Student Presenting his research as part of a signature experience Student internship at the Kemp Center for the Arts Study Abroad in London

Signature Experience: Each student in the Redwine Honors program must complete at least one signature experience to complete the Honors program curriculum. A signature experience is a substantial and broad endeavor that includes cumulative and integrative learning across a student’s general and specialized field of study (Schneider 2015). During the experience students will address one or more challenging problems facing society as a whole or the student as an individual (AAC&U 2015). This experience is signature, in that it is based on a student’s field of study and expertise, and is student motivated.

Within Honors education at MSU Texas, signature experiences provide each student with an opportunity to apply material they have learned in the classroom to a real world problem under the guidance of a faculty member.  This experience is intended enrich a student’s intellectual growth by placing learning in a real world setting. Although there are a number of different experiences that can qualify as a signature experience, the most common experiences involve studying abroad, an internship, a service learning project, an academic simulation, or a lengthy research project. To qualify as a signature experience it must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Student Agency: The experience must be student selected and conducted, but occur under the guidance of a faculty member.
  2. Cumulative & Integrative: The experience must be cumulative or integrative in that it includes multiple disciplines, skills, or perspectives throughout the experience.
  3. Real World or Significant Problems: The experience must examine a real world or significant problem facing the individual or our world today.

Most students will complete their signature experience in their last two years of college. For those wishing to complete multiple signature experiences, students begin earlier and frequently embark on their first experience in the summer following their freshman year. For many, the choice of your experience will be shaped by your field of study. For instance, education or health science majors will typically complete a student teaching experience or a student clinical experience as part of their field of study. Other students may select a study abroad or service learning experience that may not be a required element of their field of study.  Regardless, it is up to the student to select the experience that they would like to pursue.