Catalog • 2012-2013

The Honors Program

For information, contact Dr. Brian Misanko or Dr. James Ward.

For twenty years, the Cedar Crest Honors Program has been a stimulating and enriching accompaniment to the college experience for traditional students and lifelong learners. It is a way for the academically superior student to challenge and reward herself as she expands her horizons through a unique set of non-traditional learning opportunities as well as special cultural, intellectual and social activities. Honors courses are cross-disciplinary in nature, at times team-taught, with an emphasis on developing the talents of unusually gifted students and promoting understanding of diverse approaches to the questions and problems inherent in the human condition. Individual or group projects as alternatives to traditional exams, off-campus learning excursions, informal discussion sessions and guest lecturers enhance the honors classroom experience. Students who participate in this prestigious program and graduate with an Honors Diploma find it a valuable addition to their résumés, for application to graduate or professional school and pursuit of a career.

Honors Program Mission

The Honors Program is designed to present academically high-achieving students with challenges that go beyond traditional classes and coursework. Through Honors courses, Honors research, and other Honors activities, the program recognizes, distinguishes, and rewards these students while giving them opportunities to interact with other high achievers and with faculty outside their individual academic majors. The program expands students’ horizons by exposing them to cross-disciplinary learning experiences and by promoting an understanding of diverse approaches to questions inherent in the human condition. The program emphasizes the role of women as leaders and as citizens in local, national, and global communities. The program culminates in an extensive cross-disciplinary project, which may be related to the student’s major and is mentored individually by one or more faculty members. Completion of the requirements for the Honors Diploma is celebrated at an all-campus presentation of students’ research or creative projects toward the end of the senior year.

Honors Program Guidelines

Freshmen are admitted to the Honors Program if they have attained an 1150 or better on their SAT exams and are in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. In extraordinary circumstances the directors, in consultation with the Honors faculty, may make an exception to the prerequisites upon appeal by the student. Students who were not admitted into the Honors Program as freshmen are eligible for admission to the program if they achieve a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average with 12 or more completed credits.

Transfer students are eligible for admission to the program if they achieved a 3.35 cumulative average at their previous host institution. Those who were not admitted into the program when they began their studies at Cedar Crest are eligible for admission if they achieve a 3.35 cumulative GPA with 12 or more completed credits.

SAGE students are eligible if they achieve a 3.35 cumulative after completing 12 or more Cedar Crest credits.

A student in the Honors Program whose cumulative average falls below 3.35 for more than one semester is suspended from the program. She may participate in the program in the future if she regains the 3.35 cumulative average.

A student in the Honors Program may take as many of the program course offerings as her schedule permits. Those students who choose to graduate with an Honors Diploma must complete the requirements of either the conventional or the concentrated research/creativity track. These requirements are as follows:

Conventional Honors Track: Student choosing this tract will complete a minimum of 12 credits of Honors coursework, 6 credits of HON 350/351 and an Honors Thesis/Project. In order to remain active in the Honors Program, students must complete a minimum of 3 credits of Honors coursework each year. SAGE students must complete a minimum of 3 credits of Honors coursework in every 15 credits. In order to graduate with an Honors Diploma, students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of Honors coursework and must complete 6 credits of HON 350/351 (Honors Thesis/Project). Before registration in HON 350, students must select an advisor for their Honors Project and must submit an Honors Thesis/Project Proposal for approval by the advisor and directors of the Honors Program. At the end of the second semester of their senior year they will submit either a paper or electronic copy of their thesis/project and give a formal presentation of their work to the College community and invited guests.

