Why We're Different

"It's an honors college without a GPA requirement. Is that even an honors college?"

"They don't offer advanced in-major classes. And other than the seminar classes, the deliverables are different for every person. How does that show that you're the best?" 

We know we're different than other honors colleges. Here's why we do it our way:

Which would you rather be: someone who accepts external formulas without question and applies them in decision-making, or someone who determines their own compass and makes judgments about which framework to use?

If you're a hiring manager, who would you rather employ: someone with a few extra advanced-level classes in a specific field (which may have an expiration date as technologies rapidly change)? Or someone with a demonstrated ability to continuously learn, adapt, self-manage, and lead (which could shape your company for years to come)?

We're less concerned with advanced in-major honors courses because we're lucky—we're at Michigan Tech. With our 93.8% five-year placement rate and $71K+ median early career pay, a Michigan Tech graduate is ready for day one in the workforce. So we focus on skills that will matter after day one. A lifelong toolkit that will help you make decisions, lead when it matters, and keep charting your own pathway—personally and professionally.

College is an opportunity for growth, inside and outside the classroom. In Pavlis, we encourage you to embrace challenging opportunities and reflect on them. We’ve designed our program using the principles of self-authorship, an educational theory about how adults develop.

Why self-authorship?

To the degree that we can encourage our students to develop higher levels of self-authorship while in college, we can produce graduates who are better equipped to manage the unique challenges of continuous and potentially disruptive change and shape the future, rather than simply experiencing it.

[Read more in Tech Forward.]

Dr. Meadows
Dr. Lorelle Meadows
Founding Dean, Pavlis Honors College

About self-authorship

The Honors Pathway Program aims to help students navigate the crossroads between the following formulas and self-authored stages of Robert Kegan’s theory of adult development.

Kegan theory of adult development, written in text below

Stage three: the socialized mind

You're probably here. In fact, most adults are here—about 58% of the adult population can be characterized as having a socialized mindset. Stage three can be pretty comfortable! Socialized minds are great at understanding their identity and roles through local culture, listening to authority figures on which beliefs are correct, and aligning with the status quo.

Socialized thinking can sound like:

  • "This is the way we've always done it."
  • "I'm going to be an *insert career here* because my parents and grandparents were that career."
  • "This policy isn't my favorite idea, but let's not rock the boat."
  • "What will people say about..."

Stage four: the self-authoring mind

Self-authoring thinking, on the other hand, can sound like:

  • "I know we've always done it this way, but times have changed."
  • "Even though my family has a tradition of working in *insert career here*, I know that wouldn't fit my skillset and I wouldn't be as satisfied as I'd be in a field that appeals to me."
  • "I'm not comfortable with this policy. How can I create change?"
  • "How do I feel about..."

The Honors Pathway Program curriculum is tailored to get you into the 35% of adults who have a self-authoring mindset. 

How do you advance in self-authorship? A combination of challenge and support. You'll engage in challenging experiences while Pavlis provides support through mentoring and structured reflections.

Self-authorship has three dimensions: the cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal, which roughly maps onto our three categories of honors abilities: know yourself, be authentic, and build relationships. The honors abilities, developed in collaboration with our external advisory board, give concrete qualities we all strive to develop in the Pavlis Honors College.

"We need leaders who are emotionally intelligent, and able to model and champion co-operative working. They’ll coach, rather than command; they’ll be driven by empathy, not ego. The digital revolution needs a different, more human kind of leadership."From a World Economic Forum article on the Fourth Industrial Revolution
Alumni spotlight
"I finally feel like I am living my life with a purpose and the wanderlust I experience everyday is because of the memorable experience I have gained through Pavlis. I now know I have the ability to make an impact on the world."
Madison Duensing
Madison Duensing ‘17
Design Engineer at 3M