Honors Project at College of San Mateo - FAQs
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Honors Project

What is the Honors Project?
The Honors Project is an interdisciplinary learning community where highly motivated students are provided with the coursework, support, and guidance to develop their academic and intellectual autonomy, collaborative abilities, and research skills. Participating in the Honors Project will both deepen your learning in your regular courses and grant you recognition that will help you with your transfer ambitions.

How does it work?
If you are accepted into the Honors Project, you will pair a "foundation" course (any transfer-level course within either of two clusters, Math/Science or Humanities) with the corresponding interdisciplinary Honors Seminar. In the Honors Seminar, you will explore broad themes in either the Sciences or the Humanities, and then develop an individual research project that grows out of the content of the transfer course. If you successfully complete three of these pairings, one per semester, and the additional suggested honors credit, you will have completed the program and be recognized as an "Honors Scholar" (noted on your transcript).

What will I learn?
You will learn advanced research skills, including developing an academic research proposal, following a research process, using library databases, creating an annotated bibliography, writing a research paper in a particular discipline, and presenting academic work at our end-of-term academic mini-conference.

Can I use Honors credit earned at other colleges to help complete the Honors Project?
You may petition to have honors credit received at other colleges count in our program; but it is not guaranteed.

As a concurrent enrollment student, may I apply and participate?

How much extra work will the Honors Project be?
Our honors program is relatively demanding. You will earn two units of honors credit for your Honors Seminar, which involves a substantial amount of work. Bear in mind that you need to complete all work for your transfer "foundation" course, to pass that course successfully; the research project that emerges from the honors seminar will earn you honors credit for that transfer course.

Can I take all three of the seminars in either the Sciences or the Humanities cluster?
We aim to be a flexible and accommodating program, and if you would benefit most from taking all three seminars in one cluster, then we will allow that. But generally we encourage students to take two seminars in one cluster (the one you are most interested in), and one seminar in the other cluster, for breadth of discipline expertise. The UC's tend to favor honors transfer credit with breadth.

Will completing the Honors Project enhance my transfer opportunities?
Yes. As competition for scholarships and admission to transfer institutions gets more intense, the Honors Project will provide you with important advantages. You will learn how to make connections between your courses, synthesizing your learning across disciplines—very important to today's academic trends. You will develop greater academic autonomy and responsibility. You will be better prepared for the higher-level work you will encounter at your eventual transfer institution. Beyond honors transcript notation, you can and should emphasize in your personal statement the skills and experiences you've acquired in the program.

How long does the program take to complete?
Approximately four semesters. You must complete three Honors Seminars while remaining in good standing in the program. You also need to complete 15 units of honors credit in your transfer courses. You can take one semester off from earning honors credit, but two or more semesters of non-participation leads to you needing to re-apply and begin again.

Are there financial costs associated with this project?
Beyond standard course fees, required texts and materials, there are no additional costs to you.

What are the requirements to be accepted?
You need a minimum 3.2 GPA in at least 12 academic college-level units or a 3.5 GPA (unweighted) in your high school courses. Applicants must be eligible for English 100, either by placement test or by passing English 838 or 848. You must submit a completed application along with the personal statement, which should demonstrate writing proficiency.

When can I apply?
We accept applications year around.

Can I reapply later if I'm not accepted?
Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to reapply the following semester once they have demonstrated sufficient academic improvement.

What support services are available to me while I am part of the Honors Project?
As member of the Honors Community, you will enjoy many levels of support. First, you will be joining a cohort of students who share your high motivation and proven academic success. Second, you will enjoy close contact and support from both our "foundation" instructors and the Honors Seminar instructor. Third, you will be able to seek Honors counseling, problem-solving help, and letters of recommendation from the Honors Coordinator. Fourth, our Honors Counselor Michael Vargas will be able to provide you with priority counseling appointments, and special help with Student Education Plans (SEPs).

Additionally, we offer an Honors Project lounge and meeting room in College Center Building 10, Room 458, for honors students to use for study sessions and other activities, including the Honors Project student club and newsletter.

How do I get started?
If you are interested, you should review the Program Requirements, and, after ensuring that you meet the minimumqualifications, complete the Honors Project Application.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to ask the Honors Coordinator David Laderman at laderman@smccd.edu or (650) 574-6302 (Building 15, Room 156).