The Honors College at LSC-Kingwood
Honors at LSC-Kingwood is an academic program designed for high-achieving, motivated students who desire a comprehensive college experience and, through their experiences, want to grow to their full potentials. Honors students seek to improve their academic transcripts, their transferability to four-year colleges and universities, and/or their future employability. There are a wide range of opportunities for incoming freshmen working toward an Honors AA or Honors AS degree, to students of any discipline pursuing honors distinction upon graduation, to students simply interested in earning individual honors course credit. Honors provides challenging coursework across all the core disciplines.
Honors at LSC-Kingwood enhances the freshmen and sophomore experience by providing a community on campus that cultivates our highest level of academic excellence inside and outside the classroom.
Honors classes offer students a classroom environment that is different from non-honors. As honors classes are smaller, they engage and challenge students through close, personal contact with faculty, and through seminar-style or discussion-based formats. The focus is on the student since honors does not employ the lecture and listen teaching method. Rather, an honors classroom is a communal space of shared learning between students, as well as between the professor and students. Often, an honors class is a place of experimentation and innovation in teaching and learning.
Honors classes also include research into their curriculums, where students, under the guidance of their professors, write an analytical or argumentative research paper, and then give an oral presentation based upon the paper. Together, the paper and the presentation compose the honors project.
In addition, many honors classes are enriched by experiential learning – which means learning through doing. Faculty may place their classroom in the real world and teach students to put discipline-specific skills into practice by conducting research in the field, at a lab, or at a museum, or they may attend an arts performance for review, among other options.
Besides honors classes, students have the option of working on an honors contract, also referred to as an independent study. For a class that may not be available as honors, students may take the non-honors class and work with a professor, referred to as a faculty mentor, on an independent honors project outside of that class. Students may be currently taking the non-honors class, or they may have taken the class up to one (1) academic year in the past as long as they earned a B or better in the course. This latter case is sometimes recommended since students have already demonstrated mastery of course material before undertaking honors-level work in the discipline. The faculty mentor for the honors contract may or may not be the instructor of record for the non-honors class.
Prior approval for undertaking an honors contract must be granted by the Honors Director, and students must attend a mandatory honors contract orientation. The Honors Director also has discretion over a student’s choice of faculty mentor.
After an approved student submits an honors contract proposal form to The Honors College by the appropriate deadline, the Honors Council reviews and either authorizes or denies the contract proposal. If a student’s honors project is authorized for undertaking with the faculty mentor, then they work together independently throughout the semester.
Upon successful completion of the research paper and oral presentation, as determined by the faculty mentor, the student receives honors credit for the non-honors class.
Please Note: An honors contract is graded as pass/fail by the faculty mentor, and it does not alter the grade that a student earned in the non-honors class, which must be a B or better for honors credit to be assigned. That is, an honors contract only provides honors credit for that class, nothing grade-wise.
Also Note: Students may not undertake an honors contract for a non-honors class section during a semester when there is an honors class section available. Instead, students should enroll in the honors class section.
Honors co-curriculum supports students on their honors projects for classes and contracts. Workshops are designed to help students acquire the skills that they may not yet have so that they may succeed on their projects, improve upon already acquired skills so that they may progress in their academic careers, and/or work on their projects with fellow students and workshop facilitator(s) in a collegial, supportive environment. An essential and required component of the honors curriculum, co-curricular workshops help to cultivate our honors community and provide students with the overall honors experience.
Our Extracurricular Activities
Honors extracurricular activities, activities outside of the classroom that complement academic studies, are an integral part of a comprehensive honors education. Our extracurricular program encourages students to put their studies into practice. Like honors classes and contracts, these opportunities foster academic excellence by enabling honors students greater responsibility and initiative in their academic careers. Students participate in special on-campus or off-campus events, such as orientations, seminars, lectures, or conferences, and some students may travel within the state or country, or they may undertake a study abroad.