The goals of the Honors Program at North Central Texas College (NCTC) is to provide an inspiring academic environment for intellectually curious and qualified students, preparing them for advanced studies at major four-year institutions. Academic rigor and innovation, dedicated and highly-skilled faculty mentors, as well as enhanced leadership and professional development opportunities are essential components of the program.
NCTC Honors Program offers students benefits including scholarships, faculty mentors, academic enrichment opportunities, personal attention, leadership opportunities, career development, special events, help with the transfer process, and letters of recommendation for employers and universities.
In order to highlight those unique qualities that make up an "Honors student," the Honors program at consists of four important components: coursework, participation, service, and research presentations.
WHO CAN BE IN THE HONORS PROGRAM?
NCTC Honors students excel both in the classroom and in their communities. They are curious and motivated leaders who demonstrate excellence and possess an intellectual drive. Honors students may be the “traditional” college students who just recently graduated from high school and excels academically at every opportunity. Or, an Honors student might be a “nontraditional” student who has recently come back to academia and brings with them a wealth of first-hand life experiences and observations. The benefits of an Honors program at NCTC are that we can serve a variety of students and tailor a program that meets their individual needs.
Occasionally, gifted but nervous students enroll in an Honors course or complete work for Honors credit before joining the program. We encourage these students to “give Honors a try” for a semester. While they are not officially accepted into the Honors program, they may complete an Honors project or enroll in an Honors subsection. These students may attend Honors events; however, they will not qualify for scholarships. In order to receive the full-benefits of the Honors program—including the scholarship assistance—we encourage these students to apply and be officially accepted into the program.
WHAT KIND OF WORK DO HONORS STUDENTS DO?
One important component of the Honors program is Honors Coursework. These Honors courses are opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research that informs their academic interests and to grow as both a student and scholar. Each semester, Honors students complete one Honors designated course or one Honors contracted course.
It is the prerogative of the Honors student and his/her instructor to design the parameters, content, scope of the Honors project. However, all honors research projects must include a documented paper that includes original and meaningful research, a tri-fold poster, and participation in the Honors Program end-of-semester presentations.
Honors students are required to take at least one course per semester for honors credit. NCTC offers several designated subsections of regular classes, but oftentimes, individual students need classes beyond those subsections. In that case, students may choose a class in your schedule that particularly appeals to you. Visit with the professor to inquire if the professor is interested in working with you and develop the parameters of an honors project and fill out the honors contract form available in the Honors ANGEL group.
Honors Sections: Honors sections of core curriculum courses will be offered each semester. Honors courses have enhanced syllabi, course materials and/or methods of presentation. Honors sections are open to all honors program students and to other qualified students with special permission of the Honors Program director and/or the course instructor. Students who are accepted into the Honors Program are free to enroll in any honors course. Check with the Office of Honors Studies for a current semester course roster.
Honors Option—Contract Approach: Honors option coursework features intensive collaboration between faculty mentors and individual students related to specific projects. Student academic and career goals should drive the personalized focus of honors option coursework.
During the first three weeks of the semester, the content of an honors option course must be agreed upon, finalized with a contract signed by faculty and student, and reviewed by the Office of Honors Studies. Contract forms and Honors Option guidelines may be obtained through the Office of Honors Studies. Contracts should be submitted via ANGEL by the student.
Please note that for those students enrolled in a course that offers an Honors subsection, students must be listed on the official course roster in order to receive Honors credit. Students wishing to contract a course must submit a contract within the first three weeks of the semester in order to earn Honors credit.
WHEN ARE CONTRACTS DUE?
Because of the multi-step process and the need for accountability and review, students must submit their honors contracts by the end of the third week of the semester. The Honors Coordinator will then submit a list of students to the Registrar’s office who will receive honors credit on their transcripts at the end of the semester.
WHAT KIND OF SCHOLARSHIP CAN STUDENTS DO FOR THEIR HONORS RESEARCH PROJECTS?
All Honors Research Projects must include three key elements: a documented paper, a poster, and end-of-semester presentation. You should determine your project’s topic, focus, scope, and research methods with your instructor based on your interests and goals. Examples of past honors projects:
Creation of a body farm using pig’s feet for the purpose of studying decomposition.
Archival research at a county historical association and presentation of paper at a regional conference.
Semester-long experiment that tested the production of two amino diazoles in order to establish bacterial sensitivity to antibiotics.
Major paper exploring of funds available to small business owners and the role of the Small Business Administration.
The honors student-faculty mentor relationship is the opportunity for students to learn from the faculty member’s perspective—to see how the faculty member thinks and processes information, problems, and arguments. It’s the interaction between student and faculty in pursuit of academic understanding that has been most meaningful.
HOW ARE HONORS PROJECTS EVALUATED? HOW MUCH DO THEY 'WEIGH' INTO THE STUDENTS' FINAL GRADES IN THEIR COURSES?
The NCTC Honors program follows the model set by other Honors programs. Those instructors teaching an Honors subsection of a course determine the grades for their students ensuring that those courses meet the guidelines as proposed by NCHC.
For the Honors contracted courses, the overall grade for the contracted course will be determined by the instructor of record. The Honors research projects will be as a separate part of the course and will evaluated by both the instructor and the Honors Coordinators/Liaisons. Projects will be evaluated for their thoroughness, clarity, creativity, originality, and evidence of scholarship. Because Honors Research Projects are in addition to the regular coursework as required by the instructor, they will be evaluated by both the instructor and Honors Coordinators and Liaisons. Students whose research projects that do not meet the requirements for the program will not receive the “H” on their transcripts for honors credit.
WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
If you would like more information about the Honors program, you can download a copy of the brochure and handbook. Or, you may email or talk to an Honors representative.