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Honors Program Frequently Asked Questions


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, invested participants alongside their peers.  Although the Honors program and Phi Theta Kappa are separate entities, they collaborate for some events and activities.

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
  • High School GPA of 3.75 or above on 4.0 Scale
  • Compass Scores of 90 or above in Reading and Writing
  • 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
  • Write 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 take 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?

The Honors program selects students into the program who meet and maintain the following requirements:

  • Students must obtain a 3.5 or above GPA to enter the program
  • Maintain a 3.25 or above GPA while in the Honors program to remain in the program
  • Complete the program
  • Graduate from OTC with a minimum 3.5 GPA to receive Honors Distinction at commencement and on their degree.
  • Students must complete 5 honors courses while working toward an associate degree of your choice. As well as:
    • 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.)
  • Students must adhere to all guidelines within the OTC Honors Program Student Responsibilities Contract and exhibit behavior appropriate for an honors student.
  • Students 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 program bases courses 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 are not necessarily harder but will instead invite students to become 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?

The following are the goals of the Honors program. We hope these will 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. Only the OTC Springfield campus offers Honors program courses.

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 OTC identifies these courses in the schedule as exclusive to Honors program students only with a section indicator (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. Therefore, only students in Honors courses are part of the Honors program. OTC caps enrollment of Honors courses 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 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 degree.  There is no disadvantage to students who do no complete the program or who already took the HON 101: Honors Seminar.

Will these courses transfer to Missouri State University's Honors College or Drury University's Honors program?

Since the program courses are general education courses that have existing articulation agreements with these institutions, their transferability to MSU or Drury won’t change. However, MSU 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, we recommend working closely with an advisor at the transfer institution.

Who do I contact for more information about the Honors program?

Todd Yerby is the Director of the Honors Program. You may contact him at His office is located in Information Commons East 352 at the Springfield campus. You can reach him by phone at: 417-447-8229. More information is available on Facebook under “OTC Honors Program” and on the web at Please contact Todd Yerby if you are interested in more information.

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