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Cooper Honors Program application now available for eligible students

Submitted by Alyssa Causey on February 12, 2014 – 5:34 pmNo Comment

Illustration by Hunter Spence

The Willam G. Cooper Jr. Honors Program in the English Department is currently accepting applications for stipends. The application deadline this semester is Consultation Day, May 6.

For 18 years, the Cooper Program has provided English majors with a more intense, personalized education in the English Department. Recipients of the William G. Cooper Jr. Honors Program receive a $1,300 stipend each semester for up to four semesters. The program can be completed in two semesters, but students are generally encouraged to complete it in three. The program also offers travel funds for research projects or conferences. Sometimes students are sent to Association for Writing Professional conferences.

There are other benefits of the program besides financial stipends. Students’ educations are much more individualized. Due to small class sizes, students receive more attention from professors. There are generally about 18 students in the program at one time. Students work with faculty members one on one; usually they work with the same faculty member for as much as a year or longer.

“They get to know your work and abilities very well,” said Paul Yoder, a professor in the English Department. “Because UALR is a commuter campus, it’s difficult to develop a sense of community when people are coming and going.”

But in this program we build community.” -Paul Yoder

Yoder said the Cooper Program is a very rewarding experience and that there is a sense of accomplishment in completing the program. The seminars are very small and often on topics that might not otherwise get discussed: pattern recognition in literature or a hybrid literature combination of creative writing and literature.

Previously, applications for the Cooper Program were only accepted on a competitive basis once a year on Consultation Day. When it was realized that talented transfer students were missing the opportunity to apply, a second application date was established in December 2013 for the next spring semester. This second deadline is anticipated to be permanent.

Eligible students must be English majors, maintain a 3.5 grade point average in the English major, and have a general grade point average of 3.25. However, students do not have to receive the stipend to participate in the program. In the past, English majors have completed the Cooper Honors Program without the financial assistance of the stipend.

Contact Dr. Paul Yoder at rpyoder@ualr.edu for further questions about the William G. Cooper Jr. Honors Program or its application process.

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