Honors College Honors College

Honors College

What is Honors?


Honors learning is designed to go deeper, broader, or more complex, and FCC Honors strives to develop emerging scholars and leaders. Through applied learning, honors students become producers of new knowledge, or understanding and practitioners of leadership. Students who graduate from the Honors College, present at a conference, earn service or leadership certificates, gain a competitive advantage when applying for admission to selective four-year colleges or scholarships.


Why Honors?

FCC Honors offers numerous benefits to students such as:


  • Deeper, broader, and more complex next-level learning experiences offered at a more affordable cost.
  • Smaller class sizes (maximum of 15 students).
  • Use of the Honors Lounge (room H247 in the Student Center building), a fun collaborative space where students can gather to study, work on projects, socialize, or relax.
  • Support from an engaged honors community.
  • Recognitions for students, such as the Anne Slater Award for Honors Excellence and the MCHC Portz Award for Outstanding Honors Student in Maryland (co-winner 2019, winner 2023).
  • Resume-enhancing leadership experiences are also available through student clubs, the Honors Student Association, Honors Advisory Board, and Honors peer mentorships.
  • Opportunities to present at local and regional conferences, including the FCC Honors Forum, a mini conference that is held at the college each semester.
  • Transfer and scholarship benefits available through partnerships with four-year Honors institutions, including automatic admission agreements. 
Admissions Policy

The Honors College is an academic program at Frederick Community College (FCC) that is open to students who want more out of their learning and demonstrate the potential to produce high-quality academic work. There are four pathways into the program:
  1. Grade Point Average 3.5 unweighted in high school or college.
  2. Test Scores. Students automatically qualify with the following test scores: 
    SAT   1100 overall with at least 550 on Reading
    ACT Reading 24+
    FCC placement exams Honors-level reading (268) and proficient college-level writing

  3. Open Campus/Dual Enrollment Students in high school or home school with a 3.5 graded point average (not weighted) are welcomed to get started with college and decide if honors is right for them.
  4. Provisional. Students who want to try honors and have a compelling case (e.g., started college poorly but recent performance is strong) can apply to the Honors Coordinator for provisional status to prove they can do honors caliber work.

To apply, complete the Honors College application. The final step is to meet with the Honors Coordinator to identify your goal and FCC pathway, to select honors opportunities, and to create a personalized honors plan for goal completion.

Membership Responsibilities
Honors students are expected to pursue academic excellence, update their honors plan each semester, and be engaged in the honors program, FCC, or the community.

To remain in good standing in the Honors College program, students are expected to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Any student whose grade point average drops below 3.0 will be placed on probationary status and must meet with the Honors Coordinator for honors advising. The goal is to improve academic performance and remain in the program.


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

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 Flier
Honors Contracts
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

Honors Forum
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.




Students who complete 12 honors credits with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.250 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. 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
3.250-3.499 Honors College Bronze
3.500-3.749 Honors College – Honors Silver
3.750-4.000 Honors College – High Honors Gold

Academic Awards & Recognitions

Anne Slater Honors Excellence Award
Anne Slater was an award winning honors coordinator and faculty member known for her exacting standards.  With Anne’s blessing, the Honors College established this award to recognize students who demonstrated excellence in their honors research/applied learning projects during the academic year. 

Portz Award Nomination
The Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC) annually sponsors the John & Edythe Portz Award for the outstanding honors student in the State. FCC students were named co-winner in 2019 and winner in 2023.

Honors Conferences

Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC)
The annual state honors conference, sponsored by the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC), showcases student research through presentations and posters. If interested, work with your honors faculty mentor to connect your project abstract into a proposal that addresses the conference theme. Submit to the Honors Coordinator for consideration, selected proposals will be submitted in early December, the MCHC conference is typically held the first Friday/Saturday in March.

Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC)
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 deadline is usually from early to mid-November. Contact the Honors Coordinator earlier to review your project.

Leadership Opportunities

Contact the Honors Coordinator to apply.  

Honors Peer Mentor
Being a peer mentor is a great way to practice student leadership. Students enrolled in HONR 201 qualify for both the leadership certificate and the service certificate. Responsibilities include being a resource to Honor 101 or first year honors students, assisting or co-leading learning activities, and serving as a role model for honors learning.  

Honors Leader Scholar
Sponsored by First United Bank.  Apply through the FCC Foundation offers a variety of scholarships each year. Applications (STARS) are available by early October and due the first week of December. Contact the FCC Financial Aid Office for more information. 

Honors Student Association
The Honors Student Association (HSA) is a recognized student club at FCC and is open to all students. There is a constitution on file with the Student Government Association and an officer with the club serves as liaison with SGA and attends the scheduled meetings. As required, HSA completes a budget request, submits meeting minutes, and completes a service project for each semester. The scheduled monthly meetings as well as planning meetings for events are announced via emails and on the white board in the Honors Lounge (H-247), which serves as headquarters for HSA and accessed by numerous students each semester.

Honors Advisory Board, Student Representative
At a minimum, one Honors Student Association (HSA) officer and one student at-large will serve annually on the Board. The FCC Honors Coordinator will nominate students for these positions. Students may serve two 1-year terms.

Service Opportunities

Each semester the Honors Student Association organizes a service project that is open to students.  Students who complete 25 hours of service during an academic year and a write a reflection on how the service impacted others and themselves are eligible to receive a service certificate. 

Professional Affiliations


The Honors College program at FCC maintains professional memberships in the following honors organizations:

Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC)  https://mdhonorscouncil.weebly.com/
Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC)  www.nrhchonors.org
National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)  www.nchchonors.org

These organizations offer a variety of additional opportunities for students.

Articulation Agreements

Honors-to Honors w/ Scholarship
Hood College LogoMcDaniel College Logo

Honor-to-Honors w/o Scholarship:  
Mount Logo Towson University Logo Salisbury College Logo Salisbury College Logo

General Admission w/ Scholarship:
Goucher College LogoSt Mary College Logo

Transfer Schools for Recent Honors College Graduates
Cornell University, George Washington University, Hood College (Honors Program), Johns Hopkins University, Messiah College, New York University, Shepherd University Honors, University of Maryland Baltimore County (Honors), University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, College of William & Mary    


Bruce Thompson, Ph.D.
Honors Coordinator
Office: Student Center, H-244
Phone: 301.846.2535
Kristi Waters
Office Manager
Office: Braddock Hall, B218
Phone: 301.624.2831