Honors Contract Information and Faculty/Student Process

Procedure and FAQs 

Honors Contract Process and Forms

What is an Honors contract?
Honors contracts are written agreements between the professor and the student enrolled in a non-honors section. The Honors contract provides students with honors credit within the course section.  This honors credit will be designated on the student's official college transcript. 
The goal of this contract is to stimulate and enrich the teaching/learning experience for both faculty and students by incorporating a number of the following Honors attributes (each presumes a comparison to a regular, non-honors course). These attributes include, but are not limited to:
  • Higher degree of involvement and participation
  • Higher standard of performance than expected of regular students
  • Advanced supplemental reading, especially of primary sources
  • More opportunities for writing, and at a higher standard
  • More opportunities for student presentations to class or campus audiences
  • Stronger enhancement of skills in critical thinking, analysis and interpretation
  • Greater depth and/or breadth or subject matter, especially requiring synthesis of different perspectives or points of view
  • More opportunities for research, particularly when student conceived
  • Use of resources from beyond the campus itself, such as university libraries or interactions with business or industry personnel
  • Integration of concepts and information from a variety of sources particularly in cross, interdisciplinary, multi-cultural or social justice contexts
  • Opportunities for publication
  • Community based experiences: field trips, interviews, cultural events, etc.
  • Leadership in the classroom: Leading study groups, facilitating class discussions, etc.
  • Conference attendance


How do I begin this process?
Students and/or instructors may initiate the honors dialogue.  Students must receive approval from their instructor for an honors course conversion to occur.  Upon instructor approval, Honors Contract forms must be submitted for processing.  
Where can I get the form?
Forms are available on the right sidebar of the Honors homepage, under "Important Documents".    
What is the deadline and next steps?
After student/instructor agreement is established, Honors Contract Forms must be submitted  within the first two - three weeks of the semester (deadline appears on the Honors Contract form).  Instructors will complete and submit Honors Contract form to mirahonors@sdccd.edu.  Following approval by the Honors Coordinator, the Honors Contract will be forwarded to the Dean of Liberal Arts. Following approval by the dean, the Honors designation will appear on the faculty roster.  
Do I need to write a new syllabus?
Instructors should email a new syllabus (simply list honors objectives and assignments on a regular syllabus) by week six of the semester.
Please contact the Honors Office at mirahonors@sdccd.edu, with any questions about the process.

Honors Course Proposal Process and Forms

The Course Proposal Process
Twice during each academic year, the District Honors committee sends out a call for new honors course proposals. Seminal ideas for new courses from our faculty (sometimes sparked by students) are submitted in a prescribed Honors proposal format to the District Honors committee for review and consideration. Honors committee members debate and evaluate the merits of each proposal and recommend selected courses for inclusion in the official class schedules of each campus. Budgeting, publicity, student recruitment, support of cultural events, and course evaluations all flow from the generation of that original idea for a classroom experience.
How do I offer an Honors Class?
The San Diego Community College District Honors Program has been highly successful, offering nearly 400 courses by well over 100 faculty in more than 40 departments spanning the last ten years.
The first step in offering an honors course is to develop an honors syllabus. A typical honors course has any of the following characteristics:
  • high degree of student participation and involvement
  • high standards of performance
  • more independent reading and research
  • enhancement of critical thinking
  • greater flexibility in format and teaching methodologies
  • increased use of primary sources
  • selected field trips, guest speakers, opportunities to attend related cultural and social events
  • greater depth or breadth of subject matter
  • more opportunities for writing
Using your honors syllabus, you can then complete the Honors Course Proposal form. The proposal must be approved by your department chair and dean before it is submitted to the Honors Coordinator. The final step in the approval process is the evaluation of your proposal by the District Honors Committee. At this point, an interview or more information may be requested by the committee. This entire process takes place one year before the course will be taught. To propose an honors class, contact the Honors Coordinator, Professor Carmen Jay, for forms, sample proposals, and assistance in completing your proposal.
(See "Important Documents" in the right sidebar)

Flex Credit Requirements

Flex Time for Honors Contracts Flex credit is available for instructors who offer honors contracts. A fixed number of hours (10 per honors contract student) will be awarded for each contract offered, with thirty flex hours as a maximum per semester.