The Capital Scholars Honors Program (CSHP), open to a small number of highly qualified college students, is a four-year baccalaureate experience combining an integrated core of honors-level, lower- and upper-division courses, UIS general education requirements, and any of the 20 undergraduate majors offered by UIS. In addition, students must demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in a foreign language. The program provides academically well-prepared and motivated students a unique opportunity to develop creative thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills through a high-quality educational experience based in the liberal arts. Focusing on the student's total growth in the personal, academic, social, and civic arenas, the Capital Scholars Honors Program features interdisciplinary and collaborative learning and is designed to develop student talents through small classes that encourage lively exchange between students and professors. Students learn actively, applying their skills to real community concerns. Problem-solving and research skills are emphasized throughout the four-year program.
At the heart of the Capital Scholars Honors Program is an understanding that the problems facing today's world are complex, and often cannot be adequately understood or resolved from narrow disciplinary perspectives; instead, a broad perspective and the application of knowledge from multiple disciplines are needed. Thus, the program focuses on interdisciplinary teaching and learning. Leadership skills are equally important. Effective leaders learn their leadership skills, usually through trial and error. While not denying the experiential basis of good leadership, the Honors philosophy stresses that preparation for leadership should not be hit or miss, but should be a component of higher education for highly qualified students. Honors courses incorporate the study of leadership, and the curriculum-wide focus on collaborative learning emphasizes leadership as an integral aspect of collaboration. Skills learned in UIS Honors courses can be applied via numerous internship opportunities in community agencies and organizations.
The Lincoln Residence Hall is the focal point for a learning community in which students, faculty, and community members come together for enrichment activities. Illinois leaders from the public and private sectors – representing scientific, artistic, and cultural interests – join with students for social and cultural events, workshops, and seminars. Students have opportunities for day and weekend trips to cultural and educational events in Chicago, St. Louis, and throughout central Illinois. A wide range of campus social events and entertainment enliven the hours students spend away from their studies.
Admission is open to students who demonstrate high academic achievement and a potential for creativity and leadership. Students admitted to the Honors Program are expected to have excellent written and oral communication skills and a desire for a challenging intellectual experience in their college education.
To be considered for admission as residential first-year students, applicants must have completed 15 units (one unit = one year's study in the subject) of high school work in the following categories:
Students with these qualifications are selected based on an overall evaluation of the following: class rank, grade-point average, College Board or ACT score, personal and academic statement, creative and leadership potential. A personal or telephone interview with a member of the admissions committee may also be a component of the selection process.
To graduate from the Capital Scholars Honors Program at UIS, students must complete 120 hours of coursework, including the CSHP curriculum and other UIS graduation requirements, intermediate proficiency in a spoken foreign language, a major, electives or a minor.
UIS is in the process of modifying the Capital Scholars Honors curriculum. Students should check with program administrators regarding current requirements for graduation with the distinction of Capital Scholars Honors.
CSHP Integrated Core Curriculum 29-45 Hrs.
CAP 111 Writing for Cultural Literacy 3 Hrs.
CAP 121, 122, 225, 226 Interdisciplinary Humanities & Social Science Courses 12 Hrs.
CAP 141, 142 Biology and Chemistry of the Environment* 8 Hrs.
CAP 115 Interdisciplinary Writing 3 Hrs.
CAP 250 Special Topics in Global Issues 3 Hrs.
Senior Project and Presentation 0 Hrs.
Foreign language (intermediate proficiency) 0-16 Hrs.
* CAP 141/142 is waived for science majors who take other science courses.