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WSC Honors Student Presents at National Honors Conference

Published Monday, November 10th, 2008

Wayne State College Honors student Kimberly Vrooman presented the results of her honors project at the National Collegiate Honors Council convention.

Wayne State College Honors student Kimberly Vrooman presented the results of her honors project at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) convention held Oct. 22-26, 2008, in San Antonio, Texas. Vrooman was the only Nebraska honors student invited to present at the 2008 conference.

Two hundred honors students from around the nation were invited to present at the conference via a competitive process that included applications from the honors programs at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Elmhurst College, Capital University, University of Maine, University of New Mexico, California State University, College of Notre Dame, of Alabama, University of San Diego and others.

Vrooman’s honors project, supervised by Dr. Tim Sharer, WSC professor of education, was titled “The Effects of the Closings of Class I Schools in Nebraska.” Historically, Class I schools have played a major role in the educational process for Nebraska’s youth. A large number of these schools were rural, one-room schoolhouses with small enrollments that later became known as Class I schools. Faced with changing demographics, many of these rural schools are being forced to reorganize, consolidate or close. Before they were officially dissolved June 15, 2006, Class I schools averaged 3.84 students per grade and 3.62 teachers per school. Vrooman’s study closely examined the community and societal effects of the closings of these rural K-8 schools in Nebraska.

“I am delighted that Kimberly had this opportunity to present her work and meet honors students from throughout the U.S.,” said James O’Donnell, Dean of the WSC School of Arts and Humanities and Director of the WSC Honors Program. The Honors Program at Wayne State College has been a member of the NCHC since 2005, seeking to provide students with an in-depth learning environment focusing on discussion, exploration, experimentation and active learning.

Vrooman is the daughter of Jim and Terri Vrooman of Atkinson, Neb. A graduate of a rural K-8 school and 2004 graduate of Atkinson West Holt High School, Kimberly is majoring in elementary education and early childhood education at Wayne State College. While at WSC, Vrooman has been involved in Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society, Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy, Habitat for Humanity, the WSC Wind Ensemble, and has served as vice president of the Wayne State College Navigators. Vrooman will graduate in December after completing her student teaching.

The National Collegiate Honors Council, made up of 900 institutional members, is the primary organization supporting honors programs at colleges and universities nationwide. The NCHC supports and furthers honors education through its publications, workshops, and conferences.