Honors and CSE to merge into new college


Austin O'Brien

The Honors Program at Southeastern has been at the highest enrollment it’s ever been at this year. With the new College for Honors, that number is expected to rise even further.

Southeastern recently announced the possible establishment of a new college, pending board approval in March, to be called the College of Honors & Excellence (CHE). The announcement was made in a Take Note email from the school and sent to all faculty. This new college will house the University Honors Program and the Center for Student Excellence, allowing both programs to expand under their own college title.

The announcement was made in a Take Note email from the school, sent to all faculty and staff. This new college will house the University Honors Program and the Center for Student Excellence, and will allow for both programs to further develop under their own college title.

For the college to be made official, it must be approved by the University of Louisiana System and the Louisiana Board of Regents. If it is approved, the interim dean of the new college will be Dr. Claire Procopio. Procopio has served as a professor in the Communication and Media Studies department since 2005 and as the head of Southeastern’s honors program since 2016 before being offered this new position.

The boards are expected to have a decision reached about the college by mid-March.

Procopio also won the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2017. She teaches undergraduate and graduate communication courses, as well as honors courses and SE101.

The Take Note email emphasized several factors that led to the creation of a new college, including, “The continued growth of the Honors program, the success of CSE initiatives, the recommendations surfacing in the Strategic Enrollment Management Task Force on recruiting and retention efforts, and the unexpected departure of Dr. Lorett Swank, Chief Student Success Officer.”

Dr. Swank had been serving as the director of the Center for Student Excellence (CSE), but has recently announced that she will be resigning from the University in Mid-March and taking up a position with Georgia Tech as their Executive Director of Academic Success and Advising. Procopio is working with her and her team to improve the impact of the honors program as well as CSE.

The Honors Program has reached a record high this year under Procopio’s guidance. The program has seen 41% higher enrollment in the past five years. With the new college under development, the Honors program is expecting that number to increase.

Creation of the College of Honors & Excellence provides a banner to showcase Southeastern’s Core Values of Excellence and Caring; increases recognition of CSE efforts; enhances the prestige of our Honors program; extends successful initiatives and resources to more students; and will help attract and retain highly qualified and diverse students. It’s going to be great!”

The Lion’s Roar will continue to cover the development of the college’s progress towards board approval.

To learn more about this CHE, contact the Honors Program at (985) 549-2135.