Honors Program Overview
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, independent 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.
Honors Program Mission Statement
The mission of RACC’s Honors Program is to provide academically challenging experiences for high ability, intellectually curious students and to promote exploratory learning, collaborative projects, inter-disciplinary themes, independent research and hands-on projects.
Honors Program Goals
The goals of the Honors Program are:
- to provide an enriched learning experience for academically talented, intellectually curious students.
- to provide special recognition for outstanding students of high academic ability.
- to enhance opportunities for academically talented students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
- to promote the College as a place where scholarship by students and faculty is encouraged and honored.
- to foster curricular and instructional innovation throughout the institution.
- to enhance and facilitate the recruitment and retention of students and faculty.
Students are eligible for the Honors Program if they meet ANY of the following criteria:
- “College ready” scores on RACC placement tests in either verbal or math
- A 3.25 cumulative GPA - exclusive of developmental courses - with a minimum of 8 credits in college-level courses
- A combined SAT score of 1100 or higher
- Successful completion (B or higher) of accelerated high school courese (e.g. AP, honors, dual enrollment)
- Special talent or ability in the area of a particular honors course (unless another criterion is fulfilled, admission would be for a single course)
- Recommendation of instructor (unless another criterion is fulfilled, admission would be for this single course)
Earning Honors Credit
Students have three ways to earn honors credit:
1. Honors Courses - Students can enroll in designated honors courses. Some are honors versions of general education courses. Others are seminars, often interdisciplinary, on various topics. A schedule of which courses are available in each semester can be found in Self Service/WebAdvisor by selecting honors courses. For additional information, see individual course descriptions. The Honors Committee welcomes the proposal of new courses by faculty and students as well.
Currently available courses include the following:
ANT 200 - Intercultural Communications (Honors)
ANT 220 - Food and Culture
ANT 255 - Interpreting Lives: Rites of Passage, Personal History, and the Life Cycle (Honors)
ANT 285 - Ethnographic Research (Honors)
COM 122 - English Composition (Honors)
COM 222 - English Composition II (Honors)
COM 152 - Fundamentals of Speech (Honors)
ENG 126 - Introduction to Literature (Honors)
ENV 131 - The Environment (Honors)
HON 101 - Honors Seminar I (equivalent to ORI 103 College Success Strategies
IFT 111 - Microcomputer Applications (Honors)
PHI 272 - Philosophy (Honors)
PHI 276 - Ethics (Honors)
PSY 131 - General Psychology (Honors)
PSY 261 - Psychology in the World of Harry Potter (Honors)
HUM 281 - Leadership Development Studies (Honors)
MAT 151 - Foundations of Math (Honors)
2. 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 2 contracts may be applied toward an Honors Diploma.
3. Independent Study - A student can earn up to four credits for a project proposed and carried out under the direction of a faculty mentor. A project may involve in-depth research, creative works, or internships. 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 1 independent study course may be applied toward an Honors Diploma.
Students who complete 15 honors credits with an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher and a B or higher in at least 15 Honors credits will receive an Honors Diploma upon meeting all requirements for graduation in their program of study. Honors Diplomas and a medallion will be presented at the graduation ceremony.
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 each semester.
Samuel and Sonia Briskin Scholarship - Each year the Honors Program recognizes one or more outstanding students studying in the Honors Program, based on the recommendation of Honors faculty.
Honors Program Scholarship - Each year the Honors Program recognizes one or more outstanding students studying in the Honors Program who have completed six honors credits, maintain a 3.25 GPA (excluding developmental courses), have a B or higher in all honors courses and filled out an application for consideration. Previous recipients of the Honors Program Scholarship may reapply after they have completed six additional honors credits. This scholarship will be awarded in the Spring semester.
Sonia M. Briskin Scholars Award - Each year the Honors Program recognizes one student at the annual Academic Awards Ceremony who has 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.
In addition, many scholarships will give merit to honor students in the selection processes. View scholarship information and applications on our website.
For additional information, contact Dr. Pamela Blakely, Honors Program Coordinator at 610-372-4721, ext. 5452.