The Honors Symposium is one of the longest standing traditions in the Burnett Honors College. This two-credit hour required service-learning course is intended to introduce new students to the University through an integrative curriculum that challenges them to think critically about their community. Each week, some of the best faculty members at UCF present an informative lecture on the Symposium theme, the Evolution of Community. Students also participate in an exciting service-learning experience in Orange County public schools where they teach five hands-on student success lessons to children in grades first through fifth.
By combining public service with an academic course, students have the unique opportunity to contextualize the knowledge acquired within the classroom with their individual service-learning experiences. Through class discussions, readings, and reflection, students will also be able to connect the relevance of service-learning work to the course objectives and their broader academic field of study. Under the direction of a Symposium Team Leader, students have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and observations collaboratively with their group. This group setting helps to further provide incoming Honors freshman with a sense of community within a larger University, offering them the chance to communicate effectively and build social networks.
Working to enhance the quality and breadth of the undergraduate education for our Honors students, the Honors Symposium course strives to achieve the following goals:
- Prepare students for active learning by engaging them as participants in the learning process
- Help students make a successful adjustment from home and high school to college and independent living
- Provide students with intellectual and creative enrichment opportunities
- Develop students' ability to critically evaluate and communicate information
- Educate students for lives of engaged citizenship