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Carve out a unique path. Define your academic journey. Separate yourself from the pack as you learn alongside other serious, like-minded students. Maximize the strength of your resume.
Our highly regarded honors program provides a unique opportunity for students to take an alternative track through the interdisciplinary studies requirements of the university. Incoming undergraduate students with either a 3.25 cumulative grade point average or a score of 24 or higher on the ACT are eligible to apply.
“Students who have participated in our honors program and have completed their senior honors project have done very, very well in their search for employment after Lakeland University,” says Meg Albrinck, vice president for academic affairs. “And those who wish to go on to graduate school are very well-placed because they can discuss their undergraduate research project as part of their graduate application process.”
As an honors program member, you will blaze your own trail. You will choose what you want to study and what you want to learn, which puts a lot of responsibility in your hands – but also gives you ownership of your academic direction.
Your freshman year, you will be part of a cohort of about 20 other honors program students. This group will take a year’s worth of courses together, six hours a week during that first year. You will remain a part of that cohort in the second year, while at the same time beginning to branch out on your own.
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Name: Ashley Doran
Hometown: St. Francis, Wis.
Title: Graduate student, forensic science (biology concentration)
Grad School: Michigan State University
What’s the most efficient, credible method of collecting and preserving trace evidence from the fingernails of a crime victim? What’s the ideal way to analyze that critically important DNA evidence once it’s been safely secured?
For Ashley, a 2012 Lakeland University grad, those are the exciting questions she strives to answer every day through her cutting-edge research.
Ashley’s graduate school tuition is paid for, and she receives a stipend for her work – which includes teaching two lab sections for an undergraduate-level cell and microbiology class. When she earns her master’s degree in a year, Ashley’s goal is to analyze DNA evidence for a crime lab.
“It’s really cool, and fun,” she says of her work, which has included DNA analysis for The Innocence Project.
Ashley, who graduated with a major in chemistry and a minor in criminal justice, went through Lakeland’s highly regarded Honors Program – which is designed for like-minded, high-achieving students coming out of high school.
“I really liked that I got to come up with and design my own senior project,” Ashley says, adding that she studied the amount of tryptophan in Lakeland’s cafeteria food and created a method of extracting the desirable amino acid. “That was exciting and really gave me an edge. You come up with an idea and explore it on your own, but the professors really help you. The honors program paid off for me.”
Ashley says she “really misses Lakeland,” and will always appreciate the help she received there.
“I’ve never been one of those naturally smart people, so I always had to work really hard,” she says. “Sometimes I got discouraged. But the professors were so supportive. Any time I needed help, school-related or not, they pushed me in the right direction. I had the support of my parents and friends of course, but it helps so much to have professors who see your potential and help you reach it.”
The honors program culminates with a senior project, which can involve anything from an academic breakthrough to a societal contribution. Listed below are just a handful of recent senior projects completed by Lakeland University graduates who successfully completed the honors program:
To be considered for the Honors Program, applicants must have a 3.25 GPA or better in high school or from transfer institutions; or 24 or higher for composite ACT. You can apply online or to request more information please contact Pam Engebretson by email at
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