GHC Honors Policy
The mission of the Honors Program at Georgia Highlands College is to bring together promising students of outstanding academic records with teachers committed to excellence and dedicated to student growth in order to foster a cohort of emerging scholars recognizable throughout the college and community. Such a cadre will provide an example to their peers that educational excellence is to be valued and celebrated. Similarly, it will demonstrate that learning for its own sake is an ideal appropriate for all students, regardless of background or goals.
The Honors Program is overseen by the Honors Committee, an ad hoc committee of the college, and the Honors Program Director.
In order to take H-designated or Honors option courses, students must be admitted to the Honors Program, contingent upon meeting the following criteria:
- A 500 word application essay AND
- Minimum SAT combined score of 1100 with at least a 3.5 high school GPA OR
- Minimum ACT score of 26 with at least a 3.5 high school GPA OR
- Institutional 3.5 GPA after the completion of 12 credit hours of college level coursework (1000 level or above).
To maintain their status in the Honors Program, students must:
- enroll in at least one H-Designated or Honors Option course per semester AND
- maintain a 3.25 GPA AND
- earn a C or better in all Honors courses
If the student’s institutional GPA falls below 3.25, students will be given one probationary semester to raise the overall GPA. If the student does not raise her/his GPA after the one probationary semester, s/he will no longer be allowed to take Honors courses.
Students who do not meet the above criteria may still apply for Conditional Acceptance to the Honors Program. Students who are currently enrolled in Learning Support (LS) courses are not eligible to apply until after successful completion of all LS requirements. Students who are on academic warning, probation or suspension are not eligible to apply until after they have reached “good academic standing” with the college. Students interested in applying for Conditional Acceptance to the Honors Program must submit a 500 word application essay and 2 letters of recommendation from Georgia Highlands College faculty members. Conditionally accepted students will be allowed to enroll in a maximum of one H-designated and one course during their first semester of participation. Upon completion of their first semester in the program, the Honors Committee will review the student’s progress. Conditionally accepted students must earn a C or better in all coursework while participating in the Honors Program. If a conditionally accepted student fails to make a C or better in all courses, they will automatically be expelled from the program. If the student’s institutional GPA is below 3.25, the student will be given one probationary semester to raise the institutional GPA. During the probationary semester, students are allowed to enroll in a maximum of one H-designated and one course. If the student does not raise her/his GPA after the one probationary semester, s/he will no longer be allowed to take Honors courses and will be expelled from the Honors Program.
Honors Program Course Requirements
Students who participate in the Honors Program will be expected to complete a minimum of 20 credit hours of Honors courses with a grade of “C” or higher in each of these. Students who fulfill all requirements of the program will earn an Honors Diploma. The course breakdown is as follows:
- 2 courses from the Fine Arts or Humanities: 6 credit hours
- 2 courses from the Social Sciences: 6 credit hours
- 2 courses from the Natural Sciences or Mathematics: 6–8 credit hours
- 2 courses of Honors Seminar: 2 credit hours (HNRS1010 & HNRS1020)
Courses currently listed in the GHC Catalog may be designated with the letter H (example: COMM1100-H) with approval from the Honors Committee. Only students who have been admitted to the Honors Program may enroll in H-designated courses. The course description would be the same as is written in the catalog, but the faculty member teaching the course would adjust the workload, readings, and assignment to Honors Program students, emphasizing the main goals and objectives of the Honors Program.
Honors Program students may substitute H-designated courses for the Honors Option course. In this case, the Honors student would enroll in a regular class (not H-designated), and work individually with the instructor to conduct a special project to fulfill the Honors requirement. The student and faculty member must complete an Honors Option Contract to be submitted to the Honors Committee by the 2nd week of the semester in which the course is taken. Students may elect to substitute up to 6 credit hours of H-designated courses with Honors Option courses in the completion of the requirements of the Honors Program; these hours cannot substitute for IDIS 1100-H Honors Seminar.
To better understand our increasingly global society, and the way we can contribute to it, it has become essential to experience ideas, languages, and cultures beyond our own borders. That is why the Honors Program encourages meaningful cross-cultural study, work and service for its students. Students participating in a GHC Study Abroad course may substitute up to 6 credit hours of H-designated courses with Study Abroad courses; these hours cannot substitute for IDIS 1100-H Honors Seminar.
New H-designated Courses
Initially all H-designated courses will be honors versions of a course currently listed in the GHC catalog. Individual faculty members may suggest new courses with the H-designation, but it will be up to the faculty member to have the course added to the catalog as s/he would with any other new course.