Guidance Letter A-090


SUBJECT:  Honors Program

The Honors Program is for students who excel in academics and have a desire to explore in greater depth the major topics covered in the curriculum. The Honors Program, designed to augment the course work required for a degree, is open to all students who meet qualifying criteria. It includes specially designed honors courses as well as honors–level sections and components of standard courses.

These honors courses are designed to:

  • challenge academically well-prepared students;
  • allow students to explore opportunities for professional growth and development;
  • offer opportunities for independent and original work;
  • offer opportunities for in-depth study of interdisciplinary issues;
  • enable students to demonstrate their ability to succeed in challenging work, documenting their potential for future success;
  • enhance potential opportunities for scholarships; and
  • provide special recognition at graduation.
  1. Honors Program Options
    Students may choose from one of the following Honors program options:
    1. Honors Achievement Designation
      To receive the Honors Achievement Designation, a student must complete 18 hours of Honors course work (including four hours of honors program specific courses which may be any combination of Honors Colloquium, Leadership Development, or Interdisciplinary Perspectives.) with an overall average of 3.0 or better while meeting the associate degree requirements and have a 3.25 GPA at graduation. The diploma and transcript will carry a seal bearing the designation “HONORS ACHIEVEMENT.”
    2. Honors Recognition
      To receive the Honors Recognition Award, a student must complete 12 hours of Honors course work (including one hour of honors program specific courses which may be Honors Colloquium, Leadership Development, or Interdisciplinary Perspectives.) with an overall average of 3.0 or better while meeting the associate degree requirements and have a 3.25 GPA at graduation. The transcript at degree completion will carry an “Honors Recognition” notation.
    3. Honors Sample
      Students who meet qualifying criteria may sample a few Honors courses. Honors courses will be identified as such on transcripts.
  2. Honors Program Qualifying Criteria
    Students must apply to participate in the Honors program using the Honors Program Application. All applications are reviewed by the Honors Review Committee. A student must meet criteria as outlined below to be admitted into the program (Any exceptions to the criteria must be approved in writing by the Honors Review Committee and the Vice President for Academic Affairs).
    1. First Time Freshman
      First time freshmen must have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale or an ACT composite score of 24 or higher or an SAT combined score of 940 or higher.
    2. Currently Enrolled Student
      Currently enrolled students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher after completing a minimum of 12 semester credit hours of college-level hours of which 9 must be Cleveland State hours.
    3. Transfer Students
      Students who participated in an honors program at an accredited institution may transfer into Cleveland State’s Honors Program upon recommendation from the transferring institution’s honors program director and upon meeting all Cleveland State requirements with the exception of residency.
      Students who did not participate in an honors program at another institution but wish to participate in Cleveland State’s Honors Program must transfer from an accredited institution with a minimum of 12 hours college-level credit and a GPA of 3.25 or better, a written recommendation from a faculty member at the transfer institution, and approval of the Honors Review Committee.
  3. Honors Course Designations
    Only students who have been admitted into the honors program may take honors courses.
    1. Discipline Integrated Honors Courses – Partial Honors Format
      1. The Partial Honors course format allows students to take traditional courses with other students. In addition, extensive supervised in-depth study is required.  The course will correspond with a cross-listed traditional course. Credit hours for the traditional course and the honors upgrade course will be identical. The honors section is identified by discipline designation and course number, e.g. HIST 2020. The section number designation will be “_H_”.
    2. Interdisciplinary Honors Courses
      1. Interdisciplinary Perspectives
        These courses explore various multidisciplinary perspectives including and focus on critical analysis. These courses carry 3 credit hours.  They are identified by HON and course number, e.g. HON 1010. The section number designation is “HHH.”
      2. Honors Colloquium
        These courses involve in-depth discussions of a selected topic. These courses carry one credit hour.  These courses are identified by HON and course number, e.g. HON 1110. The section number designation is “HHH.”
      3. Leadership Development Studies
        This course follows the Leadership Development Studies: A Humanities Approach curriculum created by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  This course carries 3 credit hours.  This course is identified by HON and the course number 2902. The section number designation is “HHH.”
  4. Faculty Remuneration for Honors Courses
    1. Courses listed above under 3.2. are considered stand-alone courses. As such, they are considered part of the faculty member’s course load; they may thus be part of a regular course load or computed as overload. If an honors course has fewer than 12 students, proration may be necessary (based upon the credit hours attached to the course).
    2. Courses listed above under 3.1. (Partial Honors Format) are offered as additions to the regular faculty course load. Compensation will be based on a prorated amount per student (14th day) per semester (based on overload pay scale; 12 students = 1 class) based on compensation schedule provided in Guidance Letter P-051 (Extra Compensation Schedule for Credit Instruction and Guidelines for Part-Time Faculty Compensation).

Source: Honors Task Force 1995/96/97

Approved by: Dean’s Council January 30, 2013; Curriculum and Academic Standards February 7, 2013; President’s Cabinet February 12, 2013.