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Frequently Asked Questions

Arthur Avery at Midwest Food Bank

Arthur Avery at Midwest Food Bank

Application, Qualifications and Benefits

Courses and Advisement

Other Considerations and Questions

Answers to FAQs

Why should I apply to the Honors Program?

You will be enrolled in two challenging and engaging courses each semester, allowing you to earn honors credits on your transcript. Through Phi Theta Kappa, you will earn the opportunity to apply for honors-specific transfer scholarships to colleges and universities after completing the Honors Program at Heartland.  Honors students also participate in fellowship, scholarship, leadership and service activities throughout the semester.

What are the benefits of the Honors Program?

Current Honors students consistently praise the small class sizes. Check out the full list of benefits of Heartland's Honors Program.

Am I qualified? How do I apply to the program?

Learn more about the qualifications and download the application* (available in PDF format, 72 KB, 3 pages).

*Note: You must download and install Adobe® Acrobat® Reader™ in order to view and print the application form.

How do I know if I have been accepted into the program?

You will receive an acceptance letter that also invites you to the orientation session for new Honors students. You will meet fellow Honors students, register for classes, and receive materials.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement that Honors students must maintain?

Honors students must maintain at least a cumulative 3.2 GPA to remain in the Honors Program. Should a student drop below this requirement, a semester-long probationary period is allowed during which the student will work with the Honors Faculty Advisor to improve his or her academic standing.

Can students join the Honors Program at any time?

A new cohort (group) of Honors students begins every fall. You will continue through the program with the same cohort of students.  New students may be added to the cohort at mid-year.

Can part-time students join the Honors program?

The Heartland Honors Program is designed to accept only full-time students.

I'm an older student returning to school after many years — am I eligible?

The Heartland Honors Program accepts any student who meets the program qualifications.

I have already taken some Heartland courses while in high school. Can I still apply for the Honors Program?

Yes! In the case that you have already taken one or more of the course offerings, an Honors contract course could be substituted. A contract course means that you and the instructor of the course agree on a project you will complete during the semester so that the course can be designated as an Honors course on your Heartland transcript.

Do Honors students receive any special recognition?

You will receive special designation on your college transcript for completed honors courses. You will also be designated at graduation with an honors cord (to be worn on one shoulder during commencement), along with having "with College Honors" imprinted on your diploma and official transcript.

What are Honors contract courses? How do they work?

Using a contract course in place of one of the course offerings is determined with the assistance of your academic advisor and the directors of the program. Generally, projects require 5-10 hours of work per credit hour beyond usual course requirements. For example, a 3-credit course completed for in-course Honors generally requires 15-30 hours of additional work. To plan and document a contract course, a special form must be completed and signed by the student and instructor.

What are seminar courses like?

The Honors Seminar portions of the Honors Program are specifically devoted to understanding the issues and the research methodologies as they relate to the Phi Theta Kappa themes. Honors Seminar I is taken in the first semester and will challenge you to consider your place in the world, your ideas about how a society operates and how people communicate complex ideas developed in support of various academic disciplines. Some of these methodologies will be analyzed by you and your fellow Honors students. Exploration of the thought processes underlying some of these methods will be a challenging exercise in applying and further developing your critical thinking skills. Honors Seminar II is taken in your last semester and will result in the application of your skills and one or more of the methods to produce a project that could be presented to fellow honors students or, if requested, presented to the public. These unique seminars are designed to be intellectually challenging, engaging, and entertaining.

Do Honors courses cost more than "regular" courses?

Honors options (honors courses or honors contract courses) are the same cost per credit hour as any other Heartland Community College transfer course.

Where do I go for Honors Program advisement?

Your acceptance letter will inform you of your advisor and initial meeting time.

What is Phi Theta Kappa, and how is it connected to the Honors Program?

Phi Theta Kappa is the International Honor Society of the Two-Year College. Any Honors student who earns a 3.5 GPA and has completed at least 12 credit hours will be eligible to join Phi Theta Kappa with membership dues paid for by the Honors Program.

Will I have some experiences/activities off campus?

While any Honors course may have requirements for participation outside of the classroom, the Honors Seminar I (HONR 101) and Honors Seminar II (HONR 201) courses will give you a chance to engage in academic work outside the formal classroom such as field research, community service, service learning, field trips, or other similar experiences. The National Collegiate Honors Society offers travel experiences with which the HCC program may try to coordinate. Additionally, there are fun, social activities that are planned each semester.

Where can I go for more information about the program?

Contact the program directors for more information.