Program Fee Rationale and Use

Message from the dean

All members of Western Michigan University's Lee Honors College are charged a $100 per-semester fee. You should know why and how the college uses the money. In focus groups conducted with students over the last three years we learned the following:

  1. You want not only challenging courses, but more classes small in size and taught by experienced, knowledgeable instructors who inspire discussion, engagement, debate and a passion for learning.
  2. You want additional honors classes to qualify for general education credit, and the addition of more lower and upper level courses in your major(s) and minor(s).
  3. You want more classes to be exclusive to honors students, and expect that instructors will respond to the honor student's thirst for a collaborative intellectual experience.
  4. You want more financial support for study abroad, field trips, and additional opportunities to earn scholarships for research and creative activities that support your classroom experience.
  5. You appreciate the courses and activities that prepare you for employment or graduate education.

After careful thought and discussion, and with a sincere desire to meet the needs of all honor students, the Honor Student Association Executive Board and I decided in 2009 to initiate a Lee Honors College program fee.

How we use the dollars

The funds generated by the program fee are and will be used exclusively to enhance your academic experience at the Lee Honors College. Specifically, we use the funds to achieve the expressed aims of the five priorities above. Authorization to disperse funds from this account requires my approval. The following categories of items can be funded by the program fee:

  • Instructor fees paid to academic departments to secure honors courses and qualified instructors
  • Instructor fees for innovative courses designed specifically by the honors college
  • Lee Honors College sponsored co-curricular activities as approved by the dean (e.g., books for common read, guest speakers, field trips, tickets to University cultural events, etc.)
  • To support study abroad, thesis research and attendance at conferences, etc.

Because of our common commitment to honors education, you will continue to see growth in our curricular and co-curricular offerings throughout the academic year. We are committed to improving and modifying the honors college courses and activities in ways that answer the concerns and desires raised by you and your peers. As we continue our efforts, it is important that we hear from you so that we know what experiences you believe will enhance your undergraduate education.

All of the staff at the honors college wish you continued success, and renew their commitment to work with you in pursuing the best opportunities for growth, academically and personally. We hope that you share our positive view of the changes enabled by the fee to date, and that you will actively join us as we strive to broaden the impact of the fee by securing additional learning experiences and opportunities. Thank you.