Task Force Reviewing Lynch Honors Program

A task force has been meeting since the start of the academic year to review the Lynch School of Education’s Honors Program, and will continue to meet throughout the year, according to Julia Devoy, associate dean of undergraduate students for Lynch.

Dean of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Rev. Greg Kalscheur, S.J., announced earlier this month that, after almost 60 years, the MCAS Honors Program will come to an end with the Class of 2021.

The decision, which was based on the reasoning that Boston College is already a highly selective, challenging school that recruits academically strong students, left some uncertainty about whether the honors programs in Lynch and the Carroll School of Management will also be discontinued following this same logic. Ethan Sullivan, the director of the CSOM Honors Program, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

“No decisions will be made until our review is complete at end of Spring 2018,” Devoy said in an email.

According to DeVoy, the task force may choose to follow suit with the MCAS Honors Program, but is currently unsure if this the right direction for Lynch to take as well. It is possible that the program will remain as it is, or continue on in a different manner.

“The Lynch Honors Program has a long history of developing strong graduates in the fields of education and psychology and has exceptional faculty supervision,” DeVoy said in an email.

The students in the program, of which there are currently a total of 82, are a tight-knit cohort that form close relationships with the faculty, and these connections often facilitate student participation in undergraduate research assistantships, and senior and honors theses, she said.

Typically, students have been invited to join the Lynch Honors Program around the same time they are given admission to BC, whether they have applied early action or regular decision. This year, if it is decided that the program will continue in its current format, students accepted into the Class of 2022 would be invited to join once the Lynch Honors Program review is completed and a formal decision has been made by the University. It is currently uncertain exactly when this will be.

One Lynch Honors student, Lily Martini, LSOE ’19, said that taking classes with fellow Honors students during her freshman and sophomore years was a great way to develop a community within the Lynch community, and the program’s bi-monthly meetings have allowed her to connect with honors students in different grades. Accordingly, since hearing about the plans for MCAS Honors, she has felt conflicted about what she thinks should happen to the Lynch program.

“On the one hand … the community has been great [and] it’s been great getting to know other people,” she said. “But at the same time, I know a ton of other Lynch students that are brilliant and inspiring, and I don’t know what qualified some of us to be in Honors and some of them to not be in Honors. For that reason, I don’t know how necessary [the Honors Program] is because we’re all at a great school taking hard classes; we’re all doing great things.”

Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor