spacer Apply Now!!
Spacer HACC Home Page


Frequently Asked Questions


Honors Studies AA Program – Frequently Asked Questions


1.       What is the Honors Studies Program?

HACC's Honors Studies Program provides curricular, co-curricular, and experiential educational opportunities that promote student excellence by encouraging the knowledge, skills, experience, critical thinking, and leadership abilities essential for a lifetime of integrative learning in a diverse and changing society.


The new program differs from HACC's previous Honors Program in that it is be an entire academic curriculum designed to give students a complete Honors experience, culminating in an Associate degree in Honors Studies with the opportunity to transfer to a 4-year institution if desired.


2.       How do students apply for admission to the Honors Studies Program?

Admission to the Honors Studies Program is be handled like other selective admission programs. New HACC students applying to the College will select the Honors Studies Program as their program of study.


3.       How do students apply and get accepted into the program?

Admitted HACC Students who select Honors Studies as their major must submit a letter of interest (750-1000 words) discussing "how education can help students become global citizens of the future." A three-5 minute video or oral presentation may be presented in lieu of the written letter. Students also must interview with Heather Burns, Honors Studies Program Director.

4.      What are the program requirements? The Honors Studies Program requirements are primarily in General Education course subject areas.  Students desiring to graduate with an Honors Studies degree must complete the required Honors course work and six credits of 200-level electives (can be non-Honors courses). The Honors Foundation Seminar must be taken during the first year of enrollment and the Capstone Seminar must be taken during the last semester of the program.   

The remaining 30-credits encompassing the Associates Degree, including a 1-credit Wellness course, should be in the General Education and/or field/discipline-related subject area of the student's choice. Honors Studies transfer students are strongly encouraged to narrow their transfer options, or choose their transfer institution, as soon as possible upon acceptance into the program.  The program requires careful planning to ensure that General Education requirements and discipline or field-specific courses are completed to finish the "non-honors" portion of their degree. Students who enroll in the Honors Studies Program are strongly encouraged to select their field/discipline concentration courses in consultation with the Honors Studies Program Director, or Counselor, to ensure that courses  are applied to the appropriate transfer or other degree requirements.  After fulfilling all program requirements, students are awarded an Associate of Arts in Honors Studies.

Students may have additional co-curricular requirements such as completion of an ePortfolio and inter-disciplinary course work.


5.       What are the benefits to students for being in the Honors Studies Program?
Students can

·         stretch their intellectual and creative abilities (higher levels of discussion, research, writing, oral presentation and technology)

·         experience faculty mentorship

·         gain leadership experiences and skills

·         have smaller class sizes (capped at 15)

·         take advantage of transfer articulation agreements


6.       How are Honors classes different?

Honors classes are smaller than normal classes, allowing more interaction between student and instructor. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and student input with a higher degree of independence allowed compared to other classes.


7.       Are Honors classes harder than normal ones?

Not necessarily. Honors classes are designed to be challenging, but academically rewarding. Honors students will study subjects in greater depth and possibly at a faster pace.


8.       Are Honors classes transferable?

Yes – Honors classes are just as transferable as the original class because the original learning outcomes are maintained plus Honors Studies outcomes are added. The class subject and number remains the same. The new Foundations (HONS 101H) and Capstone Seminars (HONOS 250H) have been accepted as transfer electives by four area institutions, including Dickinson College, as part of the transfer course approval process.


9.   What transfer articulations are available?

We are working on articulation agreements with many of our common transfer partners in the coming months. Information about various agreements will be posted on


10.   Can any student take any Honors class?

Students must meet the Honors course pre-requisites, eligibility for College-level English, (which may not be the same as the non-Honors class) and must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in all Honors courses to remain eligible for continued enrollment in Honors classes.


11.   What are the benefits to students who want to take Honors classes without being in the Honors Studies Program?

·         Students can stretch their intellectual and creative abilities.

·         Smaller class sizes (capped at 15)

·         Classes appear on transcript which is positive for application to transfer colleges and employment/job-seeking.


12.   Is the Honors Program the same as Phi Theta Kappa?

No. Phi Theta Kappa is a National Honor Society, while the Honors Studies Program is an academic program specific to HACC. For more information on Phi Theta Kappa, visit


13.   How do I get more information about the Honors Studies Program and Honors classes?

Contact Heather Burns ,717-718-0328 or




Site Map | Locations | Contact Us | Employment | Right to Know | Antidiscrimination Policy | Email Webmaster
One HACC Drive, Harrisburg PA 17110 (800) ABC-HACC   .:.  © 1996- 2014   .:.   updated: January 18, 2013
iTunesU Facebook TwitterLinked InYou Tube