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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between HNRS courses and H-sections?

HNRS courses are especially designed for the Honors Scholars. They are limited to a maximum of 20 students each; some are capped at lower enrollments. They feature lots of discussion and more written work than regular liberal arts classes. Because they are interdisciplinary courses, their credits can be assigned to cover various liberal arts requirements, giving students more flexibility in scheduling their classes. H-sections are liberal arts courses usually limited to enrollment by Honors Students and Honors Scholars; a few courses are open to majors in the discipline too. Downsized from regular sections, they often have more written and oral work than regular classes.

Can Honors Students ever take HNRS courses?

Yes, after their first semester. Honors Scholars get first chance to enroll in the HNRS courses, but Honors Students can sign up to be placed on a waiting list for seats that remain available after the initial registration. These places will be assigned on a first come, first served basis to the Honors Students. Only Honors Scholars can enroll in HNRS 201 and 202 in the fall semester because these courses are program requirements for them. Honors Students can petition to enroll in HNRS 203, 204, and 205.

What are the advantages of taking honors courses?

The most obvious advantage is having classes that are smaller. HNRS courses are capped at 20 students each. The H-sections are downsized by 10-50 percent. Smaller classes also mean more discussion, more interaction among the students, and closer contact with the teachers.

What are contract classes and how do they work?

Basically contract classes allow eligible students in upper level courses in their majors to negotiate with their teachers to change some requirements to convert regular courses to honors courses. Typically, students and teachers negotiate on research projects or papers to expand or enhance what is already in the class syllabus. Often students can drop or alter other requirements so that they are not adding a great deal of extra work, merely changing the emphasis. Many universities use contract courses to enable students to earn upper level honors credits. To be eligible, students must have completed three HNRS courses, three H-sections, or petition through the honors office.

How will my honors work be recognized?

All honors classes, including contract classes, are designated on the students' transcripts. Therefore, everyone who sees a transcript can tell how much honors work a student has done.

What is the advantage of having honors classes on my transcript?

Research shows that employers, graduate schools, and professional schools value honors work quite highly. In fact, often they will choose students with honors credits over those without honors work but having a higher GPA. Their rationale is that a 4.00 GPA is harder to interpret than the academic experiences--more writing, speaking, group projects, and student-faculty interaction--involved in honors classes.

How many classes do I need to graduate from the honors college?

To graduate from the Honors College you must earn 20 hours of honors credit, including three HNRS courses or three H-sections, and 4 Honors Contracts. To graduate with distinction--the highest level of recognition in the honors college, you will need to earn 26 hours of honors credits, including four HNRS courses or four H-sections and four honors contract courses including an honors capstone in your major, while maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

Will my GPA suffer if I take honors classes?

Not necessarily. Honors classes are designed to be different, not more difficult than the regular classes. The emphasis is placed on different skills and applications, not necessarily more work or harder work. Some students may find some assignments more difficult because of their own tastes. Statistical studies have revealed that first semester honors students actually do better than comparably prepared students not doing honors courses. We think that the strong support system within the program and the smaller classes and greater interaction with teachers all help the freshmen honors students do well.

Can students in all majors participate in Honors College?

Our Honors College is designed to serve all majors at Harding. We currently have students from all six colleges and schools involved, and we think that all majors, including the pre-professional ones, can benefit. The classes are smaller, the interaction with other students and teachers is more effective, and the stimulation of working with well-prepared students enlivens each course. In addition, the leadership skills taught and modeled help all graduates to progress in their careers and further education.

What happens to Honors participants after they leave Harding?

Many go on to prestigious graduate schools, such as Duke, Michigan, Indiana, and Louisiana State. Some go on to professional programs at UAMS, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Georgetown, and Vanderbilt. Some continue their Christian education at Harding Graduate School in Memphis, Pepperdine or ACU. Some immediately start their careers in teaching or nursing or with firms like Penzoil. Some dedicate themselves to full-time ministry positions as pulpit and youth ministers, as well as missionaries.

How do I contact the Honors Office?

The Honors Office is in the Sears Honors Center. The Honors Center houses a comfortable living room, a kitchen, and administrative offices.

You can reach Dr. J Warren Casey, the Dean of the Honors College, by calling 501-279-4056 or by e-mail at casey@harding.edu.

Debbie Baird, the Honors College administrator, may be reached at 501-279-4157 or by e-mail at dbaird@harding.edu.

Debbie Stewart, the Honors College administrative assistant, may be reached at 501-279-4056 or by email at dstewart@harding.edu.

Honors College
Box 10782
Searcy, Arkansas 72149
501-279-4056
honors@harding.edu

Summer Academic Institute

Honors Symposium

Honors Media and Culture

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