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Questions and Answers about the Honors Program at RVCC

What opportunities for Honors does RVCC offer? RVCC offers the Honors College, Honors courses, the Honors Option, and the Honors Program. Some Honors courses are sections of large courses, such as English II Honors.  Other Honors courses are stand-alone courses, such as Science Seminar.  The Honors Option is an Honors-level project that is offered in a regular, non-Honors class. To complete the Honors Program, students take 15-18 credits of Honor Courses and Honors Option courses and speak publicly on a scholarly topic.








What are the advantages of taking Honors courses and joining the Honors Program? Honors courses are smaller than other classes. Honors courses, the Honors Option, and completion of the Honors Program all appear on the student transcript. Students taking Honors courses are eligible for RVCC merit scholarships. Students in the Honors Program have an Honors Advisor to help guide them through their RVCC experience.  They also enjoy easier admission to many 4-year colleges and universities and to their Honors programs, as well as improved eligibility for scholarships to these institutions.

What makes an Honors course different from a regular course?
Honors classes are smaller.  Discussions are usually livelier.  While students in regular classes read almost entirely from a textbook, Honors students read a variety of sources beyond the textbook; as a result, Honors class discussions explore a wider range of perspectives.  Honors writing and research assignments are more sophisticated than those in non-Honors classes.  Independent study is more common.

What are the requirements for completing the full Honors Program?
15-18 credits of Honors and Honors Option classes. A presentation at one Honors Community of Scholars Colloquium or at a similar event.  The Colloquium offers Honors students the opportunity to give a scholarly presentation to an audience of students and faculty.


What is the requirement for taking an Honors course or choosing an Honors Option? The requirement is a 3.5 grade-point average in high school (for students entering their first semester at RVCC), or at the college that a student transfers from, or at RVCC (for students who have taken courses here).Students with a g. p. a. of less than 3.5 can still take an Honors course or choose an Honors Option by contacting the instructor and receiving written permission.  The College’s website provides the name of each course instructor as well as e-mail contact.

I am an incoming freshman or transfer student and so do not have an RVCC G.P.A. How can I take Honors classes now? Incoming students who have not taken classes at RVCC can still take Honors courses by getting instructor approval. To get instructor approval contact the instructor who is teaching the class or the Department Chair to determine what you as a student need to do. This will vary depending on class and instructor. Students may be asked to present their transcripts from either high school or schools they have previously attended and/or a letter of recommendation from the previous instructor of a relevant course. As a student you may also be asked to complete activities, exercises, or a small assignment to determine if you are qualified to take the Honors class.

I worry that taking an Honors course will lower my grade-point average, and I need to keep my g. p. a. high so that I can transfer to a good college.
Since 1997, 61% of Honors students have received an A grade in their Honors courses and 11% have received B+. So students should be confident that their academic success in other courses will continue in Honors courses.  Besides, having Honors on the RVCC transcript will help students transfer to other colleges and even to the Honors programs at those colleges; it will also improve eligibility for transfer scholarships.

What Honors and Honors Option courses are offered? The Honors Option courses change each semester and are indicated on the course schedule by the designation “Honors Option Available.” Honors courses also vary but several are offered on a regular basis. Current honors courses are also listed on this website. The Honors courses offered each semester are posted via the Honors Program homepage. All Honors courses are also described in the Honors section of the College catalog.

What is the Honors Achievement Award? Students may receive academic recognition on their transcript through the Honors Achievement Award. For this award students must complete at least 15 credits of honors-level coursework (any combination of honors options and/or honors courses is acceptable) and must earn a ‘B’ or better in each course counted towards the award. Students will also receive a certificate acknowledging that they have attained the Honors Achievement Award. Interested students are urged to begin taking honors courses as early as possible in their academic careers.


Designed by Tatyana Stepanova  2010-2012 

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