CCA is an accredited community college with campuses in Aurora and Denver Colorado


Honors Program Handbook

Honors Designation
Honors Designation Policy
Examples of Projects
Honors Project Forms


Mission: The Community College of Aurora Honors Program provides enhanced educational opportunities and promotes academic dialogue between highly motivated students and faculty.

Honors Designation

Application Deadline for Fall 2012 Semester: September 21, 2012
Results Due to Honors Committee Chair: December 19, 2012

Note: Taking a course for Honors Designation is different from graduating “with honors.” Completion of an honors project allows a student to receive the Honors Designation (“H”) on his/her transcript for that specific course. Graduating with Honors requires a specific GPA.

Additional information about Honors Projects, including examples of projects, can be found on this site. CCA courses may be taken for Honors credit for individual students if the student undertakes Honors work as part of, or in addition to, the normal course work in that course.

An Honors project means the student engages in an original project which will result in an intellectual dialogue between the student and the instructor. At least two of the six lifelong skills must be practiced. Some possibilities for Honors projects

Community Service projects

Undertaking a project in which the results are presented to the class

Leading a study group for students in the class

Completing a term paper on a topic that is more original and more challenging than those assigned in the course.

Upon successful completion of the Honors project, the student will receive the Honors Designation on his/her transcript. (“H”)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Student should have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25
  • Student must have completed 6 or more credit hours at CCA
  • Student should be enrolled in course numbered 100 level or above

Honors Designation Policy
There are two ways a course can be assigned Honors Designation. The faculty member will designate said course before the registration process or in the classroom on the first day of the course. The second assignation can come, upon request, from the student in agreement with the faculty member during the first two weeks of classes in any semester. If this is the case, the course being considered for Honors Designaton must be 100 level or above.

A student is eligible to earn the Honors Designation for a course if he/she has an established cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher at CCa following the completion of 6 or more credit hours at CCA.

An honors-designated project can either be an extension of a classroom assignment or a stand alone project.

In order for a student to be eligible to earn Honors Designation for a course he/she must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25. The student must also be in a course that is transferable (GT) or degree-related (100 level or above).

The Honors Project Form must be completed by the instructor in total, with a description of the project, end project documentation type, and applicable S-numbers, by the application deadline. (4-weeks from the start of regular classes). The form will be reviewed by the Honors Committee and recommendation for the proposed topic will be returned to the instructor. The instructor will provide a copy for the student.

If the project does not meet academic standards, the Honors Committee will provide suggestions for changes to meet academic standards when appropriate. The instructor and student will then have 2 weeks to resubmit the honors project for reconsideration.

Honors projects will be completed pass/fail to receive the Honors Designation on their transcript. (“H”) The project should not be counted as extra credit.

The student must earn an A in the course and pass the honors project to earn Honors Designation.

Successful completion of the project will be determined by the instructor. Upon completion of the approved project, the instructor will submit a copy of the approved application, final grade in the course, and project completion documentation, to indicate successful completion to the Honors Chair. The Honors Committee will submit all successfully completed applications to enrollment services for an Honors Designation to be added to the student’s transcript.

Students will be able to verify the Honors Designation by the 2nd week of the following semester.


Honors work is not necessarily more work; rather it is more challenging and requires one to be more creative.


There are two ways a course can be assigned for Honors Designation. The faculty member will designate said course before the registration process or in the classroom on the first day of the course. The second assignation can come, upon request, from the student in agreement with the faculty member during the first two weeks of classes in any semester. If this is the case, the student can only request said designation in any 100-level or above course.


Faculty members should submit their request for Honors Designation and the projects to be offered to the Honors Committee as soon as possible for review and approvals. The faculty member could offer some form of expanded project for a student to complete where points may be included in the overall class grade, with a separate structure for the designated project. The faculty member also could offer a stand-alone project with its own grading rubric. Suggestions for projects in many disciplines can be found at the end of this document. In a course where you can earn Honors Designation, the grading structure should be included in the syllabus or as an addendum. Grading rubrics must also be included in the Honors Project paperwork.

