Academic Opportunities

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." -- Aristotle

Honors Courses

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 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.

Be sure to also check out ID 200H (Honors Seminar: Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies). This general education course is required to graduate from the Honors College. 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 Contracts

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 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.

Contact the honors coordinator if you are interested in exploring an honors contract.

Honors Independent Study

Honors Independent Study (HIS) is a wonderful opportunity to explore a topic of interest. If, for example, you took a class in ecology and are considering it as a major, then you can do an HIS project on this topic, giving you hands-on experience to see if you like working in the field before ever declaring it as a major!


1. Meet with a faculty mentor to discuss project ideas. Together you can design a project that includes primary research, and a written analysis with appropriate documentation. Film documentaries and artistic projects are also encouraged.

2. Complete the HIS Application and meet with the Honors Coordinator. Approval and signatures of both the Honors Coordinator and faculty mentor are required.

3. Register for your HIS project (IS 9XXH – 3 credit hours) and Honors Forum (IS 912H – 1 credit hour). In the Honors Forum students learn how to present a 10-12 minute executive summary of their projects. This is done at the end of the semester to the campus community.

Students who complete this unique learning experience hone their skills and gain confidence as emergent scholars.

Honors Conferences

Students who excel with their class papers and HIS projects are encouraged to apply to present at honors conferences. FCC Honors will pay the registration fee for any student accepted to present. Student opportunities include:

Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (state honors conference)

  • The annual state honors conference, sponsored by the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC), showcases student research through presentations and posters. The exchange of ideas, networking, and experience of participating in an academic conference is an invaluable learning experience!
  • If you are interested in participating, send a proposal (see sample proposal) to the Honors Coordinator by Thanksgiving. The MCHC conference is always held the first Friday/Saturday in March. FCC Honors will pay the registration fee for any student accepted to present at this conference.

  • Sample Proposal

Northeast Regional Honors Council (regional honors conference)

  • Held in early April, the Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC) conference includes students from two- and four-year colleges from Maryland to Maine. Participation is even more competitive and prestigious. The proposal (see sample proposal) deadline is usually from early to mid-November. Contact the Honors Coordinator earlier to discuss interest and financial support.

  • Sample Proposal

Awards & Recognitions

Annually, FCC Honors students compete for prestigious awards and recognitions. Most of them include a stipend or scholarship. Here are a few that you might want to consider:

All-USA Academic Team

Coca Cola All-State Community College Academic Team
Each October, FCC's Phi Theta Kappa advisors nominate two students for both of these community college academic team recognition programs. Students are ranked as either 1st Team or 2nd Team within the state of Maryland. Top ranking students then compete for national recognition and stipends. For more information or to express interest in being nominated, please contact either Dr. Ken Kerror or Ms. Jeanni Winston-Muir.

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
  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 if you are interested in being nominated 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.

Graduating from the Honors College

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


Honors College



Honors College – Honors



Honors College – High Honors


Campus Locations

  • H-244 Honors Coordinator
  • H-245 Honors Office
  • H-247 Honors Lounge
  • H-248 Honors Classroom