Taylor-Crocker Honors Program

A program that offers unique opportunities from travel and networking to research and hands -on experiences.

Are you a high-achieving student with strong character and a desire to stretch your imagination? If so, this program is for YOU!

North Carolina Wesleyan College offers a select group of students the opportunity to complement their degree program with a series of challenging and rewarding courses. Freshmen enrolled in the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program take special freshman courses in English and Humanities. Honors Program students then take one honors course each semester during their sophomore and junior years. As seniors, students complete an honors project in some area of interest.

The Honors Program offers students the opportunity to develop a close community of learning and to take courses from some of the best faculty members at the College. Being in the Honors Program does not add to a student’s course load, but it does add variety and depth to her or his college experience. Transcripts of honors graduates include recognition that they completed the Honors Program.

Students take unique courses with other students who are academically motivated and study with outstanding professors. Participation in the program shows that students take a special interest in their education and will receive special recognition from the College. Future employers and graduate schools notice this on the student’s transcript.

The program involves a sequence of courses.  For answers to questions about this program or to request an application, please contact the Honors Program Director, Dr. Bill Yankosky at byankosky@ncwc.edu.

Recipients of the College’s Trustee scholarships and Valedictorian scholarships are automatically invited to participate in the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program. Incoming students with a combined score of at least 1,170 on the Critical Reading and Mathematics sections of the SAT (or equivalent ACT scores) and a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher will be invited to submit a written application and two letters of recommendation to the Honors Program Director.

In each first-year class, a limited number of students are accepted into the Program and the review process is selective and competitive. Other recommended students with outstanding academic records during their first year at Wesleyan and transfer students may be invited to apply to the Program. Honors students must maintain an overall GPA of at least a 3.2 in order to remain in the Program.

The Program consists of a sequence of courses specially designed for honors students which are taught by outstanding professors. Individuals in the Program take unique courses with other academically talented and motivated students and have the opportunity to take Honors Option courses that provide greater depth of study of a course in the regular curriculum.

First-year honors students enroll in special Honors sections of English in the fall and Humanities in the spring, which carry a total of 6 semester hours (s.h.) of credit. Transfer students or students entering the Program late can waive these courses.

During their sophomore and junior years, honors students complete a total of 12 s.h. of honors courses, typically by enrolling in one 3 s.h. honors course each semester. A variety of honors courses are offered every semester and may come from areas in any of the College’s four schools:

  • Business
  • Education & Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics/Science

Professors usually design these unique courses for the students in the Program. Some of the courses can be used to satisfy general education requirements.

During the senior year, Honors Program students design and complete a supervised, interdisciplinary project consisting of a written and oral component which receives 6 s.h. of credit.


18 Semester Hours/6 Courses

  • Two Courses from ENG 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 215
  • One Additional Course from ENG 115, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 215
  • One Course from ENG 302 or 305
  • Two Courses from 300-400 Level English Courses (not including ENG 304)

In addition to the special first-year honors courses and Honors Project courses, a variety of courses are offered each semester, specifically for sophomore and junior honors students.

A few honors courses offered in the past include:

Spring 2019
Introduction to Biodiversity – Erica Kosal
American History on Film – Jonathan Sarris
Sacred Art – Andrew Stern

Fall 2018
Sensation, Perception and Illusion – Kim Martin
Math and Art – Gail Stafford

Spring 2018
Defining the 1960s – Steve Ferebee
China: One Belt One Road – Patricia Smith

Fall 2017
The Viking Age – Lee Templeton
Cryptology – Bill Yankosky

Earlier courses included:

  • Conservation Biology
  • Exploring Middle Ages
  • Positive Psychology
  • Problem-Solving
  • Reacting to the Past
  • Religious Art

During senior year, Honors Program students design and complete a supervised, interdisciplinary project consisting of a written and oral component. The project gives honors students the unique opportunity to work on an individual basis with a faculty member. A variety of honors projects have been completed over the years and some have even led to publications in academic journals. Several students have presented work related to their honors projects at professional conferences.

Some Honors Projects, and the students who completed them during the past several years, include:

