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Brooklyn College in the Know: BC Honors Academy

By Dimitar Atanassov

Published: February 14th, 2018

Located at 2231 Boylan Hall, the Honors Academy houses several honors programs: Macaulay Honors College (MHC), Scholars Program, Coordinated B.A.-M.D. Program, and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. Each of these programs has its own academic curriculum that students need to complete in order to graduate.

Although many students may not have heard of these programs while applying to Brooklyn College, they still have the chance to become an Honors Academy student by applying to the Scholars Program, Mellon Mays, or the MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) program located in Ingersoll Hall.  The Scholars Program accepts matriculated, transfer, and incoming students, with preferably no more than 48 credits. Dr. Lisa Schwebel, Director of the Scholars Program, stated “We (the Honors Academy) welcome all students dedicated to academics. Anyone who wishes to apply to the Scholars Program should feel free to stop by and speak to a Scholars Program Advisor. No appointments are required, and students of every department are welcome.”

Aside from joining the Honors Academy, students have many other options in developing an honors transcript. This includes taking honors courses, making a class contract honors, or applying to the National Honors Society if their department has one.

Dr. Schwebel described the staff working at the Honors Academy as “not huge, but hardworking (and) committed to the students’ success.”

Several of the students agreed with her.

“Although the academic requirements may be challenging, I personally find the Honors Academy very rewarding and am glad I am a part,” Prajwal Prabhu, a finance major in MHC’s Class of 2019, said.

Sarah Ustoyev, a biology major in MHC’s Class of 2020, also noted, “I personally like the academic requirements for Honors Academy students as it pushes us to do better. Students in the Honors Academy are incredibly diverse and strive to be at the top of their fields, the academic requirements help keep us on track.”

The atmosphere in the Honors Academy is almost always centered on academics. Whether students are lounging on the couches between classes, talking with their advisors about academic and career choices, or studying and doing homework, there is always a buzz of friendly productivity.

“Like every other study spot on campus, the Honors Academy helps me and many others thrive.” Stephanie Ng, an Economics major in the Class of 2019, said. Prabhu agrees: “I like [the Honors Academy] because I can see my friends, and study. [Also] if I need to pray or meditate when my schedule is busy, I can do it in the back. [It is] very convenient.”

Aside from academics, the Honors Academy welcomes all students and respects all creeds and faiths. Amena Abbasi, a history major in Scholar Program’s Class of 2020, attests to this: “I really like the prayer space in the back and how respectful people are.”

Daniel Kruglyak, a physics major in the Scholar Program’s Class of 2020. similarly reflects, “I enjoy the Honors Academy as it is often where I can express myself freely. It is a place where my identity is accepted and not judged.”

From what can be seen, the advisors feel the same way about the Honors Academy. 

“It is a very supportive environment made up of students and faculty. Students can come here to socialize or seek help from advisors. I feel like everyone is working together towards the student’s success.” Georgia Southern-Penn, an Honors Academy advisor, said.

Although some programs, such as Macaulay, only accept high school applicants, Brooklyn College students should feel free to apply to join the Scholars Program, Mellon Mays, and MARC.

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