At the heart of the Honors Program is a commitment to holistic formation so that our students are prepared for a life of leadership and service to their various communities: family, civic society, nations, and humankind.

In speaking with our Honors students during classes, in advising sessions, and in informal conversations with our faculty and staff, it is clear that University students often wrestle with the transition from high school to college.

Shaping a College Life aims at helping Honors students navigate successfully across this threshold by inviting them into a co-curricular one-credit experience focused around several themes—such as Study Skills and the Life of the Mind, Distraction and Free Time, Meaningful Work, Resume Writing, Involvement & Friendships, Dealing with Anxiety, Forming Relationships—and linking students to various resources on campus that highlight these topics.

This reflective experience provides students with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their peer group and Villanova. Students are challenged to think more critically about the choices they make, and to become more intentional in living and leading, according to their fundamental values. Our values paradigm is based on holistic formation coupled with a focus on the common good. 

How this call to development is articulated at Villanova University is captured, in part, in the University’s Mission Statement:


To foster academic excellence, we as a University, concern ourselves with developing and nurturing the whole person, allowing students, faculty and staff to grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, culturally, socially and physically in an environment that supports individual differences and insists that mutual love and respect should animate every aspect of university life.


Program Details

Shaping a College Life spans the first semester of freshman year, and students are registered for this one-credit workshop each semester, meeting for one hour weekly. The program's exercises include guest speakers, group and individual reflection, alumni involvement and team-building exercises. Excursions are also intentionally designed to build a culture of solidarity and community among Honors students.

This program is available only to Honors freshmen living in Honors housing. Students can participate in this program on its own or in conjunction with an Honors Learning Cohort.

Villanova University
Garey Hall 106
800 Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085

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