Honors Program Curriculum

Coursework in the Honors Program is designed to engage HP students and develop their intellectual skills. Designed for CAC students, the Honors Program also takes advantage of other national Honors and enrichment programs. Because CAC subscribes to Phi Theta Kappa's Honors Study Topic, for instance, our students are free to avail themselves of an outstanding Honors Satellite Seminar Series, available in CAC's distance learning facility at each campus.

The purpose of this page is to offer insights into the curriculum for students and the many faculty, staff, and community members who contribute to the Honors Program in any number of ways, such as by mentoring students who are working on a project.

The 18-credit program includes three basic types of courses. Refer to the sections below to learn more about Colloquium, Seminar, and extended courses. A link is also provided for information on "course project," and additional information on projects is available on the Honors Projects page.

Honors Colloquium
Honors Extended Courses
Honors Seminar
Course Project

Honors Colloquium

Honors Program (HP) students complete, in two consecutive semesters, Honors Colloquium I (HNR 204) and Honors Colloquium II (HNR 205) as part of their Honors Program and graduation requirements. Each Colloquium is a three-credit course that meets for three hours per week.

In Colloquium I and II, discussion and analysis focus on a reading assigned for the semester.

The course consists of the reading and analysis of individual assignments and other related sources. Oral or written exams or other forms of assessment may be given at the completion of each reading assignment. For each class meeting, students are responsible for completing assigned reading and for commenting upon the reading in a discussion, journal or response paper. The daily responses or recitations are meant to encourage students to reflect on what they have read by reacting to what they have learned and pondered. The Colloquium instructor may also assign questions about the reading to be answered in the response, yet another way to communicate with the instructor.

Movies and other visual media may be used during or outside the Colloquium class hour to supplement the discussion and reading.

Guest speakers are invited to visit. The Honors Program often funds the visits of university professors, authors, artists, community members and public figures who come to share their ideas with HP students.

While in Colloquium classes students have the opportunity take trips to theatres, lectures, concert halls, other community college campuses and research and scientific centers or laboratories, etc.

These learning experiences may occur during or outside of class time, as necessary. The HP student is expected to participate in four of those events per semester and to write a response paper for each one. The response, along with the ticket, program or brochure from the facility is due within one week of the event.

In addition, students visit Arizona’s public universities (ASU, NAU, and Uof A) during the two semesters of Colloquium I and II.

A trip to one of these universities is required per semester. This requirement also includes a response paper due within one week of the visit.

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Honors Extended Courses

In order to graduate from the Honors Program, students complete at least nine credits (3 courses) of “extended courses” as well as three Honors Seminars.

The extended courses taken for Honors credit enable academically talented students in the Honors Program to chose "regular courses"--those found in the regular curriculum--but to imbue them with extended depth. These three selected courses extend the curriculum by giving students and faculty opportunities to work closely together on in-depth projects, which often focus on individual interests within the subject area of the extended course. For example, the student might want Honors credit for a literature course (LIT 201, for example) and might want to do a project that involves an in-depth study of epistolary writing to extend its relevance on a personal level.

General Procedure for Extended Courses

Students choose three courses of particular interest. Only courses that transfer to at least two of the three state universities as the same or equivalent courses (rather than as electives) may be taken for Honors credit. To take a course for Honors credit, the student initially enrolls in a regularly scheduled course. However, before registering for a class, it is wise to discuss the possibility of getting Honors credit; keep in mind that granting Honors credit is at the discretion of the professor. Once the professor has agreed and the student is registered, s/he then officially arranges with the professor (by writing and signing a seminar contract) to take it for Honors credit. The contract explicitly details the expectations of the project to be completed. What follows below is the procedure for creating an Honors Extended Course.

In consultation with the Honors Director, the student must:

  1. Register for the regular course that meets the criteria for an Honors Extended Course. (See list of eligible courses. Eligible courses are designated “As Available.)
  2. Register for an Honors Seminar (HNR 201, for example), which must be taken concurrently with the extended course. If the student is taking two Extended Courses, s/he must register for two Honors Seminars (HNR 201 and HNR 202, for example).
  3. Obtain the Extended Course Professor’s permission to take his/her course for Honors credit.
  4. Initiate the Contract for Honors Credit with the Extended Course Professor, the Honors Seminar Instructor and the campus Honors Director.
  5. Deliver completed contract to campus Honors Director within the first three weeks of class.

The campus Honors Director then:

  1. Completes a Class Schedule Request Form, which will generate the following: a) a new CRN for Honors Course credit for the newly extended course and b) a new roster for the Extended Course Professor.
  2. Directs the Registrar to withdraw the student from the regular course and add the student to the Honors Extended Course.
  3. While completing these last steps, provide feedback to the student, Extended Course Professor and Seminar Instructor.

The Contract

The contract is the written record between the student and Extended Course Professor and makes explicit the following:

  • The type of project the student is expected to complete
  • The methods the student is expected to follow to complete the project
  • The timeline the student is expected to follow
  • The grading criteria for the project
  • The consequences of an incomplete or unsatisfactory project.

The student initiates and negotiates the contract, which must be submitted to the Honors Director no later than the end of the third week of class. Late contracts are not accepted.

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Honors Seminar

To graduate from the Honors Program, students take three Honors Seminar courses. The student arranges to take an Honors Extended course and also an Honors Seminar (HNR 201, for example). If the student is taking two Extended Courses, s/he must register for two Honors Seminars (HNR 201 and HNR 202, for example).

Each seminar is an intimate one-credit course that students take while concurrently enrolled in an Honors Extended course. Seminar classes are kept small so that students get sufficient one-to-one interaction with the Seminar Instructor. A primary purpose of the Honors Seminar is to provide direction and support to students as they take on the challenge of the course project that was delineated in the contract.

The Honors Seminar grade is based on the project and the oral presentation on the project as well as Seminar attendance and participation. The Honors Extended Course Professor and the Honors Seminar Professor consult and come to consensus on the student’s grade in the Seminar; it is a mutual decision between the professors.

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Course Projects

The project completed in fulfillment of an Extended Course contract must be more than simply a paper report. These projects—which are joint projects for the Extended Course and the Seminar—may be one of three major types or a combination of these types:

  • Library Research Paper. Using a writing process that includes student outlines, notes, rough draft and final draft, the final project should be approximately 10-15 pages long, including annotated bibliography. An oral presentation is also required.
  • Field/Applied Research. The research uses a writing process involving the use of outlines, notes, drafts and final copy of approximately 7-15 pages, including annotated bibliography. Additional appendices might include observation records, data charts, models, photos, video notes, interviewer notes, survey results, content analyses, etc. An oral presentation is also required.
  • Creative Product. An original creative product can be a musical composition, poems, prose, two- or three-dimensional art forms, computer programs, a working model, etc. These product(s) are to be shared via recital, exhibit or reading (oral presentation). The student must keep a journal in order to provide the basis for a process paper of 5-8 pages. In addition, visual art forms require photos or video of the final product(s). To summarize, a creative project includes at least the following:
    • A creative product
    • A public presentation
    • A journal
    • A process paper

The project is to be more than simply a paper report; it must involve analysis and synthesis. The presentation of the course project at the end of the semester is a 20- to 30-minute talk (not reading the paper) followed by questions and discussion. The purpose is to share what the student has learned through research; even the creative products are based to some extent on research. The presentation may include slides, charts, a video, demonstrations, etc., depending on the type of project.

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Content on this page is provided by District Honors Program & Services.

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814