Honors Program Goals
The primary goal of the Honors Program is to enrich the educational experience of academically talented, intellectually curious students.
The Honors Program achieves this goal through specialized courses and other learning opportunities which often include exploratory learning, interdisciplinary themes, collaborative activities, primary research and hands-on projects.
The Honors Program also seeks to enhance opportunities for students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities and to provide special recognition for students with high academic achievement.
To become eligible for the Honors Program, a student must meet one of the following criteria:
New Students need to meet one of the following criteria:
- RACC placement tests scores of COM 122 or COM 121 with Reading score of 90+
- Graduation in the top 10% of high school class
- A combined SAT score of 1650 or higher
Currently enrolled students need to meet one of the following criteria:
- A 3.25 GPA or higher, excluding developmental courses, with a minimum of 8 credits in college-level courses
- Recommendation of instructor (unless another criterion is fulfilled, admission would be for a single course)
- Special talent or ability in the area of a particular honors course (unless another criterion is fulfilled, admission would be for a single course)
- Taking individual Honors Courses
Students may enroll in one or more individual honors courses according to their personal, professional, or academic interests.
- Working Toward an Honors Certificate/Diploma
Students who complete 15 honors credits with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher and a 3.0 or higher in all honors courses will earn an Honors Certificate. When they graduate from RACC, these students will receive an Honors Diploma.
Taking Honors courses at RACC offers many benefits:
- Academic challenge
- Personal enrichment
- Small classes with other academically motivated students
- More individual attention from instructors and faculty mentors
- A competitive edge when applying for jobs or transferring to four-year colleges and universities
- Honors designations on transcripts
- Special commendation as an Honors Graduate
- Increased opportunities for scholarships
- Honors Program scholarships
- Free admission for two events at the Miller Center for the Arts with student ID.
Samuel and Sonia Briskin Scholarship - Each year the Honors Program will recognize an outstanding new student studying in the Honors Program, based on the recommendation of Honors faculty, to encourage further participation in the Honors Program.
Honors Program Scholarship - Each year the Honors Program recognizes outstanding students enrolled in the Honors Program at Reading Area Community College and awards scholarships based on their past commitment to the Honors Program. Eligible students must have completed six honors credits, maintain a 3.25 GPA (excluding developmental courses), have a B or higher in all honors courses and fill out an application for consideration. Previous recipients of the Honors Program Scholarship may reapply after they have completed six additional honors credits. Application available each year in December to be awarded as a Spring scholarship.
Sonia M. Briskin Scholars Award - Each year the Honors Program recognizes one student at the annual Academic Awards Ceremony. The eligible student must have completed three or more honors courses, achieved a GPA of 3.75 or higher, provided outstanding service to the RACC community and demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities. This student is awarded a cash stipend as well as a custom-designed certificate while being honored at the ceremony.
Applications for each of these scholarships will be available each year in December to be awarded for the spring semester. In addition, many scholarships will give merit to honor students in the selection processes.
Earning Honors Credit
Students have three ways to earn honors credit:
- Honors Courses - Students can enroll in honors courses. Some are honors versions of general education courses. Others are seminars, often interdisciplinary, on various topics.
Currently available courses include the following:
ANT 200 - Intercultural Communication (Honors)
ANT 255 - Interpreting Lives: Rites of Passage, Personal History, and the Life Cycle (Honors)
ANT 285 - Ethnographic Research (Honors)
BUS 240 - International Business
COM 122 - English Composition (Honors)
COM 132 - Composition & Literature: Texts and Contexts (Honors)
COM 152 - Fundamentals of Speech (Honors)
ENV 131 - The Environment (Honors)
HON 101 - Introduction to College Studies (Honors)
HUM 276 Ethics
HUM 281 - Leadership Development Studies (Honors)
MAT 151 - Foundations of Math (Honors)
PSY 131 - General Psychology (Honors)
SOC 131 - Sociology (Honors)
For additional information, see individual course descriptions.
- Honors Contracts - Students can enroll in a standard RACC course and arrange with the instructor to complete additional or different work. Honors contracts are subject to the willingness of individual instructors to participate and to the approval of the appropriate Assistant Dean and the Honors Committee. A maximum of 8 contract hours may be applied toward an Honors Certificate or Honors Diploma.
- Independent Study - A student can earn one to four honors credits for a project proposed and carried out under the direction of a faculty mentor. A project may involve in-depth research, creative works, internships, and/or three-dimensional projects. The time invested in an independent study project will be similar to the time required for a course of comparable credit. Independent Study is subject to the willingness of individual instructors to participate and to the approval of the appropriate Assistant Dean, the Honors Committee, and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost. A maximum of 6 independent study credits may be applied toward an Honors Certificate or Diploma.
For additional information, contact the Honors Program Coordinator at 610.607.6216.