven special requirements:
Scholars students are also expected to remain in good standing within the program while progressing toward graduation.
There are eight required courses in the Scholars Program curriculum. These courses are ordinarily taken in sequence according to the following plan:
HNRS 190: First-Year Colloquium I (fall semester)
HNRS 191: First-Year Colloquium II (spring semester)
HNRS 195: Organizational and Group Dynamics (fall semester)
HNRS 294: Art, Creativity, and Culture (spring semester)
HNRS 291: E-Portfolio (fall semester)
HNRS 201: Catholic and Benedictine Wisdom and Traditions (spring semester)
HNRS 301: Human Dignity and the Common Good (fall semester)
HNRS 393: Global Interdependence (spring semester)
Graduation as a Scholar requires grades of "C" or better for every Scholars course in which a student enrolls.
Participation in these seminars is restricted to Scholars students, and class size rarely exceeds 20 students. Students complete most courses with the same cohort of gifted students.
Students who enter the Program as first-semester freshmen ordinarily enroll in one course per semester for eight semesters. Students who transfer into the Program ordinarily enroll in the Scholars course that corresponds to their semester of entry in the Program (e.g., first-semester sophomore = HNRS 195). Transfer students are usually not required to take “earlier” Scholars courses, so long as they have earned college credit for an equivalent course and take one Honors course each semester with the appropriate Scholars cohort. Such students may take any other Honors General Education course not already fulfilled by transfer hours.
Note: most Scholars courses correspond to the General Education Curriculum coursework required of non-Scholars. See the Scholars Program Handbook for details.
Scholars are required to demonstrate the ability to speak, read, and write a second language at a level equivalent to six semesters of college study. Proficiency can be established by passing courses at the requisite level or by earning a rating of Intermediate-Low or higher on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) examinations in both writing and oral proficiency. For information about scheduling a Proficiency Examination, contact the Scholars Program Assistant.
Over the years, many Scholars have earned major or minor degrees in Spanish and French. In doing so, they also complete the Program’s language proficiency requirement. Benedictine University students can utilize the University’s tuition-sharing arrangements with North Central College and Aurora University to take language courses not offered at Benedictine.
Notes on language proficiency:
Scholars must earn course credit for a Mathematics course at a level equivalent to or higher than one of the following:
Scholars must earn course credit for one of the following Philosophy courses:
Note: not all ethics classes offered fulfill the University's General Education Curriculum QPL requirement (Philosophy). For this reason, any Scholar who registers for a non-QPL ethics class must earn a passing grade in another Philosophy course that is QPL-designated in order to satisfy this graduation requirement.
Scholars are required to complete 40 hours of community service—i.e., public, unremunerated charitable activity that promotes the common good—by the end of their sophomore year. In recent years, Scholars have donated their time to help the poor, the homeless, the elderly, the sick, the imprisoned, and others, throughout Chicagoland. Students will be asked to document the service they've performed and to reflect on the experience.
Notes on service learning:
Scholars will develop and maintain an electronic portfolio (using Desire2Learn) which will reflect their intellectual development, analytic and research skills, and their attainment of Scholars Program Essential Student Learning Goals. Scholars must determine which of their many academic and creative achievements demonstrate the various learning outcomes and must use the electronic portfolio to show how each and every Essential Student Learning Goal has been achieved. Students may choose to include coursework, papers, community service, videos, speeches, and other appropriate artifacts in their electronic portfolios. Each Scholars student will be assigned a mentor who will guide and evaluate the electronic portfolio on a regular basis. Scholars are expected to fulfill all these outcomes at the "Scholars" level. As part of the electronic portfolio, Scholars will also be expected to publicly present a paper at Benedictine University or a regional or national Honors conference.
To remain in good standing within the Program, a Scholars student must maintain a cumulative GPA (grade point average) of 3.2 or higher. If a Scholars student earns a cumulative GPA lower than 3.2 in a given semester, he or she is automatically placed on Scholars Probation. Students on Scholars Probation have one semester to raise their cumulative GPA to the required level. If a student’s cumulative GPA remains lower than 3.2 for two consecutive semesters, she or he may be dismissed from the Program. In special cases, the Director may grant a Scholars student an additional semester to raise his or her GPA. Students must also complete the language requirement by the end of their junior year in order to remain in good standing with the Scholars Program.