With the rollout of the Online Honors Program this past January, Honors Program Director Linda Kobylarz was in need of some extra hands. Caitlin Grant began her new role as Assistant Director of the Online Honors Program a couple weeks ago. “Caitlin has the magic touch when it comes to motivating students to step-up to the online Honors Program. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and she is already making a significant contribution to the Honors team,” says Kobylarz.
Grant has been a Post associate since 2010, beginning in admissions before transferring into graduate level advising. For a while, Grant was the only MBA advisor. She was promoted to team lead for the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business and the School of Arts and Sciences at both the graduate and undergraduate level.
When the position became available for the online honors program, Grant knew she would love this role. She enjoyed advising but was excited for the opportunity not only to grow professionally, but also for the chance to have fun, positive conversations with students and celebrate their hard work. She missed student interactions and is excited to be a part of that again.
“I love being able to acknowledge the accomplishments that students have and inviting them to join the honors program,” says Grant. “It’s exciting for the students to feel this sense of pride and to know they are receiving an opportunity based on successes.”
Grant expresses her passion for education and working well with these higher-level students. “As a student previously, and as an employee, I am regimented, organized and enjoy challenging myself. Because these students have similar passions for education, it’s easy for me to connect with them.” Grant received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from Albertus Magnus and her master’s degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac.
As Assistant Director, Grant’s focus is to increase the online honors community. In order to accomplish this goal, Grant will be reaching out to students with 3.25 GPA or greater who are attaining their bachelor’s degree. If students are on the fence about committing to the honors program, they have the option to take an honors course. If they feel comfortable in the class, they can commit to the program. However, eligible students have the option to take honors courses without being in the honors program. Those who complete 12 honors credits are recognized as Honors Basics and those who complete 24 are recognized as Honors Distinction.
“The assignments in an honors course are geared to provide an enriching and engaging experience where one demonstrates critical thinking and has the opportunity to build real-world skills,” says Grant. “Since online courses have constant interaction on discussion boards and projects, those advanced students will be able to have more vibrant conversations with others who provide detailed responses.”
Students who take honors courses receive a notation on their transcript for each class. Those who complete between 12-23 credits will be identified at commencement as an honors student. Those who complete 24 credits will not only be recognized as an honors program student but will also wear special regalia and receive special recognition at the ceremony. Honors students are invited to local networking events and receive additional opportunities, such as the recent event with Deepak at the Palace Theater. Soon, there will be many networking and professional and personal development opportunities for Online Honors Students in the coming months, beginning with a meet and greet dinner in Albany, NY on April 2nd.
Grant will also be focusing on training advising teams on how to add in conversations about the honors program with their students. It was recently approved that students can begin rolling into the honors program after 6 credits, rather than 12. Given this upcoming change, Grant plans to start having these conversations with admissions counselors as well. Since students will still be actively working with their Admissions Counselors at this time, it could be a significant conversation for an Admissions Counselor to have with students who are eligible.
Grant is looking forward to growing the online honors program and celebrating these successes with students. “It is so fulfilling when students share their success with me. It’s my favorite part about working at Post.”