Introduction to the Honors Program
The Honors Program is a Community College of Rhode Island program in which students can enhance their educational experience while at CCRI by studying topics of their choosing in more depth. Most students participate by completing an extra honors project within a course they are currently taking, giving them honors credit for that course.
To be eligible for the Honors Program, you must have completed at least 12 semester hours and earned at least a 3.25 Grade Point Average. Students who are eligible receive a letter from the college near the beginning of each semester they are eligible. Students may also participate with a recommendation by a faculty member.
Three Ways To Do an Honors Project
You earn honors credits through (1) a supplementary Honors project within existing course selections, (2) a supplementary Honors project done with an independent study course, and (3) specially designated "Honors" courses. Most students do a supplementary Honors project within one (or two) of the courses they are already taking, relating the project to the curricula covered in the course. This course does not need to be a course in a specific concentration, at a specific time of day or campus, or with only full-time instructors -- it can be any course taken. Students can also separately create an independent study project (see the Independent Study webpage) and add an honors project to it. Finally, there are a few courses at CCRI that already contain Honors in their title, and when signing up for these courses, the student automatically signs up for an Honors project.
How to Get Started
All honors projects must be overseen by a college instructor, usually the instructor of the course in which you wish to earn Honors credit. Begin by approaching that instructor, asking about doing an Honors project, and talking about potential projects. You might have an idea for one, the instructor might have an idea, or together you may brainstorm an idea. See below for ideas on choosing a project. Once you have a project in mind, proceed to the application form page and submit the form by the appropriate due date. We recommend you start as early as you can during the semester. No honors applications will be accepted after the due date.
How to Choose a Project
The specific requirements for the completed Honors project (besides the time commitment, see below) are open, so the projects can be creative displays of academic rigor, because students and courses are different. In general the choice of what to do is a collaborative effort between the student and instructor. Examples of project formats include but are not restricted to research papers, PowerPoint presentations, poster presentations, displays of artwork, teaching lesson plans, computer programs, lab experiments and write-ups, evaluation of survey results, etc. You may want to consider trying to tie your Honors project into your career goals, so it will not only be more interesting to you now, but it will helpful for you in the future. To help with ideas, you can look at some example projects.
An Honors Project is a substantial academic undertaking on the part of both the student and participating faculty member. The extra 0.5 credit earned in a 3 credit course represents an additional 17% total course credit and academic commitment. This translates to over 20 hours devoted to just the project. Most students end up spending more time than this on their project.
Why Do It?
By participating in the Honors Program, students can take advantage of the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills. Students and faculty will be working together as "colleagues in learning" - a cooperative spirit that reawakens the fundamental purpose of the academy. Students become an integral part of a stimulating academic interchange. These Honors designations on transcripts not only promote transferability to four-year institutions but can also lend an advantage with regard to competitive status in the workplace. An extra 0.5 credits is awarded for each Honors project completed. Students who complete four Honors projects or more at CCRI are Honors Program Graduates and will receive special recognition at the graduation ceremony (see below).
Each year, near the end of the Spring semester, the Honors Forum is held. All Honors students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Honors Forum. It provides a great opportunity to show off your hard work and to learn what other students did.
Honors Program Graduates
Students who complete four or more Honors Projects at CCRI become Honors Program Graduates. The graduates receive special recognition at the College's award ceremony and graduation ceremony. This special recognition includes (1) a separate statement on the college transcript, which explains that the student has successfully completed all requirements of the Honors Program, (2) an Honors medallion to wear during graduation; (3) an invitation to CCRI's awards ceremony; and (4) a special designation in the commencement program