  • This is how it happened: The Effect of Authoritarianism and Mortality Salience on Support for Donald Trump – Diamond Allen
  • The Religious Duplicity of American Politics – Stephen Bardswick
  • My greatest Strength and Weakness: Self-enhancing and Self-criticizing Tendencies in Eastern and Western Culture – Michael Bhujel
  • Are Lectures Still an Effective Learning Method – Tyler Biehl
  • Aviation Security: Perceptions in the United States – Sarah Bowyer
  • Examining the Influence of Sox9 on Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination in the Common Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentine – Caitlin Brabble
  • Bouncing Back: Situational Versus Trait Resilience – Megan Brabble
  • The Correlation between Injury, Goal Orientation, and Athletic Identity of Injured Female Athletes at a Division III College – Ayla Brewer
  • Impact of a Basic Firearm Safety Course on Attitudes toward Gun Ownership and Second Amendment Rights – Vann Brock
  • Rewriting Shakespeare: Contemporary Rewrites of Underrepresented Female Characters – Kate Butler
  • The Cosmic Wimpout Dice Game:  Probabilities and a Markov Chain Model – Elizabeth Cobb
  • Establishing a Honey Bee Hive on NCWC Campus – Carolynn Davern
  • Red Herring: Personality Influences on Food Evaluation – Cody Foley
  • Exploring Vigilantism in Popular Culture and What it Suggests About American Society – Leigh Hales
  • Physical Fitness, Hemodynamic and Affective Responses to Psychosocial Stress in Women – Christina Huber
  • The Relationship Between Ego Identity and Ethnic Identity in a Diverse College Sample – Denya Isabelle
  • A C++ Simulation of Simplified Data Encryption Standard – Bishal Karanjit
  • Some Sports Applications of Two Matrix-Based Ranking Methods – Austin King
  • Restaurant Tipping Based on Server’s Sex and Physical Attractiveness – Jessica Konopka
  • Physical Fitness, Physiological and Sleep Responses to Stress in Women – Abby Leonard
  • Blooming from the Concrete: Black Girl Stereotypes and the Implicit Biases and Barriers These Girls Face in School – Sidney McCall
  • The Spontaneous Choice of Attractiveness: Evolutionary Strategies and Environmental Influence – David Paffen
  • Soccer & Finance:  An Analysis of Modern Football – Sabina Paudel
  • Goðar and Goaders: Gender Roles in Medieval Iceland – Josh Perry
  • Relationship between Physical Fitness and Cognitive Performance in Women – Julia Rebellon
  • The Relationship between Internet Usage and Social Involvement – Dillon Richardson
  • The Oncogenic Effects of MiR26-a in Glioblastoma Multiforme by Suppression of SOX17 – Monica Salazar Reyes
  • Understanding Neurobiology and Regeneration of Planaria through Stress and Memory Retention process – Bikash Thapa
  • Analysis of Curves Generated by Intersecting Tangent Lines  – Katie Tyson
  • Camp Butner and the Economy of the South – Daniel Washburn
  • Water Quality in Golf Course and Man-Made Ponds in the City of Rocky Mount – David White
  • Examining Factors of the Rise of Radical Right-Wing Parties in Western Europe – Jacob Wilson
  • Androgyny and Positivity in Romantic Relationships – Megan Zimmerman

Students who participate in the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program show that they take a special interest in their education and receive special recognition from the College. Besides challenging and enriching instruction, the Honors Program provides its students with increased opportunities to meet visiting scholars, civic leaders and performing artists; travel to museums, the theater and sites of cultural, historical or scientific importance; and attend or present at conferences. Students have the opportunity to participate in the Dr. James Durant Melton Outdoor Leadership Awards Program, a customized, five-day outdoor leadership program of the North Carolina Outward Bound School in Linville Gorge in the North Carolina mountains. Honors Program students may gather for study or conversation in the Honors Lounge. There is also a student organization on campus, the Student League of Academic Prestige (S.L.A.P.) comprised of the Honors Program students.

Every honors course that students take is marked as such on their transcript. Students who complete the entire program receive special recognition on their degree, at graduation and on their transcript. Graduates of the Program receive a special blue and gold cord to wear at graduation. Students enrolled in the Program also receive a special scholarship starting at $500 each semester and increasing over their time in the Program.


The Honors program has meant a lot to me.  It has allowed me to become more well-rounded in my knowledge by taking classes I never would have taken for my majors. My leadership skills have increased dramatically and I have been able to get to know more students from being the first president of the Honors Club.  Also, my senior honors project has helped prepare me for when and if I decide to go to graduate school. Without the Honors Program, I don’t believe I would be where I am today. This program, if anything, has enhanced my character as a whole.

Tiara Joyner, Honors Program Graduate and Justice Studies & Psychology Double Major

The Honors Program allowed me to take more challenging and interesting courses that were not necessarily associated with my Criminal Justice and Psychology majors. Classes such as ‘Cryptology’ with Dr. Bill Yankosky, ‘Rock and Roll as Cultural History’ with Dr. Steve Ferebee, and ‘Positive Psychology’ with Dr. Fred Sanborn were my favorites.

Chynna Laws, Honors Program Graduate and Criminal Justice & Psychology Double Major

I really enjoy that you have unique classes every semester with the same family of students and that classes reflect real-world concepts. Being in honors classes is a unique experience compared to other classes.

Kathleen Penrod, Honors Program Graduate and Environmental Science Major

One favorite recollection I have has to do with the first test I gave. As Blake and Denise were leaving the classroom after that test, they both commented that it was a ‘cool test’. In all of my years of teaching, no student has ever said such a thing.

Gail Stafford, Associate Professor of Mathematics recalling her experience teaching her “Problem Solving” honors course.

I was told by Penn State that the reason I was accepted into their graduate program was actually because I had participated in NCWC’s Honors Prograam.

Mikey Case, Honors Program Graduate and Mathematics & Psychology Double Major

It was my pleasure and privilege to work with Mikey Case on her honors thesis. It was especially rewarding for me to see her grow as a scholar and researcher. She is one of the most intelligent and hard-working students I’ve encountered at NCWC, and the research she did for her honors thesis was on the graduate level. As a result of this kind of work, Mikey ended up being accepted at three different graduate programs in psychology.

Fred Sanborn, Associate Professor of Psychology