About Honors

PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS

Designed for highly motivated students, the San Diego Mesa College Honors Program encourages the cultivation of curiosity and makes possible the exploration of ideas and subjects beyond customary coursework and programs. Honors students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty through honors contracts and/or courses. The Honors Program helps students create and engage in intellectual challenges and promotes an enthusiastic learning environment.

HONORS PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY

If you are a self-directed student or feel you have the potential to successfully engage in a richer, more complex course of study--you are eligible. Anyone can become an honors student! Speak with an honors coordinator to join the program.

One of the following is recommended for first-semester students:

• High School GPA of 3.5, or GPA of 3.0 with letters of recommendation from a former teacher

• SAT score of 1200 or ACT score of 27, and qualifying college placement test scores

• Mesa College faculty recommendation and approval from an honors coordinator

• Register for the Honors Program online at https://studentweb.sdccd.edu/honors/

One of the following is recommended for continuing students who have completed at least twelve units of college-level coursework:

• Overall GPA of 3.25

• GPA of 3.5 in courses you wish to take as honors

• Recent improvement in GPA (see honors coordinator for approval)

Register for the Honors Program online at https://studentweb.sdccd.edu/honors/ every semester

HONORS COURSE VS. HONORS CONTRACT

Courses

Honors courses are offered each semester in a variety of subject areas.  They are listed in the Online Schedule of Classes (type "Honors" in the keyword search), and are found in the "Courses" link on the Honors website.  Honors courses vary according to discipline, but all increase the range and depth of the learning experience by stimulating strong critical thinking skills, generating lively discussion, facilitating student collaboration, and teaching advanced research and writing skills.

Contracts

You can potentially turn almost ANY class into an Honors class through an honors contract. (Exceptions: most online courses, summer and short-term courses). An Honors contract allows students and faculty to design a syllabus for independent study in conjunction with the course requirements. Students meet regularly with their instructor to discuss their work, and honors credit is noted on their transcripts.

HOW TO ESTABLISH AN HONORS CONTRACT

Honors contracts must be submitted early in the semester, so plan ahead. First, discuss your interest in establishing an honors contract with your instructor either before or during the first week of classes. Be prepared to explain why you are interested in pursuing additional study in this course. If the instructor is willing to create a contract with you, schedule an appointment to create the honors syllabus. Fill out the honors contract form online print and sign. See your instructor to sign the form and to work together to complete the syllabus. The honors syllabus is a listing of the honors projects you and the instructor agree to do to earn honors designation in that course. Return the signed honors form, honors syllabus and a copy of the regular syllabus to an Honors Program coordinator for approval. Follow this link to see many examples of honors syllabi.