Program Advantages

The Batten Honors College curriculum delivers innovative content and an interdisciplinary approach using creative teaching strategies with substantial faculty/student interactions. This focus will help scholars translate their education into action at the local, national, and global levels. Listed below are signature features and program advantages of the Batten Honors College. Click on a topic header to learn more about a feature.

Students admitted into the Batten Honors College will be awarded either a full-tuition Batten Fellowship or a two-thirds tuition Shumadine Scholarship. Twenty scholarships of each amount will be awarded every year. Additional need-based financial aid is also available to those students who qualify.

In addition to being awarded the scholarships mentioned above, Batten Fellows and Shumadine Scholars may be eligible for need-based financial aid to cover any remaining tuition and room and board costs. To be considered for financial aid, all students must apply here.

The Batten Honors College offers a Living-Learning Community to expand the student learning experience beyond the classroom, strengthen student engagement in campus life, and develop meaningful social connections. This inclusive community-centered environment supports the personal and intellectual growth of each scholar.  BHC students live in five-person townhomes in Honors Village.  Comprised of six different buildings, each Honors Village townhome consists of three single rooms, one double room, two full baths, a fully-equipped kitchen, living room area, and essential furniture. Ample parking is located nearby.

Within the Living-Learning community, the Batten Honors College provides tickets for off-campus events to students. Past events have included the Halloween Festival at Hunt Club Farm, Norfolk Tides games, Broadway in Norfolk, behind-the-scenes tours of the Virginia Aquarium, and Virginia Symphony performances. Attending these events is at no extra cost to scholars.

The core curriculum includes a set of courses that align with the vision and mission of the Batten Honors College, some of which fulfill general studies requirements. The foundation of the core curriculum is a series of interdisciplinary seminars that cover a broad range of topics. In each seminar course, instructors and scholars investigate, analyze, and understand key issues or compelling problems. The seminars will emphasize intellectual inquiry, communication skills (reading, listening, discussion, writing, and presenting), problem-solving, and collaboration. These skills will be developed throughout the core curriculum along with creativity and innovation, initiative and self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, and leadership.

Scholars enrolled in the Batten Honors College will have an opportunity to use their classroom learning to address real-world problems in a structured service experience locally, regionally, or abroad.  Specific learning objectives defined within the service learning course will ensure that scholars engage in a meaningful experience, learn course content, and reflect on the social, political, ethical, and economic issues related to the service.  

Invasive Species Project
As a part of the first year BHC orientation, students participated in a campus service project to better understand horticulture and sustainability. They were tasked with removing invasive species from campus such as Chinese Privet, Japanese Honeysuckle, and English Ivy.


Distributing Dictionaries with the Rotary Club of Washington DC
Batten Fellows engaged in service in both Washington, D.C. and Virginia Beach during the HON 150 "Leadership and Civic Responsibility" course, led by Joyce Easter and Kathy Merlock Jackson. One service experience aimed to improve literacy, while the other directly addressed the issue of housing insecurity; but an overarching theme in both was the impact of poverty. These opportunities allowed students to have a positive impact while engaging directly with individuals in the community, to shatter previously held stereotypes, and gain a better perspective and understanding of the world around them.


D.C. Central Kitchen
As part of the HON 150 "Leadership and Civic Responsibility'' course, led by Joyce Easter and Kathy Merlock Jackson, Batten Fellows engaged in service in both Washington, D.C. and Virginia Beach. Both service experiences were with organizations that address the core issues of hunger, poverty, and housing insecurity. Half of the class volunteered at the D.C. Central Kitchen, a community kitchen in the basement of the largest homeless shelter. They prepped food for thousands of meals that would be cooked during the dinner shift. The other half of the class worked at the D.C. Central Kitchen Nutrition Lab, which provides 4,500 daily meals to 38 at-risk after-school programs, adult care centers, child care centers. As volunteers for the Project Homeless Connect held at the Virginia Beach Housing Resource Center, students escorted individuals to the different services available. These two experiences allowed students to see the magnitude as well as the individuals affected by the complex problem of poverty, hunger and homelessness.


Food Bank Supply Packing w/ Haygood United Methodist Church
BHC students have remained active through volunteer service during COVID-19. A group of students partnered with a local Church to pack bag meals that were delivered to local food banks and support the surrounding


Learn more about Wesleyan Engaged

Scholars will participate in a transformative global engagement opportunity. Scholars investigate concepts, issues, and ideas relevant to the culture and travel destination(s) in an integrated academic journey that includes engagement in a service or research project that addresses the particular need(s) of that community and involves interaction with representative community members, constituencies, and agencies.

Explore the honors study away courses

Experiential learning emphasizes hands-on learning inside and outside the traditional classroom. Scholars develop as independent learners and turn theory into practical skills as participants in advanced experiential learning programs including extended study-abroad, internship, and research opportunities.

Scholars enrolled in the Batten Honors College will be encouraged to reflect on their own learning throughout the core courses, which will culminate in the Honors capstone course.  In the capstone course, students reflect on their academic, cultural, social, and service experiences and integrate these experiences, skills, and knowledge into individual or team projects.  Scholars are given the option to share their projects at the campus research symposium.

Scholars are also encouraged to submit their capstone project, undergraduate research, honors course project, or service learning work to the National Collegiate Honors Council, Southern Regional Honors Council, Virginias Collegiate Honors Council, or another academic venue for presentation consideration at a professional conference.