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Support Mechanisms

Honors Program


1. The Thesis Committee

A student's thesis committee consists of the thesis advisor, a second reader, and an Honors Committee reader appointed by the Honors Program Director. The Honors Program Director will serve as this reader on some but not all thesis committees. All thesis committee members must be full-time Millsaps faculty, unless an outside professional is approved as a second reader.

2. The Thesis Project Advisor

The thesis project will be conducted under the supervision of an advisor/ mentor selected by the student. The student and the thesis advisor should meet regularly (at least once a month) from the time they agree to undertake the project until its completion. Greater interaction between the student and the mentor will lead to a better product and more rewarding experience.

The advisor helps the student refine and focus the student's ideas into a feasible project and develops a timetable for completing the thesis by the deadlines set. The advisor assesses the student's work at several stages, reads and gives detailed feedback on drafts of the thesis. The thesis typically goes through several iterations. Students are expected to give the advisor ample time to read and comment on each revision.

Should insurmountable problems occur, it is the responsibility of the advisor to convey this to the student and end the thesis project.

3. The Second Reader

The second reader is selected by the student and the advisor as part of the initial Honors project agreement. While second readers do not need to be experts in the thesis topic area, they should have enough expertise to offer productive feedback. The second reader's responsibility is not as great as that of the thesis advisor and thus should not read every draft of the project. They should have the opportunity to comment on major stages of the process, however, so that there are no surprises at the end.

4. The Honors Committee Reader

The Honors Program Director assigns one member of the Honors Committee to serve as a third thesis reader after the initial Honors Agreement has been approved. While this reader will have substantive feedback, she/he also serves as liaison to the Honors Committee and ensures the integrity of the process. The Honors Committee reader serves as convener for the assessment meeting and Honors defense and conveys the results of these meetings to the Honors Director in writing.

5. The Honors Program Director

While actually serving on only a small number of Honors thesis committees, the Honors Program Director serves as a resource for all Honors students and members of thesis committees.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Brent Hendrixson, Honors Program Director.