Fall semester, 2002, marked the very beginning of the Honors Academy for Post-Secondary Students (HAPS) at The University of Akron. The first class consisted of seven men and women from the surrounding school districts. As the program continues to develop, the enrollment has grown to about fifteen students each year, keeping the program relatively small in order to foster group interaction among the students who are chosen for this program. The academy experience is for students who would normally be completing their senior year of high school, although exceptional juniors will also be considered.
The curriculum for HAPS students includes some flexibility and some requirements. Perhaps most important is that students in the Academy commit to take the majority of their courses at The University of Akron. With the help of the HAPS coordinator and academic advisors, those students in the Academy who are planning to take the same courses are encouraged to register for classes at the same time so as to build friendships and peer support among students in the program. One major advantage of the Honors Academy for Post-Secondary Students is that students are given the benefit of registering for their courses before all other post-secondary students, ensuring that they will be able to enroll in their first choice of classes. Students are encouraged to enroll in Honors sections of courses they plan to take. Students may also enroll in elective academic subjects (for a total of twelve to fourteen credits) in their areas of interest.
In addition to taking most of their courses at UA, students in this program are given the opportunity to participate in many extra-curricular activities at the university as well. Permission for participation is required to help support the success of post-secondary students at The University of Akron. HAPS students may not participate in athletics, speech and debate, or in social fraternities or sororities.
Another benefit of the HAPS is that members are given 24 hour access to the academic wing of the Honors Complex at The University of Akron. The academic wing includes the 24-hour Honors Computer Lab, the large two-story Honors Common Room, three seminar classrooms, and one large classroom.
The Honors College sponsors HAPS, and a graduate student enrolled in the College of Education serves as a mentor and coordinator for the Academy. This individual is accessible to students in the program and has an office in the Honors Complex. The coordinator of HAPS arranges activities to provide a sense of community for participants. These activities may include lunchtime meetings, bowling in the Student Union, tours of campus facilities, or special lectures from UA or visiting faculty members. Prior to the beginning of each school year an introductory event will take place for students to become familiar with the expectations of the program. In addition, a banquet will take place at the close of each academic school year.
2012: There is a highlighted story of HAPS student Jaremy Hatler at this site, describing his work in research in UA's polymer science department.