Concentrated Research/Creativity Track: Student may choose actively to work on their Honors thesis/project over a period of two or more years and may start as early as the first semester sophomore year. The primary focus of the Honors thesis /project will most likely be in their major field of study. However, the thesis/project must include a cross-disciplinary component. If this track is chosen, students must select an advisor and must submit an Honors Thesis/Project Proposal for approval by the advisor and directors of the Honors Program at the beginning of their project but no later than the completion of the sophomore year. In order to remain active in the Honors program, students choosing this track must complete a minimum of 2 credits of HON 390 (independent study) each semester and must demonstrate consistent progress and accumulating mastery in the subject of their project. In order to graduate with an Honors Diploma, students must complete 6 credits of Honors coursework and must complete a minimum of 12 credits of independent Honors research (including HON 350/351). At the end of the second semester of the senior year, they will submit either a paper or electronic copy of their thesis/project and give a formal presentation of their work to the College community and invited guests.

Honors Research or Creative Project: In both the Conventional Honors Track and the Concentrated Research/Creativity Track, students may use part or all of their capstone research toward fulfilling the Honors research/creative project requirement. Students who choose this option or who wish to apply research completed for any other course to fulfill the Honors thesis/project requirement will receive academic credit for only one experience only. If a research or creative project is deemed worthy of more than 3 academic credits, the student must submit a letter requesting more than 3 credits, with approval by all faculty members involved in the project, to the directors of the Honors Program.

The Honors thesis/project is very flexible, but must have a cross-disciplinary dimension. It may be a research paper, a play, a portfolio of paintings, or another kind of creative work. All thesis/project topics must be approved by the directors of the Honors Program. Students may count their capstone experience in their academic major toward their Honors research or creative project requirement. If they choose to do so, they must include a cross-disciplinary component in their capstone experience, to be developed with their Honors faculty mentor. Because the number of credits awarded by the capstone experience varies in the different academic majors, Honors students must be sure that they complete a total of 6 credits counting toward their Honors research or creative project. A copy of each student’s honors thesis or creative project is kept in the College archives in the Cressman Library.

A mentor, in most cases, is a member of the Cedar Crest faculty. However, students are free to choose an expert from outside the College community, subject to approval by the directors of the Honors Program. Such individuals must have a professional standing appropriate to the academic purposes of the student’s research/creative project. In some cases, students will wish to work with more than one mentor, particularly to insure the inclusion of a cross-disciplinary dimension in their project. Whether students work with a single mentor or multiple mentors, it is important to contact faculty members as early as possible, to explain fully the nature of the proposed project, and to make sure of their availability through the time frame needed to complete it.

Honors Program Courses

HON 101-105 Honors First Year Seminar 3 credits
HON 110 Honors College Writing 3 credits
HON 133 Changing the World from the Inside Out 3 credits
HON 194 Creative Writing 3 credits
HON 200 The Quest 3 credits
HON 202 Asian Religions 3 credits
HON 203 The Middle Ages: Myth, Magic, and Mystery 3 credits
HON 206 Webs and Virtual Spaces: Victorian Lit and E-Lit 3 credits
HON 212 Case Studies in the Forensic Sciences: The Application of Science and Technology to the Investigation of Crime 3 credits
HON 215 Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases 3 credits
HON 218 The City as History 3 credits
HON 220 Film and History: Visions and Revisions of the Past 3 credits
HON 224 Women in the Workplace 3 credits
HON 231 Social Psychology 3 credits
HON 242 Conceiving Women: Reproduction, Technology, and Feminism 3 credits
HON 244 Psychology and Dramatic Literature 3 credits
HON 245 Topics in Popular Culture 3 credits
HON 251 Health Psychology 3 credits
HON 260 Special Topics 3 credits
HON 278 Terror: The History of an Idea 3 credits
HON 350/351 Honors Thesis/Project 3 credits each term
HON 390 Honors Independent Research 1-3 credits

Honors Program Grade Requirements

Honors courses, including HON 350/351, will be graded in the following way: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, F. Students will be given Honors credit if they attain a grade of B or higher in a given Honors course. A grade of B-, C+, C, or C- will result in elective credit, but not Honors credit and therefore will not count toward the fulfillment of the Honors Diploma requirements.