Inclusive excellence is at the foundation of the work we do in the University Honors Program. Through our seminars, processes, programming, and one-on-one interactions, we strive to create an atmosphere where all students feel welcomed, respected, accepted, and heard. The pursuit of excellence means a pursuit of lifelong learning, of grappling with prejudice and privilege. By cultivating intellectual curiosity, we encourage all of our students, faculty, and staff to learn from one another – about both our differences, and the things that unite us.
We are committed to increasing access to the Honors Program for populations traditionally underrepresented in Honors, displaying transparency in application and recruitment processes, and providing equitable access to the wide range of opportunities we offer. We will continue to think intentionally about ways we can counteract historic obstacles and systemic barriers to Honors Program access to ensure that all Honors students experience authentic development in their understanding of intercultural competence.
What Honors is Doing
Ensuring that students are more than just a standardized test score.
Recognizing that standardized tests can present systemic barriers for underrepresented students, in recent years, we have decreased the weight of standardized testing in our review process. Through a holistic review of Honors Program applications, we take into account students' varied life experiences and potential for a unique contribution to our program.
Combating systemic cycles of privilege through community engagement.
The Honors Program has partnered with community agencies to provide educational programming and college access opportunities for Nebraska K-12 youth in underrepresented categories. Our sponsored programs such as our Honors Afterschool Clubs, Fall Break service trips, and ACT prep courses use near-peer relationships to engage local students and encourage the pursuit of higher education. Our Honors Afterschool Clubs in particular are held at Title I schools and have served over 1,000 students since their inception.
Participating actively in campus and community conversations.
Our commitment goes beyond the classroom and our offices in Knoll. Honors Program students and staff are encouraged to be active participants in campus and community committees and organizations, and to attend events that promote dialoguing across differences such as Dish it Up and Husker Dialogues.
Providing alternate pathways to Honors admission.
The Honors Program encourages non-Honors students at UNL to apply for admission to the Program as an on-campus student or as a transfer student, and collaborates with campus partners including the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services, Nebraska College Preparatory Academy, International Student and Scholar Office, First Husker, the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community, and more to empower students from underrepresented populations to apply for the Honors Program.
Empowering students to facilitate important and sometimes difficult conversations.
The Honors Program is committed to empowering students to co-create their educational experiences. In collaboration with the Cooper Foundation, the Honors Program regularly hosts Honors Cooper Community Conversations based on student and community interest. Over the past year, Honors students have helped facilitate conversations on responsible journalism, climate change, and issues of race inequality. If you have an idea for a Cooper Community Conversation, please email us at email@example.com.
Encouraging discussions of cultural differences in the classroom and beyond.
Many of our interactive and discussion- based seminars and Honors workshops focus on dimensions of diversity, including: race and ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more. Examples include Confronting the F-word: Feminism in Popular Culture, Becoming American: How Immigrant Identities are Created and Re-Created, and From Presidents to Protests. We encourage all faculty who teach Honors seminars to thoughtfully consider how they can incorporate dialogue about inclusion into their courses. Through frequent communication of our values, we hope that faculty are regularly reminded of the importance of inclusivity to our program and students.
What You Can Do to Learn More
Based on our Cooper Conversation series on race
E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues 2021-2022: Moments of Reckoning: Global Calls for Racial Equity and Action
Code Switch: A Decade of Watching Black People Die
Code Switch: After the Cameras Leave
"America's Racial Contract is Showing" by Adam Serwer
"Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?" by Ibram X. Kendi
"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" by Peggy McIntosh
"The Intersectionality Wars" by Jane Coaston
"The Case for Reparations" by Ta-Nehisi Coates
"How to Decenter Yourself in Conversations With Members of Marginalized Communities" developed by Baylor University's Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
"Performative Activism: Youths Reckoning with Racial Justice" Cooper Conversation moderated by Meyri Ibrahim
"How to Recognize Your White Privilege - and Use It to Fight Inequality" TED Talk by Peggy McIntosh
"We Need to Address the Real Roots of Racial Violence" TED Talk by Megan Ming Francis
"How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Towards Them" TED Talk by Verna Myers
"How We’re Priming Some Kids for College - and Others for Prison" TED Talk by Alice Goffman
"On Diversity: Access Ain't Inclusion" TED Talk by Anthony Jack
"Your Body Being Used" CodeSwitch Podcast from NPR
"When Civility is Used as a Cudgel Against People of Color" CodeSwitch Podcast NPR
"The Power of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Anger" CodeSwitch Podcast NPR
"Opinion: My Father Stood for the National Anthem, for the Same Reason Colin Kaepernick Sits" CodeSwitch Podcast NPR
The resources above were found in June Justice, which "was compiled by Autumn Gupta with Bryanna Wallace’s oversight for the purpose of providing a starting place for individuals trying to become better allies".
Participate in "Dish It Up" Hosted by OASIS
The Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services (OASIS) is committed to providing a safe and engaging space for UNL faculty, staff, and students to participate in meaningful and informative dialogue. Dish it Up is an interactive weekly conversation where individuals can share their personal views, learn from others, and engage in civil discussions concerning current events, topics affecting students' lives, UNL, and national/international happenings.