Overview of Honors Learning at FCC
Honors is about striving for excellence. We are not satisfied with “meets standards” or just passively sitting through classes. We demand more from our college experience, and expect to apply what we learn in our local and global communities.
To this end, the Honors College at FCC provides numerous learning opportunities. Students can engage in service projects, leadership training, and a variety of academic activities. Honors classes pique intellectual curiosity through active learning techniques. Class discussion is expected. Fieldtrips, speakers, and other co-curricular events extend learning outside the classroom. You may even teach others by serving as a lab assistant and creating your own original artwork.
Our classes also introduce students to the realm of scholarly research, which anchors the honors experience. By learning to interpret, generate, or apply knowledge, honors students gain a deeper understanding of issues and develop the skills needed to contribute to today’s world. Hallmarks of honors projects include:
- original student creative work or research (primary and secondary sources preferred)
- contextualization of the topic/issue within scholarly (interpretative) context
- critical analysis that is logical and considers multiple perspectives and evidence
- an articulate thesis and conclusion
- effective communication (written and oral) of the findings – the Honors Forum at the end of each semester allows students to showcase their work
Successfully implemented (per Honors Project Rubric), these hallmarks distinguish a student’s work from general education standards. Superior performance will be worthy of presenting at a student honors conference.
Honors Curriculum Features
The Honors Project
To earn honors credit at FCC – whether by an honors class, honors contract, or honors independent study – a student must complete an honors project (contextualized within the scholarship), write a project abstract, and present the project findings at an Honors Forum. Faculty use the honors project rubric (see section IV) to evaluate each honors project and submit the rubric to the honors coordinator at the end of the term.
Honors courses engage in active learning beyond the honors project. Capped at 15 students, honors courses rely on student-student and student-faculty interaction and participation. Learning activities vary, but can include class discussion, role-playing, speakers, field trips, workshops, and so forth. All honors courses stress excellence in reading, writing, critical thinking, and research.
Some courses are linked so the same cohort of students is together in two classes that share blocks of time. These linked courses will often share assignments and common honors project.
Honors courses at FCC are easily transferable. The “H” policy, approved by the FCC Curriculum Committee circa 2005-2006, allows any FCC course to be taught in an honors format. Therefore, honors courses include the same core learning outcomes and content requirements as the regular courses, including General Education courses. The honors coordinator and Honors Advisory Board oversee the honors content and methods.
The schedule for each semester has an Honors sections that lists all honors courses, which are cross-listed under the departmental offerings. The two-year course rotation schedule allows students to meet all of their General Education requirements and cultural competency requirements for most degree programs at FCC.
Two Year Course Rotation with faculty profiles
With permission of the instructor and the honors coordinator, Honors Contracts can be arranged for courses not in the honors schedule (e.g., MATH 185 Calculus I). The required honors project is additional work to the course requirements and does not affect the course grade. The honors project can be creative work, research, or applied learning and must produce a final deliverable (e.g., artwork, research paper), abstract, and an Honors Forum presentation. Remember to contextualize your project within the scholarly literature on the topic. The faculty mentor will use the honors project rubric to assess whether the project meets honors standards and merits honors credit. Contact the honors coordinator to request an Honors Contract application.
Honors Contract Application
Honors Independent Study
Students can conduct scholarly research or produce creative works through Honors Independent Study projects under the supervision of a faculty mentor. Usually reserved for second-year students who have completed an introductory course in the discipline of study, these projects are an opportunity to delve deeper into a topic of interest or explore a potential a major.
Honors Independent Study Application
The Forum is styled as a mini-conference, and is open to the public. Student presenters should dress and conduct themselves professionally. Using an executive summary approach based on the project abstract, students may opt for an individual or panel oral presentation (8-10 minutes preferably with technological aid) or a poster presentation. Honors faculty members serve as session moderators and collect each presenter's project abstract. Students with outstanding projects and presentations may be encouraged to submit a proposal to present at a conference.
Honors Forum Registration