The School of Undergraduate Studies welcomes nearly 600 of the state’s top high school students to the 33rd Honors Colloquium. This three-day event is by invitation only and provides outstanding rising seniors the chance to experience all the University of Texas at Austin has to offer before they submit their college applications this fall. Participants attend class sessions led by top faculty, meet with student mentors who currently attend UT, experience residence hall living, and tour the campus’s world-class facilities.
“One of the things I feared about UT was that I was going to get lost among 50,000 other students,” said Julie Dorland, Honors Colloquium mentor. “I thought I was just going to be one of the many. Colloquium gave me a chance to see that I could connect with other students. Even though there are a lot of people here, there were opportunities to find smaller groups and make one-on-one connections.”
Experiencing Life as a Longhorn
Honors Colloquium participants are encouraged to explore their interests while on campus. Colloquists live in the residence halls at Jester Center and spend all of their time on campus. Every UT college and school hosts a luncheon where students talk with faculty and administrators to learn more about the school’s programs and degrees. Participants choose from six lecture class sessions, 55 seminar class sessions, and eight tours of various labs and museums. The classes are taught by the university’s best professors and cover a range of topics like Islamic art, magnetic fields, finance, and Shakespeare to familiarize students with the variety of subjects and course formats at UT.
“I liked the opportunity to attend seminars and sessions and get a taste of what is going on at UT, as well as potential things that I could get involved in if I attend,” said a participant from last year’s Honors Colloquium.
According to a survey of 2013 attendees, 49% were somewhat interested in attending UT before Honors Colloquium. After attending, 62% of them said they were extremely interested in attending UT.
By introducing students to college life while they are still in high school, Honors Colloquium gives students a realistic picture of what college is like and seeks to change expectations about a school as large as UT.
“I really enjoyed meeting smart kids from all over Texas,” said a 2013 Honors Colloquium participant. “All of my cohort leaders were nice, and did a great job of opening us up to interpersonal interaction. I had a great time and the Colloquium certainly changed how I view UT.”