Honors Scholar Program and Honors Courses

Pick a CoursePropose ProjectSubmit ProposalWork & Discover

Which of your courses this semester are you most excited about? What subject do you want to delve more deeply into? Looking at the syllabus, do you have a great idea for an Honors Project that extends the course content?

Discuss taking this course for honors credit with your professor. Secure their support for your project. Start drafting your proposal, seeking input and approval from your professor.

Complete all parts of your honors proposalincluding timeline and syllabus! Submit your proposal online prior to the deadline of September 19, 2023. Your instructor may need time to approve and forward to the committee so please plan ahead!

Work on your Honors Project during the semester. Use your timeline to provide structure and motivation. Be ready for challenges, discoveries and the satisfaction of going the extra academic or creative mile in your course!

Honors Scholar ProgramHonors 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 Requirements

GCC welcomes students with a variety of academic backgrounds to participate in our Honors Program. All prospective Honors students must be enrolled in an Associate degree program and must meet at least one of the following requirements to apply for admission:

  • Entering high school graduates: Minimum 3.2 cumulative high school GPA
  • Transfer students: At least 6 college-level credits, minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA or successful completion of a Commonwealth Honors Program at a Massachusetts community college, state college, or state university
  • Current GCC students: At least 6 college-level credits, minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA

If you do not fully meet any of these requirements, you may apply to substitute other academic work or projects that indicate an ability to succeed in the Honors Program. Contact an Honors Program Coordinator to pursue this option.

Admission to the Honors Program is required prior to registering for Honors courses or proposing Honors Projects for regular courses.

To apply to the GCC Honors Program, send an email requesting admission to an Honors Program Coordinator and explain how you meet the criteria above.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate as an Honors Scholar, a student must:

  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2
  • Complete a minimum of 9 Honors credits, including 3 credits of an interdisciplinary Honors seminar (courses designated HON)
  • 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 (e.g., the GCC Student Symposium or the UMass Undergraduate Research Conference)

Honors students may transfer in Honors courses taken at other institutions for GCC Honors Program credit if they earned a minimum grade of B in them, or if taken pass/fail, when the home institution recognizes a P grade as sufficient for Honors credit.

Honors Course Proposal

To earn Honors credit for any regular course, students may 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 Program Committee. The Project must be completed by the end of the semester and the student must earn at least a B in order to receive Honors credit. For questions or examples of successful Proposals, please contact an Honors Program Coordinator.

Honors Seminars

An Honors seminar is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on research, critical discussion, and oral and written presentation. To graduate with an Honors degree, a student must take at least one Honors seminar, which will count toward the graduation requirement of 9 total Honors credits. Honors seminars also count as Open Electives in degree programs. HON 201 is an advanced seminar with a topic that changes from year to year, while other 200-level HON seminars focus on disciplinary groupings: Humanities and Fine Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences, and Natural and Physical Sciences.

Honors Presentation Requirement

All Greenfield Community College Honors students are expected to present original research or creative work at an approved conference or symposium at least once. The GCC Student Symposium and Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference are pre-approved forums for presentation. Other conferences and forums need prior approval by an Honors Program Coordinator.

Benefits

  • Honors Advising – Students seeking honors credit may meet with an 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 – Honors Scholar Program Coordinators 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.

Contact an Honors Program Coordinator

Honors Project Proposal Guidelines

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 Project Proposal approved by the course instructor and by the members of the Honors Committee. This Proposal must be submitted to the 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. Also, a student must be admitted to the Honors Program before they are allowed to submit an Honors Project Proposal. 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 a student examines a course topic in greater depth or explores more advanced topics beyond the scope of the course. Examples of Honors Projects include research papers, independent research, literature reviews, oral presentation of academic work publicly or in class, field work, art projects, designing and leading learning activities in class, and performances. Honors Projects must include clearly defined learning objectives and a provisional timeline or plan for meeting these. Also, a Project must focus on one or more of the following features: inquiry, writing, critical thinking, oral presentation.

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 in 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 credit. 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 credit will be awarded in accordance with GCC grading policies.

Courses taken for Honors credit in this way are notated on student transcripts with an “H” added to the course number, e.g., ENG 112H.

Honors Project Proposal Process

Below are the steps necessary to complete an Honors Project Proposal. Once all steps are completed and your Proposal has been approved, you will be registered into the Honors section of the course. You must be admitted to the Honors Program before proposing an Honors Project for a regular course.

  1. Determine which course you would like to take for Honors credit, then register for this course. The course must already be in the class schedule for the desired semester, but it cannot be either an independent study or an internship. To take a course for Honors credit, you need to design and complete an Honors Project that extends beyond the scope or depth of material already in the course syllabus.
  2. Contact the course instructor to determine whether they are willing to sponsor your Honors Project for this course. The course instructor must agree to supervise your Honors Project in order for you to take their course for Honors credit. Some courses will not have an instructor assigned to them until the semester starts, so you may have to wait until the first day of class to start this step. However, you should monitor the instructor assignment for your course and contact your instructor as soon as possible in order to move this process forward.
  3. Write your Honors Project Proposal with the instructor. This Proposal details the Honors Project you will pursue and specifies a timeline for its completion, including meetings with the instructor. Make sure that your Project goes beyond the regular course material in a substantial way and focuses on inquiry, writing, critical thinking, or oral presentation.
  4. Submit your completed Proposal and a copy of the course syllabus to the form on the Honors Program website no later than two weeks into the semester. The faculty members of the Honors Committee will review your Proposal. If they have questions or concerns, they will contact you and the instructor to seek clarification or to make suggestions. Once they approve your Proposal, the Honors section of the course will then be created in GCC’s registration system and you will be registered for it.

Check your myGCC account to verify that the Honors section of the course has been added to your schedule.