What is the Honors Program?
The Mission of the Honors Program states, “The OTC Honors Program provides academically motivated high achieving students who conduct themselves in a responsible and respectful manner the opportunity to develop their full potential through collaboration with a designated community of scholars and enhanced/additional learning environments and opportunities.” The students, alongside the instructor, lead the learning and the direction of the course. Honors students are active, engaged, invested participants alongside their peers. The Honors Program and Phi Theta Kappa are separate entities – they collaborate for some events and activities but are not the same.
What is required to be eligible for the Honors Program?
New OTC Students (less than 12 college hours)
Must meet one (1) of the following criteria:
- ACT Score of 25 or above, or
- High School GPA of 3.75 or above on 4.0 scale, or
- Compass Scores of 90 or above in Reading and Writing, or
- GED/HISET Score of 77.5% or above
Current OTC Students (12 or more college hours)
- Must have a 3.5 or above cumulative GPA on a minimum of 12 college credit hours
Required for ALL Students
- Complete the ‘Honors Program’ application
- A 500 to 1,000 word essay describing why you want to join the OTC Honors Program and what qualities make you a good candidate for the program.
- Students must be taking all 100 level or above courses to be accepted into the program (students in 040 or 050 courses must complete them prior to entrance into the program).
What is required to remain in the Honors Program?
Students who apply and are selected for the Honors program must meet the following requirements to complete and remain in the Honors Program:
- Obtain a 3.5 or above GPA to enter program and maintain a 3.25 or above GPA while in the Honors Program to stay in the program as well as complete the program and graduate from OTC with a minimum 3.5 GPA to receive Honors Distinction at commencement and on degree.
- Complete 5 Honors Courses while working toward an Associate’s Degree of your choice.
- Must complete a minimum of one Honors Course per academic year
- No more than two (2) honors courses can come from the same subject heading (such as ENG, COM, PLS, PSY, etc.).
- Must adhere to all guidelines within the OTC Honors Program Student Responsibilities Contract and exhibit behavior appropriate for an Honors Student.
- Must complete a minimum of 25 hours of service with a single non-profit entity and write a minimum 3 page paper on the experience to be presented at an OTC Honors Orientation Session. In addition, students must complete a minimum of 5 hours of campus service per semester (Fall/Spring) with student organizations or at volunteer events of their choice.
How is an Honors course different from other OTC courses?
The Honors courses are based on general education courses, yet the curriculum for the Honors section of the course will distinguish it from a traditional section in its expectations and goals for its students. The Honors courses will not necessarily be harder, but instead will invite students to become a more engaged participant in the learning. Seminar-like in nature, these courses encourage dialogue and collaboration within the learning community.
If I complete the Honors Program, what will I have gained that differs from a traditional curriculum?
Following are the goals of the Honors Program. We hope these would be part of your academic experience while you are a student of the Honors Program with OTC. We expect this program to:
- Encourage critical and creative thinking through curriculum that requires analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and problem solving.
- Provide an enriched and innovative program of study to students who demonstrate a motivated and inquiring attitude toward education.
- Foster team building, collaboration, and leadership through the skillful use of communication.
- Promote responsible and challenging actions for the common good as an active, engaged citizen.
- Build a network of academic and community resources.
Do Honors Program courses cost more than other OTC courses?
No, the tuition, student fees, lab fees, and other incidentals for these courses are the same.
Are Honors Program courses available at Richwood Valley, the education sites, or online?
No. The Honors Program courses are only offered at the Springfield campus.
Who is my advisor, and how do I register for the Honors courses?
The Director of the Honors Program will assign an Honors advisor for each Honors student. Honors students will register for both Honors courses and regular courses with their Honors advisor. The courses will be identified in the schedule as exclusive to Honors Program students only, usually with a section indictor (COM 105-HON1, for example).
Who will be with me in the Honors sections of the courses?
Only students who are admitted into the Honors Program are eligible to enroll in the Honors selective courses, so the only students in Honors courses are part of the Honors Program. The enrollment in Honors courses is capped at 16 students. Students may receive Honors Program credit, however, if they complete upper-level math or science courses at OTC with an A or B. Consult the Director of the Honors Program for more information.
What if I take the HON 101 Honors Seminar course but decide I do not want to do the rest of the Honors Program requirements? What happens?
If a student at any point prefers to withdraw from the Honors Program, the HON 101 Honors Seminar course will fulfill elective hours toward total hours for graduation with an Associate’s degree. Any other Honors Program courses, since they are general education courses, will fulfill that particular area of general education or an elective toward the Associate’s degree. A student would not be disadvantaged for having participated in the Program or having been enrolled in HON 101: Honors Seminar.
Will these courses transfer to Missouri State University's Honors College or Drury University's Honors Program?
Since the Honors Program courses are General Education courses that have existing articulation agreements with these two institutions, their transferability to Missouri State or Drury will not change. However, Missouri State has agreed to accept 15 hours of the OTC Honors Program toward their 19-hour Honors College General Honors requirement. In addition, Drury’s Honors Program accepts the Intro course and the service-learning project for transfer into their Honors Program. Regardless of the institution, an OTC Honors student may have to take additional hours to be part of those Honors programs. As with any transfer situation, working closely with an advisor at the transfer institution is strongly recommended.
Whom do I contact for more information about the Honors Program?
Todd Yerby is the Director of the Honors Program. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His office is located in Information Commons East 352 at the Springfield campus, and his number is 417.447.8229. More information is available on Facebook under “OTC Honors Program” and on the web at http://academics.otc.edu/honors/. Please contact Todd Yerby if you are interested in more information.