The Honors Enrichment Program maintains three primary objectives for student work in honors courses: first, to deepen the student’s understanding of the subject matter; second, to increase the student’s ability to think critically; and third, to challenge the student to go beyond rote learning to discover creative and original solutions and conclusions.
These objectives are vital to students’ success as they continue their education and enter the work place.
Creation of honors courses
Not all courses have honors sections added to them. Among the reasons for this are that the faculty do not feel that the subject matter lends itself to honors or that the requirements for the course are rigorous enough without the honors component. In some cases, it is also that the faculty have not had the opportunity to create the honors section. When a faculty member creates an honors section, he or she will create course outline that will demonstrate why this course will work as an honors course. This outline is then submitted to the department chair, the curriculum committee and the Board of Trustees of the college.
If it meets with approval at every step then the course is sent to the University of California and California State University systems so that they can determine if they will accept the course for credit at their schools. Once we receive approval, we feel comfortable offering the course. Without all of these approvals, students taking this course might never receive credit for it! These approvals can take up to two years to obtain, so if you hear of a new class being written, recognize that you will likely not have the opportunity to take the course for a few years.
The Honors Enrichment Program offers honors courses primarily as components of regular courses. Professors who teach a regular course with an honors component provide honors students with two syllabi: one for the regular section of the course and another—describing honors assignments, deadlines, and point values, if any—for the honors component of the course. Some professors do not award or assess additional points for honors work but instead use a credit/no credit system to evaluate the honors work completed for the course. Honors students enrolled in the course complete the requirements described on both the regular syllabus and the honors syllabus in order to earn a grade. Up to five honors students may enroll in the honors section of a course.
“Honors Only” courses are relatively new to the curriculum. These courses limit enrollment to honors students and provide an engaging atmosphere for their students. Currently, one thematic honors seminar is offered each semester. Check the schedule for courses being offered each year.
Registration in honors courses
Once the coordinator has enrolled the student in the honors program, honors students need only to register in their selected honors courses each semester. Honor students are not guaranteed enrollment in a class if there is an honors section available. Classes are offered on a first come, first serve basis regardless of whether the cap is filled by honors (up to five) or non-honors students. It is highly recommended that students enroll for their courses at the first available opportunity.
Adding or dropping honors courses
Students may add or drop honors courses in the same way that they would drop or add any other course. Students fill out an ADD/DROP form and turn it into Enrollment Services. An example of the Add/Drop form can be found at the end of this Handbook. If the semester is in the first week students have the opportunity to use the Late Add Codes (just ask the instructor for the number). If the semester is far enough along, that student may need to fill out a Petition to Enter Class Late form. If the student drops a course after the second week of instruction, a W or Withdrawal will appear on the transcript.
Switching into or out of honors courses
Students may switch into the Honors section from the regular class section with permission from the instructor. The student will need to obtain a Change of Section form and have the instructor sign it. An example of the Change of Section Form can be found at the end of the Handbook. This technique can also be used to switch from an honors section to the regular section if the student needs to make this change. This move will not result in a W posting on the transcript since the student will still be in the course and responsible for all assignments.
Transfer, transcript and diploma recognition
Transcripts reflect participation in the program upon completion of an honors course. The word Honors appears in the title of the course, and the course is numbered differently; for example, Honors Freshman Composition appears as English 101H, and a code of 15 appears after the course title. The code key on the back of the transcript indicates that the student has completed an honors course. In addition, upon completion of the program, Honors Enrichment Program Completed will be stamped at the end of the transcript. The majority of honors classes will transfer to the school of your choice. Make sure to check with the honors counselors to verify that they do.