honors students in a lecture

William and Virginia Darr Honors Programs

Why study honors at Missouri State-West Plains?

The William and Virginia Darr Honors Program is expressly designed for the student-scholar who enjoys active learning. Interdisciplinary in nature and in focus, the Darr Honors Program strives to foster an educational experience that lays a foundational understanding of the world’s most influential ideas, stimulates creative and critical thinking, and cultivates the growth of a learning community on and off campus and in and out of the program itself.

  • Our program fosters a learning environment of interactive and collaborative learning, where your fellow students are just as curious and serious as you are.
  • Our program lays an intellectual foundation that will enable you to pursue whatever subject area you choose with excellence.
  • Our method is to make you think outside of the box. We stress critical and creative thinking in our joint adventure to pursue truth.
  • Our program ‘dovetails’ easily into the Associate of Arts in General Studies degree (as well as most of Missouri State University-West Plains’ other associate degree programs), which allows you to prepare for the career of your choice while also completing the Specialization in Honors.
  • Our graduates go on to complete their bachelor degrees at transfer institutions around the country. And, many go on to graduate and professional schools in areas such as law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, English, teaching, theology, religious studies and the varying areas of business.


Missouri State-West Plains
128 Garfield Avenue
West Plains, MO 65775

Comments from Current and Former Students:

Lee Shelton

Going through the Darr Honors Program is one the best choices I have made while in college. These classes help students understand abstract ideas that most people wouldn't deem important to everyday life; however, I use the knowledge I have gained from the program in almost every area in my life. After this program one can't help but to feel the importance of being an individual, the importance of education, and how significant they can be in today's society.

Kelly Johnson

I loved the Honors classes. They were challenging but mentally stimulating at the same time. It was nice to be around people in college who enjoyed thinking more broadly.

Jarryd Alsup

Honors was an impressive class. It showed me how people come together when they struggle through some of the more difficult subjects of life. I believe Honors was also a class where I began to think on a deeper level. Life became more gray, which is far more interesting.

Tifiny Lynn Swedensky

Honors was one of the only classes I took that was more about education than career training. When I was in high school, I thought of college as a way to get a good job. After I took Honors I understood that college should be more about learning and becoming an educated person.

Rick Taylor

Honors helped me go from the quiet person I was in high school to a much more outgoing, more well-read and intelligent person, one able to make decisions for myself instead of just letting my decisions be made for me.

John Turner

Honors has allowed me the ability to explore areas of thought that are usually not used in other class rooms, such as the ability to express those thoughts in such a way that others can learn from me and that I can learn from them. For me as a non-traditional student it has allowed me to share my life experiences with the class through discussion, and I have learned new ideas from the younger students.

Paul Wilkerson

Honors quite literally made going to class the highlight of any day. The chance to converse with like-minded people on topics rarely discussed by most was well worth it. Honors really does broaden and exercise the mind in a plethora of ways. Thank you, Dennis, for everything you have done and still do on campus!

Jared Cates

For me, Honors was a way for a student to experience the courage to 'step outside of the box' to discover what is truly inside of it.