Frequently Asked Questions

The NCC Honors Program is designed to meet the needs of its most academically prepared students. It will do so by providing an enriched educational environment in which students will be challenged to reach their full intellectual potential and to better prepare themselves for the academic demands of a four-year college or university. The program will feature a wide range of honors courses, representing a variety of departments. Academically prepared students from all majors, looking for an exciting, dynamic educational experience here at NCC, are invited to apply to participate in the program!

How do I gain admission into the Honors Program?

To be admitted to the program, one must, in addition to meeting the requirements for admission into English I, meet one of the following:

  • Have a 3.5 High school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) or...
  • Have graduated from the top 20% of one's High School class or...
  • Have a 3.5 college GPA after 12 credits (in transfer courses only) or...
  • Get a recommendation from someone familiar with one's academic abilities and have an interview with the coordinator of the honors program.

How do I know if the Honors Program is right for me?

If you can meet any of the above admissions requirements, and you can answer yes to at least half of the following questions, the honors program is likely to be a great choice for you:

  • Are you a serious student who cares about learning for its own sake?
  • Would you like to compile the most impressive transcript you can in preparation for transfer to a four-year institution?
  • Are you looking for the most dynamic, innovative, and exciting educational experiences available at NCC?
  • Do you thrive in environments in which you get to take responsibility for your own work and learning experience?
  • Would you like a chance to take small, seminar-style classes with other students with strong academic skills?

Again, if this generally sounds like you, you should consider the honors program.

What are the benefits of being in the Honors Program?

The honors classes at NCC provide our most exciting educational opportunities. Honors classes are smaller, so they afford much more intimate ties between teachers and students. Honors learning experiences regularly take place outside the campus and students have the chance to take charge of, and responsibility for, their education, often actually choosing texts themselves or leading class discussions and presentations and even "playing teacher for a day."

But beyond their intrinsic benefit, having the distinction of completing, or even participating, in the honors program, will prove to transfer institutions that you are a highly motivated and academically skilled student ready to take on any of the challenges they have to offer.

In addition, a select number of $1000 scholarships are available to honors program participants.

What's distinctive about honors classes?

Each honors class offers something special and unique, but they all share in common a commitment to the following characteristics:

  1. Students will be given the opportunity to take greater responsibility for their own learning, both individually and collaboratively. (e.g. classes will be taught in a seminar format, students will present material to the class, choose writing and/or reading topics, and engage in debates, documentaries, interviews and performances.)
  2. Students will work with primary texts (and/or secondary scholarly texts), artifacts, or other original sources of knowledge.
  3. Students will be able to identify, understand, and apply the methodologies, principles, and research strategies of the disciplines they are studying.
  4. Students will complete a major creative project. (e.g. a multi-media presentation, artwork, portfolio, supervised lab research, research paper...)
  5. Students will be able to connect course content to out of classroom learning experiences. (e.g. taking field trips, attending lectures, plays, or films, service learning projects, job shadowing...)

If honors classes are harder, won't joining the Honors Program hurt my GPA?

Quite to the contrary! The right students shouldn't be surprised to find themselves getting better grades in honors courses than in non-honors courses!

The fact is, different students thrive in different environments. Often highly academically prepared students do better in smaller classes with similarly prepared students. For a student who thrives in an environment in which s/he is given the chance to take responsibility for his or her own learning, the opportunities outlined in this brochure would make learning fun and exciting, and we all know that when learning is fun and exciting, learning is, in fact, easier. Again: quite to the contrary!

What do I need to graduate with honors?

To graduate with honors, you will need to complete 4 honors courses and finish with an overall GPA of 3.5 or above.

Is there any reason to join the Honors Program if I won't be here long enough to complete it?

Absolutely! Beyond the enriched learning experience the program offers in each of its classes, your transcripts will reflect each honors class you take. So even if you only have time to take one course in the program, doing so will benefit you on multiple levels.