HONORS PROGRAM PUTS THE FOCUS ON YOU

SPC welcomes talented and motivated students who want to explore their creativity, leadership and critical thinking in our Honors Program. Our challenging program can lead to opportunities for scholarships, internships, priority registration, research and mentoring.

A Tradition of Excellence

Stanford. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point. George Washington University. The University of Hawaii. The University of South Florida. These are just some of the major institutions that SPC Honors graduates have attended.

Admissions

Admission to the SPC Honors Program

You must be accepted as an SPC student before you apply to the Honors Program. Before you begin, please review the following criteria. If you are close to meeting these or have justification for not meeting them, we encourage you to apply. Make sure you have your SPC student number, GPA, number of SPC credits earned and test scores before beginning the application.

Complete the SPC Honors Program Application

Program Requirements

Current, Dual Enrolled, Returning and Transfer Students 

  • Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • One Academic Letter of Recommendation
  • Having completed at least twelve (12) credit hours
  • A writing sample of at least 500 words*

First Time in College 
Please provide a 500-word writing sample, an academic letter of recommendation, and proof of one of the following:**

  • Graduation in the top 10% of your high school graduating class
  • Minimum 3.5 unweighted high school GPA
  • Score of 1200 (Critical Reading and Mathematics) or higher on the SAT or 32 new reading score & 30 new math score
  • Score of 26 or higher on the ACT; or
  • Score of 120 or higher on the Reading and Writing sections of the College Placement Test (PERT)

Taking a Course (non-Honors Students) 
Score of 120 or higher on the Reading and Writing sections of the College Placement Test (PERT)

Continuation Requirements

  • Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher by the end of the academic year
  • Involvement in service learning projects and/or extracurricular activities each semester

* The writing sample can be an original, creative essay or an original research sample with citations. 
**These students will need to maintain a 3.25 GPA or higher once they are accepted to the program. 

Research Opportunities

honors conference

Research Opportunities for Honors Program Students

The Honors Program's research activities are presented and promoted outside and inside the classroom through:

  • An annual honors spring research conference
  • Honors student contracts and projects in collaboration with faculty mentors
  • Student-run science clubs
  • Undergraduate Research Society (URS)
  • A science and medicine-related, student-run organization that promotes clinical and biomedical research
Benefits

Benefits for Honors Program Students

As an Honors student, you can take part in:

  • Merit-based and other scholarship opportunities
  • Opportunities for research and service learning
  • A challenging curriculum with courses designed specifically for honors students
  • Priority registration
  • Honors advising services (by appointment)
  • Class sizes that average less than 20 students
  • Honors course transcript designation
  • Honors diploma, certificate, medals and awards
  • Special arrangements for transferring to universities and colleges
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Faculty mentoring, research and internship opportunities
Classes

Taking Honors Courses

View the Spring 2020 Courses.

You do not have to be a member of the Honors Program to take honors classes. Honors courses vary from regular classes in many ways. Among them:

  • Students are active participants in class discussions and activities
  • Students are exposed to interdisciplinary theories and analysis and international and diverse perspectives not available in non-honors courses
  • Students experience innovative teaching techniques
  • Students are encouraged to develop research skills
  • Students are required to use instructional technology in their courses

SPC offers honors classes in:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Communication
  • Ethics
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
Graduating with Honors

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR HONORS CERTIFICATE OR DIPLOMA

Review the requirements for graduating from SPC with an honors program certificate or diploma:

The Honors Certificate: 

  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar I (zero-credit)
  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar II (zero-credit)
  • Successful completion of a total of 16 Honors credit hours
  • Successful completion of the Honors e-portfolio
  • A GPA of 3.25 or above

The Honors Diploma: 

  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar I (zero-credit)
  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar II (zero-credit)
  • Successful completion of a total of 22 Honors credit hours
  • Successful completion of the Honors e-portfolio
  • A GPA of 3.5 or above
Service Learning

Honors Program Service Learning

Service learning is the combination of community service that meets a real community need combined with academic and personal reflection. Through service learning, students integrate academics with real-life experiences and discover what becoming a responsible part of the community really means. Service learning allows students to take a service like trash collection and use it as an opportunity to not only clean up the community, but to also conduct research and address needs within the community. The integration of community service and academics allows students to apply techniques learned in classes to solve real-life problems.

Through service learning, students are able to think outside the box and link theory with experience. Students develop a sense of purpose and gain an understanding of personal values, strengths and weaknesses, while making significant contributions to the community. The service-learning experience is a collision of discovery inside and outside the classroom. Honors students are not only expected to develop academic excellence, but also strong leadership skills, teamwork, character, motivation and dedication to service. As part of the Honors Program commitment, members are required to complete service-learning requirements through the honors service-learning course IDH 2634H. This one credit course is blended, with two in-person meetings, 30 hours of services, discussion forums, reports and evaluations.

