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Honors in the Schools

Established in 2009, Honors in the Schools is a community engagement initiative sponsored by The Honors College. The purpose of this program is to introduce Houston-area high school students to college professors and college level interactive discussions. With over 150 high schools in Houston and the surrounding areas, we aim to support teachers in their effort to prepare students for college readiness.

The cornerstone of the program is based on the Human Situation course offered in The Honors College. This is the study of cultural heritage focusing on Greek, Roman, Hebrew, and Christian cultures. Key texts, or “classics” from these cultures, present compelling, though not entirely harmonious insights into human situations and the character of the human soul. The greatest thinkers in Classical Greece and Rome in the Judeo-Christian world concerned themselves with the elaboration, criticism, and reconciliation of these powerful insights, and in doing so they took up once again the intriguing question of how to live one’s life.

As high school teachers guide their students through classical texts that they have assigned, a professor in The Honors College will offer expertise on a given text, through a shared and open discussion that challenges high school students to think deeply and analytically in an effort to gain a better understanding of how to live their lives.

Honors in the Schools also offers opportunities for high school students to interact with our professors who specialize in a variety of areas including holocaust history, politics and elections, Texas history, and ethics and medicine. In addition to our professors, we also have talented and accomplished alumni of The Honors College as well as internationally renowned speakers that we are able to access and share with Houston area high school students.

Honors in the Schools is introducing a new project that combines two programs of The Honors College, The Medicine and Society program, and The Center for Creative Work.  University of Houston students travel to high school campuses and perform an excerpt from a play written by faculty in The Honors College. High school students are then invited to comment and ask questions about the play through a talkback session with the actors, director, and playwright.