Honors Program History | Coppin State University

Honors Program History

Program History

The Honors Program at the then-Coppin State College was developed during the 1980-1981 academic year by Dr. Delores Kelley, the Dean of the Lower Division.  The Program was created in response to a mandate by the Board of Trustees of State Universities and Colleges that required all colleges and universities under its charge to establish honors programs. 

After an academic year of planning, the first honors students enrolled for the 1981-1982 academic year.  Lower-division students enrolled in five advanced classes that substituted for the usual General Education Requirements (GERs); for example, a student might enroll in the upper level General Zoology course instead of the introductory Biological Science course.  Because of the small number of honors students, the creation of Honors GER courses was not feasible at that time.  Two departmental Honors courses were developed: Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar and Honors Field Practicum I and II.  Students did not receive scholarship funding.

In 1984, Dr. T. J. Bryan served as the Director of the program through 1990, with the exception of a period from spring 1986 to fall 1988 when Mrs. Gwendolyn Lamont served as Acting Director.  In 1990, Dr. Bryan was named Dean of the newly-named Honors Division.  Under the guidance of Dr. Bryan, the program saw an increase in students, and students received scholarship support for the first time.   The program was also strengthened with the development of several honors versions of GER courses and upper-division honors courses.  In total, under her leadership, 22 courses were developed:  17 honors GERs, one lower-division honors course, and four upper-division honors courses.

In 1998, Ron L. Collins Sr. became Dean of the Honors Division and served until 2018.  Under his leadership, the mission of the program—graduate school preparation--was reinforced with the establishment of the Institute for Standardized Testing, where students are readied for graduate-school entrance exams.  Towards the end of his tenure as Dean, the mission of the Honors Program was expanded to include the career development of each student.