To obtain the proper forms to document service-learning projects and hours, please log in to the My|Courses. For more information regarding the honors service-learning course (IDH 2634H), please contact at Dr. Tucker at (727) 791-2752.

For any additional questions, please contact the Honors Program directly at (727) 791-2708 or honors.program@spcollege.edu.

Service Learning Opportunities

The honors service-learning seminar combines volunteer work with a community service organization leading to significant learning through reflection and discussion. The professor helps students choose an organization that matches their goals and passions. Discussions mainly occur through online bulletin boards, with several face-to-face meetings during a semester.

Honors College students contribute many hours to the community by working with many non-profit organizations such as:

  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Trinity Café
  • R'Club
  • YMCA
  • Clothes to Kids
  • RCS Food Bank
  • Lighthouse of Pinellas
  • Morton Plant Hospital
  • Clearwater Homeless Intervention Project
  • Benjamin Mendick Hope Lodge
  • National Humane Society
  • Pinellas County Animal Services
  • American Cancer Society   
Honors Program FAQs

Honors Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Honors Program?
The Honors Program is an enrichment of college studies with specially designed courses and engaging curriculum open only to qualified students. The Honors Program provides an approach to education in small classes based on active learning and critical engagement. Honors Program courses allow you to associate and interact with like-minded students.

Are honors students required to study abroad?
No, although we strongly encourage you to take advantage of all academic opportunities, including study abroad. These experiences often contribute to the development of wonderful honors projects and satisfy our honors curriculum and requirements! To this end, we have established opportunities for Honors Program members to receive International Study Abroad scholarships.

Can I continue Honors Program membership after transferring to one of SPC's four-year programs?
Yes, there are special opportunities for you to continue your Honors Program membership while you are in a bachelor's program. This includes independent research as well as service learning and community leadership.

Do honors students have the same general education requirements as other students?
Yes. Honors students are not required to take more courses, and most Honors courses will fulfill general education requirements.

Do honors classes cost more?
No. Honors courses cost the same per credit hour as regular classes. Students may be eligible for Honors Program Scholarships.

How do I identify an honors course?
Honors courses can be identified as follows: an "H" after the section number, as in ENC 1102H Composition II.

Since I am in the Honors Program, do I automatically become a member of Phi Theta Kappa?
For more information about PTK, please contact your campus student Life and Leadership coordinator. Phi Theta Kappa members are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program; they are not automatically guaranteed membership, and vice versa.

What are the Honors Program admissions requirements for current and transfer students?
You must have a grade point average of at least 3.25 in all college-level coursework (including transfer credits) and 12 credits hours or more of college coursework and be qualified for college level coursework in reading, writing and math.

What are the benefits of the Honors Program?
As an Honors Program student, you are provided a variety benefits including:

  • Early registration
  • Challenging coursework designed to sharpen critical thinking and analytical skills 
  • Transcript designation of Honors academic credits
  • Unique scholarship opportunities
  • International study scholarships (Study Abroad)
  • Special meeting, study and recreation areas

For more information, please contact the SPC Honors Program.

What do I need to do to make sure I get full honors recognition when I apply for graduation?
The Honors Certificate:

  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar I (non-credit)
  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar II (non-credit)
  • Successful completion of a total of 16 Honors credit hours
  • Successful completion of the Honors e-portfolio
  • A GPA of 3.25 or above

The Honors Diploma:

  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar I (non-credit)
  • Successful completion of Honors Seminar II (non-credit)
  • Successful completion of a total of 22 Honors credit hours
  • Successful completion of the Honors e-portfolio
  • A GPA of 3.5 or above

What other opportunities does the Honors Program offer?
In addition to engaging classes with motivated students and outstanding professors, the Honors Program provides a variety of benefits including scholarships, community involvement through service learning, special opportunities to attend national, regional, and state conferences as well as cultural events on- and off-campus.

What if my GPA drops below 3.25?
If your GPA drops below 3.25, you will be put on probation until it is raised. If your GPA remains low for another semester, you will be dismissed from the Honors Program.

When are scholarship decisions made?
The Honors Program scholarship committee meets twice a year to review the new and continuing members and award scholarships.

When will I receive my scholarship funds?
All financial aid is administered after the last drop/add day of the session. If you have questions about how your scholarship will be awarded, you can contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Financial Assistance, (727)791-2486.

Who advises honors students?
There are Honors advisors at each campus. In addition, you can meet with the Honors Director for additional Honors advising.

Honors Program Contacts

Honors Program Administration

For more information contact us at
honors.program@spcollege.edu
727-791-2708
Location: Clearwater Campus, LA-185

Honors Program Director
Earl Fratus
Phone: 727-394-6045

Honors Program Service-Learning Coordinator 
Eric J. Tucker, Ph.D.
Phone: 727-341-4698

Honors Program Advisors

Clearwater Campus
Karen Sommerville

Seminole Campus
Renee Kessing 

St. Pete Gibbs Campus
Tara Hunter 

Tarpon Springs Campus
James Ralph