The University of Alabama Honors College has one overarching goal: to help exceptional students reach their potential. Creating opportunities for students their first year on campus is a critical part of our mission. Honors Year One is student-directed programming that helps new students engage with their fellow students and with faculty; discover opportunities and interests; and participate in areas of service. Special events, academic opportunities, and other first year-only events address the unique needs of the newest members of the Honors College.

Because of the importance of engaging with the Honors College from the beginning of each student’s academic career, beginning with the freshman class of 2017, all Honors College students will be required to participate in an Honors Year One experience during their first year. HYO experiences engage students with fellow students and faculty and foster deeper, more meaningful connections to Honors.

The following courses fulfill the Honors Year One requirement for the 2019/2020 academic year:

UH 100: Honors Connection and Honors Connection LLC

UH 102: Common Book-The Book of Unknown Americans

UH 103: Alabama Action, Health Action, and Outdoor Action

UH 155: Various course titles of freshman seminars that include different topics

Please note, for students in Randall Research Scholars Program, University Fellows Experience, and STEM Path to MBA, UFE 101, RRS 101 and GBA 171 or 172 also fulfill the Honors Year One requirement.

Each year, the Honors College selects a book as the Honors Common Book, which all freshmen read, along with faculty and staff. The 2019/20 Honors Common Book is The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez. The story of Mexican immigrants in Delaware, the story also relates to first year students’ experience trying to fit into new environments.

The Residential College allow students to have access to educational programs and extra-curricular activities exclusive to the Honors College. The Honors community includes the entire Ridgecrest community, including North, South, East, and West, which forms the center of the University’s tightly-knit Honors community. Honors Housing also includes select space within Paty Hall and Blount Hall, which offer different housing styles at different costs.

In addition to the benefits of living with other Honors College students, faculty-in-residence in each residence hall further increase the value of such an opportunity. Residential College faculty-in-residence offer unique programs, social events, and serve as informal advisors for students living in the Residential College.

Dr. Sara Hughes: Dr. Hughes is the assistant director of Creative Writing at UA, and she hosts the Pure Products Reading and Lecture Series. Her first book, The Disappearing Act, won the 2016 Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry and was published in 2018. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Rattle, Reed, and Atticus Review.

Dr. Steve Mobley: Dr. Mobley is assistant professor of Higher Education at UA. His areas of research interest include how LGBTQ students navigate racial and class differences in higher education and how they impact educational policy, especially at historically black colleges and universities.

Prof. Matt Wisla: Prof. Wisla is an instructor in Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. His research interests include corporate policy relations, crisis communications, international communications, Asia expertise, and public affairs.