By Gabriel Aldous
From 6:00pm-7:00pm on October 14, 2019, on the Tarpon Springs campus of SPC at EP 451 the honors program held an informational session for SPC students who wanted to learn more about the program. The honors program at SPC is a challenging program which can lead to new opportunities for research, internships, and scholarships. At the event, honors program director Earl Fratus provided a general overview of the program and answered any questions that participants of the event had.
Non-honors courses at SPC typically have 35-40 students enrolled in the course. Meanwhile, courses with the honors distinction typically have 15-20 students in a class. The smaller learning environment encourages cooperative learning in the classroom and interaction with professors. Taking an honors course does not increase GPA but does offer other advantages. All honors courses are designated by an ‘H’ at the end of the course number. This designation alerts colleges that you were serious about the course. To start, participation in the Honors program can result in either an honors certificate or an honors diploma upon graduation. Additionally, taking honors courses is beneficial if a student is trying to transfer to another school’s program.
In the spring 2020 semester a total of 20 unique honors courses will be offered across the various SPC campuses. The Clearwater campus will offer the highest number of courses with the honors distinction, while the Tarpon Springs campus will offer the least. No honors courses are offered during the summer term due to the shorter time available to teach a class.
In addition to offering honors level classes and a distinction at graduation, the honors program holds many events for its members to participate in. The most notable is the research conference that will be held February 7, 2020. At the research conference, honors students can present research that they have collected in either an oral presentation or by preparing a poster board. While an oral presentation may seem intimidating, Earl Fratus, the honors program director, claims that many students who make a poster presentation their first year perform an oral presentation the next year. Presenting at the research conference can provide an advantage over students who have not when applying for programs at other colleges. Other events that the honors program host include the upcoming Honors Program Focus on Diversity event and the upcoming Honors Social Event.
After the presentation outlining the honors program finished, Earl Fratus answered any questions about the honors program that attendees had. I asked Earl Fratus what advice he would give to a student who was considering joining the honors program, and he recommended taking an honors course to see if a student likes the format of honors classes and to join the program if the student does.
The honors program informational event succeeded in its purpose of providing information about the honors program to interested students. It is important that the Honors program holds informational events like this one so that SPC students who are interested in the honors program can gain information and determine whether honors is the right fit for them. If anybody is looking for more information about the honors program, more information can be found on the honors program page of the SPC website at https://spcollege.edu/current-students/student-affairs/academic-resources/honors-program or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any questions.