Honors Program accepting applications


Ashley Hall

The Paulding campus library has an informative display for the Honors Program that shows highlights and deadlines. Brochures for the program are also available for students to keep and read at their leisure.

Ashley Hall, Editor-in-Chief

The Honors Program is accepting applications for new members for the spring 2023 semester. It is managed by Director of Honors Program and Associate Professor of Communication, Dr. Steve Stuglin. The program challenges students’ intellect, creativity and motivation for academic success.

Students interested in joining the program and taking on an Honors Project can apply online here. Applicants must meet one of the admission requirements to be accepted. The deadline to apply is Feb. 20.

Students can begin the Honors Project process once they are accepted into the Honors Program. Students must approach their instructor and ask if they would be willing to write a contract that would set the guidelines of the Honors Project. The contract deadline is Feb. 27.

“The Honors Project is a creative and unique project of inquiry that the student and faculty mentor develop together,” Dr. Stuglin said. “This project is tailored to you and the things that allow you to shine.”

The Honors Project singles out a subject in a class curriculum that the student will conduct detailed research on and present in a personalized fashion. Past project examples include a play for theater, a detailed analysis of women’s roles in horror films for English and a coding sequence for computer science. These and more examples can be found on the honors website.

Students that maintain a 3.25 GPA and earn a C or higher in honors courses can remain in the Honors Program and earn honors credits instead of regular credits. Honors credits will be notated by an H next to the course grade on transcripts.

According to Dr. Stuglin, 12 honors credits earns an honors certificate, 15 honors credits and a capstone presentation can earn an honors diploma and 18 honors credits with a capstone earns an honors bachelor’s diploma with a bachelor’s degree, provided all other requirements are met.

“What we’re really selling students is the idea that when they graduate or transfer, they are competing with hundreds or thousands of other students who are also good students,” Dr. Stuglin said. “An honors diploma is something that a fraction of 1% of college graduates will have. So, it’s a way you can really stand out in the marketplace when you’re transferring to West Georgia or KSU…”

Samantha Lewis is a GHC alumna who took part in six Honors Projects. She achieved an associate of science in general studies, an associate of psychology and a bachelor’s in health science. She currently works as a laboratory coordinator at GHC.

“It was such a confidence builder for me to be an honors… especially here at Georgia Highlands, where everybody talks about how different it is than any other school,” Lewis said.

Lewis wrote on her personal website that her Student Spin Podcast Leadership Series is her favorite Honors Project. She interviewed 10 GHC leaders to discuss each of their leadership skills.

“Out of those 10, I think three of them, or four of them, wrote me recommendation letters for grad school,” Lewis said.

Jolene Hayden is a bachelor’s in nursing major and Phi Theta Kappa member on the Cartersville campus. She is currently taking on two Honors Projects in world literature and Western civilization. She returned to college in January 2022 after a 12-year break and wanted to make the most of it by joining the Honors Program.

Hayden said that the first Honors Project she did in medical microbiology has taken her everywhere. She said a nursing director she had a job interview with on Jan. 31 was more impressed with her honors accomplishments than her job history.

“I feel like all my windows are opening up and I love it,” Hayden said. “I think it’s helped me… get out of my shell to learn and see new things; dig a little deeper into the classes that I’m taking and being able to take that knowledge with me…”

Hayden has attended an honors conference in Savannah in the past and will be attending another one in Morrow on Feb. 11 to present some research.

“Conferences that I’ve gone to, just very interesting. You meet all kinds of people, doctors, people going for their PhD. Like science students, math students, just all kinds of students from all over and you get to mingle and talk with them,” Hayden said. “…whether you win or you don’t, I think that’s the greatest thing.”

Lewis and Hayden have built strong, personal relationships with the professors they did Honors Projects with. Hayden said that she has had coffee with one of her previous professors and another convinced her to go to the Feb. 11 conference.

“Dr. Nandi and me got really, really close through the semester last year just because we’ve worked so close side-by-side doing the research in the lab…” Hayden said. “I feel like I’ve bonded closely with my teachers and you get to know them on a different level…”

Students that undertake the Honors Program can broaden their horizons and be awarded various opportunities that will advance their academic and working professions.

“There’s a lot of [stuff] for students that are willing to accept the challenge of the Honors Program,” Dr. Stuglin said. “There’s a lot of ways that it’ll benefit them both interpersonally, networking, in terms of awards and scholarships, and also just standing out by earning those credits and being able to sell themselves to future jobs and employers.”

“I’m a cheerleader for the Honors Program; I think that anybody who wants to be here should be part of the program,” Lewis said. “It’s really a gateway… especially in subjects that you’re maybe not passionate about, finding something within that subject that you could be passionate about and learning more about it.”

Honors Program applications get sent to Dr. Stuglin for review. Students can visit the Honors Program page on the GHC website for more information. Any questions can be emailed to [email protected].