SUBJECT: Honors Program

POLICY #: STUD 350

AUTHORIZED BY: Assistant Dean for Student Affairs date

APPROVED BY: Dean of the University date

The USC Sumter Honors Program is designed to increase the educational opportunities for the academically well qualified and highly motivated student. The student participant will complete special assignments in one or more regular academic courses as approved by the Honors Committee. There are no separate honors sections (except SCCC 388, see below). Each honors experience results from the student's quest for greater knowledge in a subject area and the desire to work more closely with a particular professor.

All qualified traditional and nontraditional students enrolled at USC Sumter may participate in the Honors Program. The program is designed so that each participant may seek experience in the program that fits his/her interests, abilities, and circumstances.

 Eligibility

  1. A Freshman with a minimum SAT score of 1200 who has been admitted to USC Sumter as a beginning student may be admitted in the Honors Program by obtaining three letters of recommendation from high school instructors.

  2. A Freshman with a SAT score of 1100-1199 and in the top 5 percent of his or her graduating class, who has been admitted to USC Sumter as a beginning student, may be admitted in the Honors Program by obtaining three letters of recommendation from high school instructors.

  3. Students, including transfer students, who have completed a minimum of 15 semester hours at USC Sumter with a USC Sumter cumulative 3.5 GPA will be invited to enroll in the program.

  4. Students, including transfer student, who have completed a minimum of 15 semester hours at USC Sumter with a USC Sumter cumulative 3.25 GPA may apply for admission to the program by obtaining a letter of recommendation from two USC Sumter faculty members.

  5. Concurrent High School students

Part-time students who have met the GPA requirement and have completed the minimum 15 semester hours may apply for the Honors program.

Other students may submit requests to the faculty Honors Committee. Likewise, faculty may suggest names of potentially eligible students to the Committee.

The student does not have an automatic right to do Honors work in a given class just because s/he is technically qualified and accepted in the Program. Each request to do Honors work may be accepted by the respective faculty member at his/her discretion. The faculty member has his/her current total work load and personal concerns to consider before making this commitment. If s/he agrees to work with the student in this capacity, an Honors Contract covering the assigned Honors work must be approved the Honors Committee.

The Faculty Organization will serve as a review board for the program. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will coordinate the daily operations of the Honors Program during the pilot period. At the end of the pilot period, the Committee may make a recommendation of the desirability of appointing an Honors Program coordinator, chosen from the faculty and given release time for this administrative work. The Associate Dean will also serve as an ex officio member of the Honors Committee and will have final authority over the Honors Program. The Academic Planning Committee will be asked to serve as an Honors Committee unless or until a separate faculty committee can be set up.

Honors students will be expected to complete a contract for each course they wish to take on an Honors basis. All Honors classes will be open to all students, but Honors students will be required to contract to complete additional work in the sections identified by faculty as available for Honors.

  1. Faculty members will have an updated list at the beginning of each semester identifying those students who are eligible to do Honors work.

  2. Either the student or the faculty member may initiate discussion of an Honors contract for that student.

  3. If the student wishes to do Honors work and if the faculty member approves, a completed contractual form documenting the student's eligibility and the nature of the Honors work assigned is then sent to the Honors Committee.

  4. Honors Contracts must be submitted to and approved by the Honors Committee by the end of the third week of each semester. The Committee's review is designed for overall control of the quality of the program and to insure academic consistency regarding the format of the Honors work and the amount of the Honors work to be undertaken. Any contract not approved by the Honors Committee may be appealed by the faculty member concerned to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The Office of Academic Affairs will provide the advising staff with a list of faculty and sections in which Honors students may contract for additional work. The sections may be in either the 16-week or the 8-week terms. The "H" designator for Honors will not appear on the student's transcript until the contracted-for-work is completed and the instructor has submitted a grade to the Records Office. The Honors contract must be completed by the student and instructor and submitted to the Records Office before the end of the second week of classes.

SCCC 388 (Interdisciplinary Honors Proseminar) is a South Carolina Honors College course designed to be centered around a topic that will foster debate, study and discussion. The Division Chairs will work with the faculty to identify one SCCC 388 section to be offered for each sixteen-week term