Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Robert Padgett


The college experience is often referenced as a period of ‘finding yourself.’ The concept of self-identity is considered malleable and often formed during time spent at a university or college. One way universities provide opportunity for changes in identity is by offering liberal arts core curriculum courses that allow for the broader thinking of the self, the world, and of one’s experiences. Examples of these courses include Honors and First-Year Seminar (FYS) courses. These courses offer exposure to new topics, ideas, and cultures, which can help students better understand themselves and their place in the world. I hypothesized these courses will assist in helping students change from rigid and concrete senses of identity, to more flexible and transcendent senses of identity. Specifically, I predicted students in these courses would come to describe themselves and their experiences in less rigid and more flexible ways at the end of the semester compared to descriptions of self and experiences at the beginning of the semester. As expected, the data has indicated students in FYS and Honors courses in the beginning of the semester show high levels of rigid descriptions of themselves and their experiences, but show lower levels of rigid descriptions at the end of the semester.

Included in

Psychology Commons