Frequently Asked Questions
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1. What are the benefits of being in the Honors Institute?
The primary purpose of the Honors Institute is to help prepare you to utilize the skills you learn in the classroom and apply them to real world situations. Our classes are smaller than Collin's already small faculty-student ratio, and we encourage faculty who teach Honors classes to build close relationships with honors students. Honors students are also allowed exclusive access to a study room in the Honors suite.
2. Does participation in an Honors Program really matter?
Yes, it speaks volumes about your academic abilities and aspirations. Students in
Honors programs are widely recognized as being the best students at a college. Because
there are more than thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, most
individuals have no way of evaluating and have only a vague idea about the quality
of colleges in their local area. But it is commonly known that if you join an Honors
Program, you are obviously a superior student who is clearly committed to getting
the best education (the best courses and professors) available to you.
3. What are the requirements for admission into the Honors Institute?
Students are qualified for admission into the Honors Institute with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher at Collin College or from their high school transcript. Once students meet this criteria, they may enroll in any of the Honors courses available each semester. Transfer students with a cumulative 3.5 GPA are also eligible.
4. I meet the requirements for the Honors Institute. Now what happens?
Select whichever Honors course/s that fit your needs and schedule, and ask your advisor to register you for the Honors course/s. If you already have a GPA of 3.5 or higher at Collin, you can register yourself online for Honors courses the first day registration starts, regardless of your credit hours completed.
5. I am interested in taking an Honors course, but I do not want to add to the difficulty of my workload and cause a negative effect to my GPA. Should I just avoid taking any Honors classes?
No, Honors courses aren’t graded harder than other college courses. Honors classes aren’t “more work”; they are “different work”. An Honors class doesn’t mean you read more chapters than the non-Honors class; an Honors course is meant to have a different way of educating students. Students develop a better rapport with the instructor of the course and are provided unique opportunities to engage their critical thinking skills.
6. What happens if I go a semester without taking an Honors class?
Students in the program do not have to take Honors courses every semester. Most students entering the program their freshman year can complete the majority of their core courses through Honors classes.
7. What kind of recognition do I get for completing an Honors course?
Recognition of completing an Honors course includes an Honors notation on your transcript.
8. What if my GPA slips below a 3.5 one semester?
You will not be able to register for any other Honors classes until your cumulative GPA is at least a 3.5. If your GPA falls below 3.5 after registration, you will be dropped from the class.
9. How do Honors courses differ from regular courses?
An Honors course has a slightly modified approach to education that can vary between professors. Honors classes are smaller and more specialized classes that emphasize critical thinking and contextual-learning. They are designed to be more discussion intensive than your regular classroom format. They also include an Honors project that varies depending on the course.
10. What kinds of classes are offered?
The Honors courses offered vary by semester, but there are a growing number of classes being offered at the Honors Institute. Most are core-requirement type classes that most students take on their way through Collin.
11. Will taking Honors courses prolong my stay at Collin?
No. Honors courses fit into the two-year core plan of the college. The great advantage of the Honors Institute is that you do not have to deviate from your academic plans and delay your college stay to receive a more specialized and rewarding classroom experience.
12. Do the Honors courses cost more?
No. An Honors class costs the same amount as a non-Honors class would. In fact, with Collin’s lowered/frozen costs, it is a particularly enticing proposition to take an Honors class and receive the greatest value for your money.
13. Are only certain majors able to participate in the Honors Institute?
The Honors Institute is open to all majors. Anyone meeting the minimum GPA requirements is able to take any available course.
14. Will being in the Honors Institute make scheduling my classes more difficult?
No. The Honors Institute provides a variety of courses at varying times throughout the day. The Honors Institute also provides courses on all three campuses. We understand that many students are involved in more activities than just class, so we do our best to schedule classes at convenient times.
15. Can I participate in extra-curricular activities and still do Honors?
Certainly, and you will meet many other students doing the same. Many Honors students are able to participate successfully in a wide range of extra-curricular activities and still maintain a balance with their academic work. Students who plan accordingly and remain organized will be more than able to balance multiple work, family, and school responsibilities.
16. Am I able to take more than one Honors course at a time?
Yes. It is possible to take multiple honors courses in one semester and it happens quite often within the Honors Institute.
17. Are Honors courses on a different grading scale?
Most students coming from high school are accustomed to being able to take higher level classes that are on different grading scales. The Honors courses are on the same grading scale as any other non-honors class.18. Can I graduate with Honors?
"Graduating with Honors" refers to your overall GPA at the time of graduation (cum laude with a 3.5 GPA, magna cum laude with a 3.75 and summa cum laude with 4.0), and is not dependent on taking Honors courses.
19. Where are the Honors Computer Labs?
The Honors Institute has a computer lab for Honors student with printing at Spring Creek Campus in the Honors Suite (room F102) and at Preston Ridge Campus in Founders' Hall (room F240). There will soon be another Honors computer lab at Central Park Campus.
20. Will college Honors be like honors courses in high school?
No, there is a large difference between high school and college Honors courses. In many high schools Honors courses are merely the normal courses "made harder" with extra readings, extra assignments, and more difficult grading of students. But at Collin, Honors courses are specially modified courses, not normal courses made "harder," and grading standards are the same as in normal college courses. Honors courses stimulate your thinking; they use provocative and innovative materials covering central concepts and cutting edge explorations, they provide the informal, small class environment that encourages discussion and debate on important topics.
21. I'm no genius. Will Honors courses be too hard for me?
Of course not, if you have the eligible GPA for Honors courses, you have already demonstrated the ability to succeed in your Honors courses. You will also gain confidence in your own abilities by working with other like-minded students that want to do well in the classroom.