Honors Faculty Resource Guide: Honors Basics

Honors Course Design & Expectations

Every semester, FCC Honors schedules a variety of general education and elective courses. All classes have the same core learning outcomes as regular courses, but the small class size (15) allows students to be active learners. For example, many classes use a seminar format in which students read material and drive the class discussion. Writing assignments, class activities, co-curricular events, and research or applied-learning projects challenge students to engage the topic of study in a meaningful way.

Linked courses focus on the relationship between two subjects. FCC traditionally offers a combined English Composition and Speech Fundamentals course as well as an American Literature and U.S. History course. Other linked courses are offered periodically.

ID 200H (Honors Seminar: Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies) is offered every spring semester. Topics vary from year to year but always focus on issues of importance in today's world. Students synthesize work from at least two different academic content areas, which enhances their ability to think critically and draw conclusions based on multiple points of view.

Honors Independent Study

Honors Independent Study (HIS) is designed to allow students to explore a topic in depth or breadth.  As faculty mentors, we guide the student in using the scholarly process to conduct the study.  The project honors academic skills (communication and critical thinking) and delves into the research methods of a discipline or across disciplines.  The goal is for students to learn how scholars are producers of knowledge.

The compensation is nominal -- $125 stipend.  The time commitment depends on the independence of the student.  A weekly meeting may be necessary.  The student presents her/his findings at the Honors Forum on the Friday before final exams at the end of the semester.  An outstanding project could lead to presenting at either the state or regional honors conference.  The rewards for both mentor and student can be lasting!

Awards & Recognitions

Portz Award for Two-Year Colleges

Given annually by the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC) in the name of John and Edythe Portz, this award recognizes the outstanding honors student in Maryland’s two-year colleges.

Three criteria are used to evaluate the submissions:

  1. grade point average (overall and in honors courses)
  2. initiative and leadership in the honors program, the institution or the community; and
  3. academic excellence as illustrated in a project done for honors credit.

The Portz Award nomination packages from the colleges are due each January. The winner is announced at the annual MCHC conference in March. The award carries a stipend of $500. Contact the honors coordinator to nominate a student for this award.

Slater Award for Honors Excellence

FCC Honors started this award in May 2012 to recognize the multiple contributions of Anne Slater, who served as an honors faculty member and award-winning honors coordinator. She stood as a stalwart of excellence and champion of honors for over two decades. The Slater Award recognizes the best honors research project produced in the academic year.  It carries with it a $100 stipend and the stamp of excellence.


Honors Graduation

Honors Graduation

Students who complete 12 honors credits (including ID 200H) with an overall grade point average of 3.25 or higher are eligible to graduate from the Honors College. Graduates receive a notation on their transcripts recognizing this achievement. Further, at the graduation ceremony they wear an Honors College medallion and stand to be recognized. The transcript notation and color of the medallion are based on the student’s grade point average at the time of graduation:

GPA Transcript Notation Medallion
3.25-3.49 Honors College Bronze
3.5-3.749 Honors College – Honors Silver
3.75-4.0 Honors College – High Honors Gold

Honors Contract

With permission, students can also earn honors credits through honors contracts. In this arrangement students enrolled in a regular course agree to complete all class assignments and to produce an honors-caliber research project with the instructor serving as the faculty mentor. See the honors contract application and honors project rubric for the contract parameters and criteria for honors-caliber research.

Students completing contracts in Calculus must also enroll in IS 912H and present their findings at the Honors Forum. Currently, it is recommended for all other topics, but not required. Students enrolling in IS 912H must pay the associated tuition (one credit) and fees.

Examples of Honors Contracts

"Get these from Bruce"

Honors Forum

  • Description - TBA
  • FCFCC Student Presenting at Honors Forum
  • Moderator Duties:

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