Overview of Honors Learning at FCC
FCC Honors is all about striving for excellence. We are not satisfied with simply “meeting standards” or asking our students to sit passively through classes. Instead, we demand that our students get more out of their college experience and expect them to apply what they learn in their local and global communities.
To this end, the Honors College at FCC provides “next-level” learning experiences for students in order to help them grow. Our honors classes pique students’ intellectual curiosity through active learning techniques, and class discussion is expected. Our classes also introduce students to the exciting realm of scholarly research, which serves as the anchor to the overall honors experience. By learning to interpret, generate, or apply knowledge, FCC honors students gain a deeper, broader, and more complex understanding of issues and develop the skills needed to contribute in today’s world. They demonstrate their knowledge by completing an honors project, which is presented during the Honors Forum, a mini academic conference experience, at the end of each semester.
Hallmarks of successful 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 only meeting general education standards.
Students who demonstrate superior performance on their projects may be considered as presenters for local and regional student honors conferences.
Honors Learning Options
The Honors Process
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 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.
- HONR 101 – highly recommend because the course provides a great foundation for college and builds skills for success. We also have Honors Peer Mentors (2nd year students) who are available to assist new students and welcome you to the honors community. HONR 101 is a Gen Ed Elective and fulfills the cultural competency requirement.
- HONR 102 – provides support for students doing an honors contract for the first time.
- Gen Ed Requirements – students can complete all their General Education requirements through honors classes, which are easily transferable.
Honors courses at FCC are easily transferrable because they have the same core learning outcomes and content requirements as the non-honors sections. The difference lies in how the honors courses are taught and the assignments. Students can complete all General Education and cultural competency requirements through honors.
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 faculty mentor.
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 slides) 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.