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 or a nearly three-quarters tuition scholarship. Twenty scholarships of each amount will be awarded every year. Additional need-based financial aid is also available to those students who qualify.

If you are awarded a seat in the Batten Honors College and accept it, any Virginia Wesleyan University merit-based scholarship that you were awarded at the time of your admission into the University will be forfeited, and need-based aid received from the Department of Education through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be adjusted.

In addition to being awarded the scholarships mentioned above, Batten 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.  

First Year Student Service Project
The 2022 BHC Orientation included a service learning project in Chesapeake, Virginia where they planted trees to help reduce flooding in a neighborhood. They collaborated with the Elizabeth River Project, Living River Trust, Wetlands Watch, and the city of Chesapeake staff.

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.

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 Global Residency Experiences

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.

The Batten Honors College is a four year residential program. Many BHC students come in with some college credits and on an accelerated path to completing their Baccalaureate degree. Assuming satisfactory academic and social progress, BHC students may apply to use their fourth year to enroll in a VWU graduate program. In order to retain their BHC financial award, students must serve the campus community by acting as academic coaches to undergraduate students.

Graduate Coursework
By consent of the graduate program, BHC students may take as many as 9 credit hours of graduate coursework before they graduate. BHC students must be in good standing with the Honors College, have a minimum gpa of 3.0, and consent of their advisor or the Dean of the Honors College. Graduate coursework should only be pursued when the student has nearly completed their degree program and has achieved senior status. All grades earned in graduate coursework taken prior to the completion of the baccalaureate degree will count towards cumulative undergraduate gpa.

Graduate Degree Programs
BHC Students seeking to pursue graduate degree programs at Virginia Wesleyan must apply and be accepted into the graduate program. In addition, students must complete all undergraduate degree and graduate program requirements prior to undertaking the graduate program. Students are required to be registered as full time students taking 12 graduate hours per semester (6 credit hours each mini-session). Financial Award can only be used for two consecutive semesters and must be utilized by the end of the 8th consecutive semester (fourth year).

BHC students entering into a graduate program will receive a new graduate program financial aid package. BHC students pursuing graduate degrees may apply up to two consecutive semesters of unused undergraduate award towards their graduate studies. Unused award is defined as BHC scholarship aid awarded to a student for the undergraduate degree program. BHC students will receive an aid package covering the same percentage of tuition as their undergraduate award to apply to graduate tuition costs. Students are responsible for paying any uncovered graduate student tuition and fees not covered by their aid package. Aid can be applied to up to two consecutive semesters (Fall and Spring, excluding Summer). Students who need additional semesters to complete their graduate degree are financially responsible for their coursework at that point. Anything beyond 12 credit hours per full semester is not included in the scholarship.

Graduate Housing and Service Policy
The Batten Honors College is a residential program. Therefore, all students, including those pursuing graduate coursework, are required to live on campus throughout their four years at Virginia Wesleyan.

BHC students pursuing graduate degree programs are expected to demonstrate the principles of the honors college as leaders in a campus living and learning community. As graduate students and leaders in the campus community, BHC students pursuing graduate degree programs must serve the community as academic coaches for undergraduate students. In order to maintain their financial award as a graduate student, BHC students  will work 15 hours per week. Students will report to Academic Support Services and fulfill roles as Academic coaches and tutors to undergraduate students during the Fall and Spring semesters.