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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 every semester
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)
HONORS COURSE VS. HONORS CONTRACT
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.
You can potentially turn almost ANY class into an Honors class through an honors contract. (Exceptions: online courses, course numbers below 100, chemistry course number below 200, course units below 3, 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, sign, then see your instructor to sign the form. 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 and honors syllabus (if applicable) to an Honors Program coordinator for approval.