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Honors College

Honors College


"If you want to learn in an inspiring and supportive community, and if you meet the criteria, please consider applying for admission to our program. We offer unique courses taught by excellent teachers, special lectures and social opportunities, and exceptional scholarships. It is our goal to help make your college learning experience productive and enjoyable." -- Dr. Scott Goins, Director


McNeese will award its best four-year academic scholarships to freshmen entering the Honors College. Each scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, a dorm room, on-campus meal fees, and up to $1,000 annually for books and supplies. Students may also earn extra spending money through an on-campus work-study job.

Priority registration and individualized academic counseling by an experienced advisor help students obtain the optimum schedule for their curricula.

Small class sizes (10-25) allow for interaction with academically talented peers and personal attention from professors.

The Honors Lounge offers a place for honors students to study, discuss issues, and exchange ideas, as well as to socialize.

Honors courses will have a special designation on University transcripts. Special recognition will be given to Honors College graduates at commencement and on diplomas.

Special honors events (seminars, field trips, and conferences), cultural opportunities, and social activities provide frequent interaction among students and between students and faculty.


  • An excellent high school record including a college-preparatory background.
  • A minimum academic grade point average of 3.40 (on a 4.0 scale).
  • A composite score of 27 on the American College Test (ACT) or a combined Critical Reading and Math score of 1210 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
  • A written essay and interview with Honors College Admissions Committee.
  • Three letters of recommendation from teachers, principals, or guidance Counselors.
  • Acceptance by the University.


Dr. Scott Goins, Director
PHONE: (337) 475-5456
Box 93430
Lake Charles, LA 70609

Honors Application 2016-17.pdf PDF icon


The Honors College diploma requires 25 hours of approved honors classes. They consist of three Core Honors Courses, Honors Option courses, and other courses specifically designed for honors students.

Core Honors Courses - During their first two years, honors students will enroll as a group in unique core courses that satisfy general education requirements. These courses currently consist of ENGL 105-106H (the honors equivalent of ENGL 101-102), and HUMN 105H (an interdisciplinary humanities course).

Honors Options - Students can choose the honors designation in traditional courses by adding independent elements, e.g., a research paper/project, presentation at a regional or national meeting, volunteer service project, etc., as decided by the professor of the course, department head, and Director of the Honors College.

Honors Seminar: HONS 400 is a revolving-topics course that may be taken twice.


Dr. Jacob Blevins (Ph.D., Texas Tech University, 2002), Associate Professor of English, currently teaches English 105H for the Honors College. In 2006 Dr. Blevins received a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue research on Milton at the University of Cardiff in Wales. Dr. Blevins has published an annotated bibliography on Thomas Traherne, a collection of essays on Traherne, a book on Catullus and Renaissance Literature, and he is currently working on a book on Milton. Dr. Blevins also edits the McNeese Review, a refereed journal published under the auspices of the College of Liberal Arts at McNeese.

Dr. Robert Cooper (Ph.D., University of Missouri, 1974), Professor of English, teaches the Honors 400 seminar for the University. He has published three books on the metaphysical poet Robert Crashaw and essays on Donne and Dryden. Dr. Cooper has also published a book of poetry as well as several short stories and many poems published in journals including Midlands and the Barataria Review. He also promotes the arts in Lake Charles through his work with the Little Theatre, the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, and the Banners Program.

Dr. Scott Goins (Ph.D., Florida State University, 1988), Professor of Classics, directs the Honors College and teaches Latin, mythology, and classical literature. He is the Assistant Head of the Department of English and Foreign Languages and has served as the Foreign Languages Coordinator since 1995. Dr. Goins has a textbook on the Vulgate Bible and has a translation of selections from Pindar forthcoming. He has also published several articles on classical and modern literature. Journals in which his work has appeared include Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, the Classical Journal, the Goethe Yearbook, Phoenix, and Classical and Modern Literature. Dr. Goins teaches Humanities 105H for the Honors College.

Ms. Joan Vallée (M.S., University of New Orleans, 1969) is the former Director of the Honors College and has been an Assistant Professor of Chemistry since 1988. She served as the Assistant Department Head from 1995-1999 and was the Director or Co-Director for nine funded grants. She has two publications and is co-authoring a lab manual for Microscale Organic Chemistry. She has taught in the Louisiana Governor's Gifted Program and has presented her Mad Hatter Science workshops in 16 states to audiences of all ages.

Ms. Vallée also taught high school accelerated chemistry and physics classes for 16 years. She was named the 1985 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year and also the LSTA 1985 Louisiana High School Science Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Cheryl Ware (Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1983), Professor of American Literature, currently teaches English 106H for the Honors College. She has published several articles on American literature and teaching composition and rhetoric. She has received numerous grants and awards from agencies including the National Writing Project, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. She received a Senior Fulbright Award to teach American Literature at the University of Athens in 1995-1996, which sparked her current research interest in how American writers were influenced by their travel in Greece.

Dr. John Wood (Ph.D., University of Arkansas, 1977) retired in 2006 after teaching freshman English for the Honors College for several years. Dr. Wood held professorships in both English and Photographic History. He was the Director of Graduate Studies in English and the Director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. Dr. Wood continues his research and writing and is currently the editor of 21st: The Journal of Contemporary Photography.

Dr. Wood is a highly acclaimed author in his fields of expertise. Two of his four poetry books were awarded the prestigious Iowa poetry prize. His books on art and photographic criticism won the American Photographic Historical Society's 1989 Outstanding Book of the Year Award, the American Library Association's Choice's Outstanding Academic Books of 1992, and the New York Times Book Review: Best Books of 1995. In addition he co-curated the 1995 Smithsonian Institution exhibition, Secrets of the Dark Chamber. In 1992 Dr. Wood garnered McNeese's Distinguished Faculty Award.

Many faculty members throughout the University teach honors option courses. Dr. Ron Darbeau (Chemistry), Dr. Giovanni Santostasi (Physics), and Mrs. Barbara Wyman (English and Foreign Languages) serve on steering and/or admissions committees for the Honors College.