The Honors Program

About a month ago I had received an email from the Honors Program coordinator asking me if I’d be interested in joining. My GPA was well within the standards and I still had a long ways to go before the end of my degree. After exchanging emails for a while, I was told that I needed to fill out the application as well as find a faculty member from TNCC to send a letter of recommendation to her. I contacted my English instructor from the Spring semester and she graciously wrote the letter for me.

Yesterday I met with the coordinator to get questions answered and receive any additional information about the program. There are two ways to getting through the program, and an additional path that is not part of the program but where a student is able to receive the title of honors on their transcript, but just not get all the bells and whistles.

The path without the bells and whistles has absolutely no requirements. If the student completes a special project in class than their transcript will say “Honors” next to the class. Yep, that’s about it.

The two paths for the program, however, is a lot more shiny. The student still needs to complete a special project during the class, and when that is accomplished then they get that same title on the transcript. However, on the diploma, the student receives a special emblem with Honors Program on it, they get to walk first during graduation, wear special garb, and get their names printed in the graduation program. The only stipulation with the program is that the student needs to complete 15 credit hours as honors. Now, seriously, how hard is that? 15 credit hours, not 15 classes.

By the way, the differences between the two paths I mentioned is pretty simple. One way is to enter into a contract with the instructor and finish a special project that the two of you decide on. The other way is to take classes specifically designed for honor students, but the problem here is that there aren’t that many classes like that due to funding. So, the majority of students do the contract.

Now, I have 21 credit hours complete so far. Two full-time semesters (two classes however were not counted because they were developmental math) and one class during the summer, and now one during the fall. My degree requires 64 credit hours, so I have about 43 credit hours left. I only need 15 to get the bells and whistles of an honor student.

So, after asking me what my degree was in and what I plan on doing after my associates, the coordinator wrote up the plan for my honors program. Since literature is my focus, the two classes I have for that will be honors, as well as a history class, humanities, foreign language, and then a 1 credit hour seminar class that all honor students must attend. How exciting is that? I am thrilled with the classes that I will go the extra mile with for honors. I love literature and history — I really can’t go wrong!

Plus, since little Michael is due to arrive soon, I will stay a part-time student (which the Program has absolutely no problem with), so how easy will it be to finish an extra project with one or, at the most, two classes? Very easy. And it should be fun! Another plus for this is that if I take online classes (which is my leanings for this coming spring), they have no problem with that, either. The only thing is that my instructor needs to be on board with me and the coordinator. There are some, apparently, who do not accept the contract for honors, but it sounds rare. As long as my instructor works with me, I’m good!

I will not be starting this fall since it’s Statistics. When I barely mentioned it the coordinator just shook her head with that look of, “You don’t like math, why do extra work on something you won’t enjoy?” Ok, I’m cool with that. This spring, however, with my math classes all finished, I will be able to begin the classes I enjoy, and that means I will be doing the classes for my honors.

So there it is. I’m a part of the Honors Program!

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