Honors Program Connecting Students

Published: April 20, 2023

First-year College of Western Idaho (CWI) Chemistry student, Jeff Jenks, loves to learn. It has been a passion of his since as early as he can remember.

“When I was a kid, I had a curious mind. I would always play with numbers and patterns — math was my favorite thing to do as a kid.”

That love of learning has stayed strong over the years — and has even grown.

Jenks is currently enrolled in Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering courses, but you’ll often see him carrying around a mathematics book. No, he’s not enrolled in a math course at CWI. He is teaching the subject to himself.

“I use a ton of resources while studying math, like books and the internet. I just like learning. I don’t want to just get a good grade; I want to really conceptualize and understand the subject.”

When Jenks enrolled at CWI, he knew he wanted to be challenged. That is when he found out about the College’s Honors Program, an opportunity to maximize his educational experience and become a leader in the classroom and out in the community.

To be in the Honors Program, a student must be full-time (12 credits), complete 13 credits of honors-designated courses with a C or higher, maintain a 3.25 GPA per term, be involved in community events around CWI, and more. Learning about the program, Jenks knew this was something he wanted to join so he can continue his rigorous learning and include it on his four-year university application when he graduates and transfers from CWI.

Now in his second semester in the Honors Program, he says his initial thinking was correct in that the program would push him to his best, but he didn’t realize how much he would enjoy being part of it.

“I am having a great time. My favorite part about the program is the other individuals who are also in it. They are exceptional people, and they help drive me to be a great person myself.”

Because the program requires students to participate in honors-specific courses Jenks has been able to connect with like-minded individuals who share his similar, high-achieving goals. One of the objectives of the Honors Program is to help students develop skills to succeed in a variety of work environments.

Jenks believes surrounding himself with these faculty members and students has helped him stay on top of his classes and assignments — furthering his academic experience.

“I procrastinated all the time in high school and would turn things in at the very end. Through the Honors Program, I have been working on time management and getting things done as early as possible. It has been nice.”

Another benefit Jenks has received through the program is the $1,000 scholarship which anyone who is accepted into the program receives.

“I really needed that. It just means extra help because when you’re a student you need money for everything.”

Jenks encourages others to look into the Honors Program because it has helped him in numerous ways at CWI. The program helps him strive for his best when it comes to his education, but it’s also helped him find a social circle of people who share his love of learning.

“Coming out of high school, I was worried I would not make friends because it was a whole new environment. But on the first day, I was immediately connecting with everyone in the Honors Program.  It has been awesome.”

Applications for CWI’s Honors Program are currently being accepted. The Priority Admission application is open through Tuesday, Aug. 15.

For those in need of more information about the Honors Program requirements or have questions, visit the program’s page or contact Michal Yadlin at michalyadlin@cwi.edu

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