Mission Statement


At William Paterson University, Honors College students are given unique learning opportunities. We expect that Honors College students will work closely and collaboratively in multiple settings with exceptionally dedicated and talented peers and mentors. They will appreciate and learn meaningfully about the global and historical backgrounds and current circumstances of diverse groups of people, recognizing the interconnected nature of today’s world. They will demonstrate an acceptance of ambiguity and a willingness to explore and think critically about multiple perspectives. They will evince a strong intellectual curiosity and a desire for lifelong learning. Honors College students will give presentations of their research with peers and mentors at events on campus and at regional or national conferences. They will lead and develop campus and community activities. The end of the program is the beginning of an enriched, accomplished, and compassionate life.


The goals of the WPU Honors College program are to graduate students with the ability to do the following:

  • Demonstrate the ability to design, plan, and execute a research or creative Honors thesis project that meets professional standards in the field.
  • Apply appropriate methodologies, theories and techniques to analyze or solve complex issues and problems in their own project.
  • Communicate the methods, techniques, and findings of their research or creative Honors project:
    • In a written format acceptable for professional standards.
    • In an oral or visual format acceptable for public presentation according to professional standards.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to promoting the public good.
  • Recognize the professional, sociopolitical, or ethical implications of their work.


Upon completion of the WPU Honors College program students will be able to:

  • Describe fundamental concepts in the field of research or area of creative expression.
  • Apply research or creative expression methodologies, principles, theories and skills to their projects.
  • Orally or visually present their Honors thesis projects explaining methodologies, techniques, theories, or findings in a manner meeting appropriate professional standards.
  • Effectively communicate the methodologies, techniques, and findings of their projects in a written format.
  • Participate in community, civic or global service aimed at promoting the public good.
  • Articulate the professional, sociopolitical, or ethical implications of their work.


Strategic Plan Spring 2019 - to Spring 2022

This plan incorporates the accomplishments of the 2015-2016 working group and changes made from the Fall 2015 semester to the present.

University Goal I.

Honors Goal


Offer Academic Programs of the Highest Quality

The Honors College will have a distinctive, high quality academic program promoting student research and creative performance.

Stable leadership



Curricular reform through developing Student Learning Outcomes



Curricular reform through updating first and second year requirements in line with UCC



Curricular reform through updating and adding tracks



Enhance and expand undergraduate research and creative performance participation



Academic and intellectual engagement through collaborative teaching, research with faculty.




University Goal II.

Honors Goal


Achieve Student Success by Increasing Matriculation, Retention, and Graduation


The Honors College will enroll and graduate a diverse group of students.

Recruit current students into Honors College and Honors tracks



Maintain first-year fall to fall retention above national average for Honors



Grow diversity in Honors student population



Maintain graduation rates



Student engagement as seen in senior survey


University Goal III

Honors Goal


Provide Students with Exceptional Opportunities Beyond the Classroom

 The Honors College will provide innovative, in-depth research opportunities and an intellectual community that develops creative and thoughtful student leaders through a civically engaged and globally informed curriculum.

Develop courses with embedded travel



Develop co-curricular experiences associated with course time



Develop co-curricular experiences outside of course time



Develop and expand civic engagement (not in class).



Increase conference presentations off campus



Increase research and creative performance  presentations on campus




University Goal IV

Honors Goal


Enhance the Sense of Community Throughout and Beyond the University

The Honors College will enhance the sense of community within Honors and between Honors and the university.

Host stellar events involving entire campus



Develop relationship with Passaic County Family Head start



Develop alumni engagement



Develop community building programming beyond the first year within Honors


University Goal V

Honors Goal


Establish the University as a Model of Outstanding, Affordable Public Higher Education

The Honors College will build a community of scholars with high impact academic practices.

Recruit high performing students to WP at recruitment events



Increase university scholarships



Encourage private scholarships



Percent of first year students who report HC as reason for attending Honors