Once the student and the faculty member are in agreement as to their participation, together, a project will be scoped out for the student to complete throughout the semester.


Should a faculty member decide not to participate in an Honors project with the student, said student may petition the Honors Committee in order to explore options.


The faculty member will complete the required Honors Project paperwork and will submit it electronically to the Honors Committee Chair within the four week deadline as stated on the form. While some projects have been pre-approved, the paperwork at this time is necessary for payment of the instructor and documentation with enrollment services. Should a new project require approval, it will occur at this time, at the start of the semester. If not approved, the Committee will return the request to the faculty member with suggestions for changes to meet academic standards. A window of two weeks allows the project to be re-submitted.


The paperwork should be submitted by the faculty member electronically to the Chair of the Honors committee. A brief description of the type of work to be completed is necessary on the form as are learning objectives and the type of completion documentation. Also, two Life-Long skills must be practiced throughout the completion of the project. The Life-Long skills are: Written and Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, Technology, Aesthetic Perception and Inter/Intra Personal Responsibility. A grading rubric is to be included within the paperwork along with the final project due date.

Final approval is granted by the Honors Committee within one week of submission.


The student and the faculty member should plan on meeting four to six times throughout the semester for guidance and structure. This ensures that the student works on the project during the course of the semester and not just at the end.


Final paperwork, including documentation of completion must be submitted by the faculty member once final grades are submitted and upon the completion of the project. While an Honors Project does not count towards the grade for the course (unless it is a lengthened version of an assignment given to the class as a whole), the student must have earned at least an A in both the course and the project to obtain the Honors Designation on one’s transcript.


The end product of students’ honors projects will be archived to:

Document successful individual project completion.
Demonstrate effectiveness of the honors program.
Provide a library of project examples and ideas for faculty and students. (Projects will be identified by supervising instructor but not by student.)
Whenever possible, documentation should be a digital representation of the project’s end product, e.g. reports, presentations (PowerPoint, outline, etc.), photos of displays and/or posters, copies of facilitated discussion threads and other as appropriate.

The proposed type of end product documentation should be included in the honors project request.

Student course honors designation and faculty honors course pay will only be awarded after receipt of project completion documentation.


Examples of Projects

Anthropology/History: Compile an oral history of an American war veteran or civilian worker who supported them. Prepare an Audio and Video Recording Log and submit your interview to the Veterans History Project. (Oral Communication and Written Communication as well as Inter/Intra Personal Responsibility)

Astronomy: The student will conduct a minor planet search using the CCA Observatory’s 14 inch telescope and CCD camera. The search will use data collected during 2-4 observing sessions under the supervision of the course instructor. The data collected will be analyzed using the software package CCDSoft to produce a list of candidate minor planets. Any potentially new minor planets will be reported to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Minor Planet Center for confirmation by other observers. Students will prepare a report (4-6 pages) summarizing their observations, data analysis, and results. (Critical Inquiry, Technology, and Communication.)

English/Music Theatre: Attend six plays in the Denver community and prepare presentations to the class highlighting the compositional elements in each of the plays. (Aesthetic Perception and Oral Communication)

Math for Liberal Arts: The Fibonacci Association is a research organization dedicated to the investigation into the Fibonacci sequence and related topics. Check your library for the Fibonacci Quarterly. The first two journals of 1963 contain a basic introduction to the Fibonacci sequence. See your math instructor for other resources. Present a 30 minute lesson to the class showing what you have learned.
(Oral Communication and Quantitative Reasoning)

Microbiology: Agree with your instructor an area of microbial disease to research. Find several scientific papers to read and discuss with instructor. Write a 2-4 page paper on your findings. (Written Communication and Inter/Intra Personal Responsibility)


Honors Project Forms 
Honors Project Form (Word format - best for editing on your computer)
Honors Project Form (Adobe PDF format)
Honors Project Completion Form (Word format)
Honors Project Completion Form (Adobe PDF format)
Example Honors Project Form (Word format)
Example Honors Project Form (Adobe PDF format)
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