Greenfield Community College

Greenfield Community College

Honors Scholar Program and Honors Courses

  • Mission

    The Honors Scholar Program at Greenfield Community College enables students to engage in deeper research and learning opportunities that will better prepare them for advanced scholarship at a 4-year college or university, and for success in the workforce.

    Admission to the Program

    All students in good academic standing who are eligible to apply to the Honors Scholar Program starting Fall 2019. For questions please contact Trevor Kearns, Honors Program Coordinator, kearnst@gcc.mass.edu.

    Requirements for Graduation

    To graduate as an Honors Scholar, a student must:

    • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2
    • Complete a minimum of 10 honors credits, including 4 credits of either a GCC Honors Scholar Capstone Course or the UMass Honors Seminar offered at GCC
    • Earn a minimum grade of B in all courses taken for honors credit
    • Present at least once at an approved undergraduate research conference or symposium

    Honors Course Proposal

    To earn honors credits for a course, students must submit an Honors Course Proposal that details an Honors Project to be undertaken in addition to regular course requirements. This proposal must be approved by both the course instructor and the Honors Committee. The course proposal form will be available for download soon. For questions please contact Trevor Kearns, Honors Program Coordinator, kearnst@gcc.mass.edu.

    The Honors Capstone Course

    This 4-credit course, which aims to consolidate the advanced techniques and knowledge honors students have acquired, is interdisciplinary in nature and has a special prerequisite: students must have completed 6 honors credits to enroll in it. The course will focus on more advanced approaches to academic scholarship.
    The UMass Honors Seminar fulfills the capstone requirement.

    Undergraduate Research Symposium

    All Greenfield Community College Honors Scholars are expected to present at an approved undergraduate research conference or symposium at least once. The Greenfield Community College Research Symposium and Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference are preapproved forums for presentation. Other conferences and forums need prior approval by the Honors Scholar Project Coordinator.

    Benefits

    Honors Advising
    Students seeking honors credit may meet with the Honors Program Coordinator for intensive advising on program expectations and requirements as well as for assistance in identifying faculty who are willing to support an Honors Course Proposal. Students who participate in this program may also have access to special programming opportunities.

    Honors Scholar Librarian
    The GCC Library has a special librarian designated as the Honors Scholar Project Liaison. This librarian is familiar with the kinds of projects, needs, and requirements students will encounter as honors students and can help with all areas of research.

    Workshops
    The Honors Scholar Program Coordinator will schedule workshops throughout the fall and spring semesters. Attendance is voluntary, but all honors students are encouraged to attend. Topics vary from semester to semester and include library research, scholarship opportunities, transfer options, service learning, and topics suggested by honors scholar program participants.

  • Any GCC college-level credit course may be taken for honors credit, provided that the instructor of that course allows this option. To take a course for honors credit, a student must create an Honors Course Proposal approved by the course instructor and by the faculty Honors Committee. The student submits the Honors Course Proposal to the faculty Honors Committee no later than two weeks after the course begins, although it is strongly recommended that this Proposal be worked out and submitted before the semester begins. This Proposal details the scope of the Honors Project the student will pursue and specifies a timeline for its completion, including meetings with the instructor.

    An Honors Project can take many forms, but it must extend the student’s learning beyond the material already on the course syllabus. This might mean that at student examines a course topic in greater depth or explores more advanced topics beyond the scope of the course. Examples of Honors Projects include such things as a research paper, independent research, literature review, presentation of academic work publicly or in class, field work, art project, designing and leading learning activities in class, and performance. Honors Projects must include clearly defined learning objectives and a provisional timeline or plan for meeting these.

    Once approved, the student must complete the Honors Project by the end of the semester in order to receive honors credit for the course. Unlike for other courses, grades of IN (incomplete) are not available for an Honors Project. Furthermore, to receive honors credit for the course, the student must earn a minimum of a B in the course itself.

    Up until the last day to withdraw from the course with no record, the student may withdraw their Honors Proposal and pursue the course for regular non-honors credit. (Note that the GCC Honors Scholar Capstone Course and the UMass Honors Seminar award honors credit without the need for a Proposal.) If the student does not complete the Honors Project by the end of the semester, or does not receive a minimum grade of B for the course, no honors credit will be awarded for the course, and instead, regular non-honors credit will be awarded in accordance with GCC grading policies.

    Honors courses, other than the capstone course and the UMass Honors Seminar, are notated on student transcripts with an ‘H’ added to the course number. E.g. ENG 112H.

    For questions please contact Trevor Kearns, Honors Program Coordinator, at kearnst@gcc.mass.edu.