Harper College seeks to stimulate, encourage and recognize work of depth, scope and originality by its students. Most Honors courses also fulfill Harper's general education requirements. Honors students enjoy the benefit of reduced class size and the challenge of social and intellectual interaction with other high achieving students while they acquire the breadth of understanding and develop leadership qualities that such settings enhance.
The Honors Program is committed to being a place for intellectual inquiry and the free and open exchange of ideas, both in the classroom and beyond. Additionally, the program seeks to cultivate the virtues of independence, academic talent, intellectual curiosity, and persistence in all of its members. We try to do this by offering a diverse set of course offerings as well as several service opportunities, cultural excursions, and even a study-abroad opportunity every year.
Students in the Honors Program have a wide variety of backgrounds and personalities. Some students are outspoken and others are rather shy. Some students were exceptional students in high school and are coming straight from high school into the Honors Program. Others are graduates from GED programs, adults returning to school after years away, or just students for whom it took a little while to find direction and motivation and who are now ready to commit to their academic success. We welcome all of these students and seek to provide a space for people to grow regardless of their starting point.
Honors courses feature a small class size, and the goal of every Honors course is to provide students with an enriched environment for learning. Because Honors students tend to be motivated, Honors classes usually feature a healthy level of discussion. Beyond this, when faculty apply to teach an Honors course they are asked to demonstrate that the class will provide a learning experience that is distinct from a similar non-Honors course. This does not mean that there is necessarily more work in an Honors course than in its non-Honors equivalent, but that students are provided unique opportunities in the classroom and beyond.
Honors Beyond the Classroom
The Honors Program offers students a number of opportunities to extend their Honors experience beyond the classroom, from our weekly meetings to our service outings each semester to cultural excursions and even a and even a yearly Honors Study Abroad opportunity. Each of these offerings is part of helping students grow in terms of their commitment to social justice and intellectual exploration.
Honors Program Graduate Distinction
There is no minimum number of Honors courses students in the program are required to take, and every Honors course taken will be noted on your student transcript. However, students are able to be additionally recognized as Honors Program Graduates, which will also be reflected on their transcript and diploma. In addition, Honors Program Graduates will be recognized at the Honors Convocation ceremony each spring. In order to be eligible to be an Honors Program Graduate, students must do four things: a) amass a cumulative total of twelve hours of Honors credit; this usually amounts to four Honors courses; b) take our Honors Colloquium (HUM/HST 105) course somewhere along the way; c) maintain an overall Harper grade point average of 3.25; d) graduate with an Associates degree.
Please consider completing and submitting an Honors Program application. We hope sincerely that you will enjoy all of your Harper experiences, Honors and otherwise.