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.
- We have smaller class sizes. Many Harper classes have 30 students in them, in some cases more. By contrast, we cap Honors classes at between 15 and 18. This allows us to have more discussion and more interaction between students and between the students and the instructor.
- Students are interested in their own learning. Students in the Honors Program take their learning seriously, which means they are prepared every day. This makes a huge difference, when you know your fellow classmates are prepared to discuss the material, and it makes for better conversations in the classroom.
- Honors courses are "enhanced" not "accelerated". We don't make Honors what it is by heaping extra work on the students, and Honors ENG 101 doesn't suddenly become ENG 200 because it is an Honors class. Instead, we try to have more room for independent learning, discussion based experiences, and we focus on critical thinking about the material students encounter.
- Honors provides community. Honors students often find one of the main draws of the program to be the fact that they are able to get to know each other well. This happens because students see each other in multiple classes and because we have a variety of optional ways to engage beyond the classroom. I imagine a sense of community is often present among students in Adult Ed programs, so this is a nice environment to transition into.
- Honors students are supported. In addition to having dedicated Honors faculty who had to apply to teach in the Honors Program because they value working with Honors students, Honors students also have access to the Coordinators. We work with students on everything from picking classes to helping with essays for scholarship applications and transfer admissions.
Meet the Honors Co-Coordinators
Professor Tomasian explains more about the extracurricular elements of the program.
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 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.
The Honors Great Ideas Course
All students wishing to graduate with the Honors Program Graduate Distinction must take this course. We offer at least one section of the course every semester
Many Honors Courses have a designated meeting time. Students are expected to be able to meet virtually at these times. Of course, instructors will make allowances for times when students need to miss a session due to technology issue or other life circumstances. It is our hope that these listed times will help you schedule classes according to your needs, and, when possible, to adjust your schedules outside of classes to accommodate the class times for the courses you wish to take. If your schedule is uncertain, there are several Honors courses with no designated meeting time.
Please consider completing and submitting an Honors Program application. We hope sincerely that you will enjoy all of your Harper experiences, Honors and otherwise.