Are you ready for a challenge? Established in 1990, the Honors Program incites and drives CCD students who are ready for an additional academic challenge. The goal of the program is to recognize outstanding talent and provide a supportive, stimulating community. Go a step beyond the routine and turn ordinary courses into extraordinary learning experiences throughout your CCD career. The primary benefits are twofold.
In addition, your academic transcript will reflect the individual honors courses and the overall completion of the honors program, providing recognition that will serve you as you transfer to other institutions, seek scholarships, and, eventually, pursue career goals.
Connect with Eric Baker, Honors Librarian.
No formal entry application or fee is necessary. With the instructor’s approval, any CCD student registered for a transfer-level or degree-related course may attempt honors work. Only those who meet the graduation requirements will graduate with honors. Completed honors contracts and transcripts serve as official records of a student’s active participation in the program.
Honors work must be clearly and directly tied to academic coursework. In most cases, this will mean being tied directly to a specific course being taken by you. In some cases, (e.g., independent study options) this could also mean work that relates to a broader program of study (e.g., a specific certificate or degree program).
This is the current and most common method for receiving honors credit. Individual students contract with instructors to do some form of honors work related to the course in order to receive honors credit for the course. As these arrangements are made between interested students and willing instructors, all programmatic courses at the college (i.e., courses that are transferable and/or apply towards a degree or certificate) could potentially be taken for honors credit. As long as the student and instructor agree upon the work that must be completed to receive honors credit, and that work meets the above criteria, the student can receive honors credit for that course. Instructors are not obliged, however, to provide students with an opportunity for honors work in regular courses. Students must fill out an individual contract form for each course taken for honors.
For students wishing to pursue honors work outside the context of a preexisting course, it may be possible to arrange for independent study credit. Students could pursue this option through a service learning experience, certain Phi Theta Kappa and Student Activities experiences, or through an arranged course of study with a program faculty member. As with all honors work, any such independent study must relate clearly and directly to academic coursework. This could mean doing an advanced or focused study in a specific area for which a comparable course is not offered (e.g., Native American Literature) or some form of broad-based study relating to the degree or certificate program in which the student is engaged. Independent study courses are numbered as 299, and credit hours can range from 1-6. The transcript record would look something like this: “LIT 299 Indep. Study: Native American Literature (Honors).” All independent study courses must be primarily developed and overseen by a faculty member in the relevant academic program area in collaboration with the honors coordinator and, as appropriate, with the advisor or coordinator of the relevant activity area (e.g., service learning, PTK, and student activities). Students must fill out an individual contract form for each course taken for honors.
All current forms of honors credit require students to arrange and fulfill an individual contract with an instructor. The contract stipulates the work that will need to be completed by the student and the criteria by which that work will be evaluated. Students are responsible for filling out all sections of the contract.
Verbal agreements are neither binding nor sufficient. The student must sign contracts once the contract for honors is agreed upon. At that time, the instructor should keep the original contract until the end of the semester. Once the contract is completed the instructor should sign off and submit to the honors coordinator, Courtenay Avant, in Cherry Creek Classroom 313C. In the case of independent study courses, the contract must also include a course syllabus.
To formally complete the honors program, you must:
You will, at a minimum, receive the following forms of recognition from the College:
Graduating students who have completed the Honors Program will be recognized in the graduation program and may wear honorary cords as part of their regalia.
The Honors Program is an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and
extend the scope of the courses they are taking. To do that, students contract with individual instructors to do work above and beyond the ordinary course requirements focusing on a particular subject or interest related to the course that they would like to explore in more depth.
The Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa are not the same. PTK is part of an international organization which focuses more on service and leadership outside the classroom, while CCD’s Honors Program focuses solely on academic work in the courses you are taking. Students are welcome and encouraged to participate in both. For more information on PTK, visit CCD.edu/PTK.
Any transfer-level (100 prefix or higher) or certificate/degree-related course can be taken for Honors credit on an individual contract basis with the instructor’s approval.
Any online transfer-level course offered by the Community College of Denver is eligible. Online courses offered by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) are not eligible.
This is not an option for honors credit.
Any student can take a course for Honors credit; however, there are specific GPA requirements to formally complete the Honors Program (see below).
Students and instructors agree upon specific work requirements over and above the regular work of the course and fill out a course contract. If the student successfully completes the course, with a letter grade of B or higher, and the Honors project, they will receive Honors credit for the class.
Contracts should be filled out as soon as the project has been negotiated. The student should sign the contract, make a copy for their records, and give the original to the instructor who will make sure it is processed at the end of the semester. Verbal agreements are neither binding nor sufficient. A signed contract must be filled out.
Students must earn a final grade of B or higher to earn Honors credit for a course.
Honors work must be clearly and directly tied to academic coursework; it should require students to develop analytical, creative, and critical thinking skills, to gain insights, and to apply learned principles in specific areas; it should strongly emphasize verbal skills, including written work, oral presentations, and group discussion; and it should provide students with an opportunity to develop research method skills. Honors work may take a variety of forms, including traditional course assignments (e.g., papers, presentations, projects) and service learning experiences.
The primary benefits are twofold. First, students are given a chance to greatly enrich their own educational experience through thoughtful, self-directed study. Second, students gain a valuable asset on their academic resume. Student transcripts will reflect the individual Honors courses and the overall completion of the Honors Program, providing recognition that will serve them as they transfer to other institutions, seek scholarships, and, eventually, pursue career goals.
CCD has an active articulation agree with Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) which stipulates students can transfer up to 12 hours of honors course credit. In addition, students who complete their A.A. and the Honors Program at CCD are automatically admitted to MSU Denver’s Honors Program upon submission of their final transcript.
Students must complete a total of 15 credit hours of Honors courses (roughly 4-5 courses depending on your area of focus) AND have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better to graduate with honors.
The form should be completed the semester you plan to graduate. The deadline for inclusion in the Commencement program and ceremony is always the first Friday after Spring Break. Please see the Honors Program Completion Form for a specific date.