Welcome from Dr. Jeffrey Buller
Dean of the Wilkes Honors College
I'm delighted that youíre interested in finding out more about the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. Itís a very special place. As soon as you set foot on campus, youíll realize that you have arrived at a college like no other. With its rich curriculum firmly based in the liberal arts and its impressive student/faculty ratio, the Wilkes Honors College offers students the experience they might find at a highly selective private college. Nevertheless, as a proud member of the Florida Atlantic University family, the college also ensures that students have access to the intellectual capital and diversity of a major public research university.
As a student in the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, youíll be working with the finest faculty I have ever known. We select our instructors for the Honors College because of their strong commitment to students just like you, their excellence in teaching, and their ability to challenge and engage students who are looking for something more than a typical college education. But these are also faculty who are internationally recognized in their fields. They publish the books and articles that students read at other colleges. They win prestigious grants and fellowships that bring about new discoveries (frequently made with the assistance of student researchers just like you). They travel across the country and throughout the world, sharing their insights with others, bringing back new perspectives to share with their peers at Florida Atlantic University, and opening up new opportunities for your own travels and discovery.
With only about ten students for every faculty member, the Wilkes Honors College isnít the sort of place where students sit passively at the back of a huge auditorium, taking notes as though they were listening to dictation, and filling in circles on multiple-choice exams. Itís the sort of place where active and engaged learning occurs in every single course taught throughout every single discipline. Each student who graduates from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College has had either a significant academic experience abroad or a prolonged internship that provides direct, hands-on experience. Each student studies a foreign language, is exposed to the rigors of interdisciplinary inquiry, and prepares a portfolio of written work. And before his or her graduation, each student completes a senior project or thesis that serves as a capstone to the entire undergraduate program. With all of these opportunities available to you, by the time you graduate from the Wilkes Honors College, youíll be able to demonstrate that you are ready in every way for graduate school, a career, or any opportunity you can possibly imagine.
Of course, the Wilkes Honors College also offers students everything they need for a rich and exciting undergraduate experience. Shopping and entertainment areas are only a short walk away from the John D. MacArthur campus in Jupiter. Many students hold part-time jobs in the stores or businesses that border the campus. Numerous campus activities give Honors College students all the stimulation, culture, and fun that we want to be an integral part of your education. And with facilities like the Hibel Museum of Art, the Catanese Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, and the Scripps Research Institute, Florida, right on the MacArthur campus of Florida Atlantic University, youíll find that the collegeís co-curriculum is unlike any that you will find at other institutions.
Probably the most important part of the studentsí life in the Wilkes Honors College is the relationships they build with their fellow students and with their professors. You will share classes with students who are interested in the same challenges that excite you, and you will be studying with faculty members who will serve, not just as your teachers, but as your mentors. The first public honors college designed from the ground up in the United States, the Wilkes Honors College has been built for students just like you. Itís a college that will transform your life.
I hope Iíll meet you soon in person, and be able to share with you more about the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. In the meantime, feel free to explore these pages and imagine yourself in a college like no other.
Dr. Jeffrey Buller
Dean of the Wilkes Honors College