The Honors Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers enriched plans of study to highly motivated students who have the ability to excel academically and the desire to develop global perspectives. Consistent with the university’s aspiration to “close the gaps” for those from groups who have been historically under-represented in Texas higher education, the program seeks to attract and retain a broad and diverse population of students. A successful Honors experience requires an exceptional commitment from participating students and faculty. Honors students are challenged with innovative, participatory, and rigorous learning experiences in a community of similarly motivated learners. Faculty members provide both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary instruction, as well as facilitating co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. Faculty members also provide personal mentoring for and collaborative partnerships with their students. Students and faculty have a unique opportunity in the Honors Program for development and recognition of their interests, skills, abilities, and potential. The goals of the Honors Program are to:
- Inspire students to excel beyond their expectations.
- Enable students to develop their fullest possible intellectual potential.
- Set high standards for academic performance.
- Promote interaction with the world beyond the university.
- Further faculty commitment to scholarship and instruction.
- Recognize the accomplishments of students and faculty.
Learning outcomes for students who graduate from the Honors Program will include proficiency in:
- Analyzing issues and texts critically.
- Conducting independent research projects.
- Using writing effectively to articulate questions, findings, and conclusions.
Prospective students are asked to submit a portfolio that includes:
1) A letter of application explaining why the student wishes to be admitted to the Honors Program, what he/she brings to the program, and what he/she expects from the program. Mention of honors and achievements, of particular skills and capabilities, are appropriate here.
2) The application form.
3) Three letters of evaluation from high school or college teachers, or from others who can speak to the student’s talents, potential, and aspirations.
4) High school and college transcripts.
5) An example of past or present academic work in which the student takes pride. “Academic work” includes literary or artistic projects, original research, or other demonstrations of skills and interests.
6) A 2- to 3-page essay written especially for the honors application portfolio, topic determined by the Honors Program Admissions Committee. (See website for more instructions or contact the Director of the Honors Program.)
Students can apply for admission to the Honors Program for their first fall semester or during any semester their first or second year. Application is initiated with either self-nomination or faculty nomination. Transfer students who have taken honors courses at Del Mar College and other institutions of higher education are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
STRUCTURE OF PROGRAM
The Honors Program is structured to serve students in all majors and degree programs.The recommended sequence emphasizes the Honors experience in the first two years, when all students are completing the core curriculum. For the 3rd and 4th years, colleges and programs have flexibility to integrate Honors experiences with their existing course of study. To graduate from the Honors Program, a student must have completed a minimum of 21 Honors credit hours and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 for all courses taken at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, excluding courses taken pass/no pass or credit/no credit.
Honors First-Year Learning Community (7-12 hrs).
One Honors section of core course (3 hrs)
Honors PHIL 3340 (3 hrs)
1-2 Honors sections of core course (3-6 hrs)
Third Year and Fourth Year
Third or Fourth Year: at least 3-7 hours from:
• Research Methods (3 hrs)
• Upper-division Honors seminar (3-4 hrs)
• Independent Study (3 hrs)
• Internship or Field Experience (1-3 hrs)
• Project of Excellence (1 hr)
Total Third and Fourth Years 4-8 hrs.
Honors students majoring in nursing should consult “Criteria for Progression in the Honors Program within the College of Nursing” in the Honors program handbook.
Honors First-Year Learning Community
In their first-year experience, Honors students participate in self-contained learning communities. Honors learning communities will include:
· First-Year Seminar
· English 1301, 1302
· One or two discipline courses
Key to this model are innovative uses of the 7–12 hour block of class time, involving team teaching and interdisciplinary approaches to subject matter.
Extra-Curricular and Co-curricular Activities
· Internship: Arrangements with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum USHMM), congressional offices or other institutions in Washington DC, the Harte Research Institute, etc.
· Community service project
· Maymester or spring break, junior or senior year
· Membership in discipline-specific organizations; international and local honors societies
· Conference presentations (National Collegiate Honors Conference, conferences in the disciplines)
· On–campus symposia, colloquia
The Honors Core Experience
All Honors courses actively engage students in sustained inquiry directed toward complex issues in our local, regional, national, and international communities. Core courses allow students to interact with fellow Honors students, work closely with faculty, and pursue original research.
Upper-Division Courses and Seminars focus on developing problem-solving abilities and analyzing complex issues from the perspective of several disciplines.
Independent Studies consist ofstudent-initiated, independent work with a faculty mentor.
Courses designated with the HONR prefix may be cross-listed by two or more disciplines. Such courses may be counted as part of the requirements for both the major and honors program, but may not be repeated under the optional prefix for additional credit.
Student Honors Portfolio
As a requirement of the program, Honors students are asked to maintain a portfolio of their academic work to be presented during their last semester. The portfolio will be used to assess the achievement and development of each student as well as to assess the Honors Program as a whole. All portfolios will be kept permanently on file in the Honors office.
Project of Excellence
A senior capstone experience is required of all Honors students who graduate from the program. The Project of Excellence will consist of a paper, performance, or presentation of research results typical of professional work in the major field. The project is approved beforehand by the Honors Council and major department in which the student is enrolled, and supervised by an Honors faculty member.
Upper Division Courses in the Honors Program (HONR)
For further information contact Stephanie Box.
Web site: http://honors.tamucc.edu
Campus address: CCH 291F; phone: (361) 825-3926
Mailing address: Honors Program
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5751