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Honors Project Program Handbook

Honors Designation
Honors Project Process
Examples of Projects
Honors Project Forms



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

Honors Designation

Due to the shortened summer term structure, we do not offer the Honors Project Program for summer courses.

We look forward to sharing more information with you here about Fall 2020 semester Honors Project Program opportunities!

Exceptions subject to Honors Committee approval. 

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.

A successful Honors Project engages the student in an original project that will:

  • be designed by the student with guidance from the instructor.
  • result in an on-going intellectual dialogue between the student and the instructor.
  • require not necessarily more work, but more challenging and creative work.
  • be a sophisticated extension of an assignment of the course or be a stand-alone project.
  • more deeply explore an element of the course’s curriculum or follow a thread that the course alludes to. 
  • draw conclusions based on exploration.
  • have a public presentation component (to the class, to a wider college audience, to an online audience, etc.).
  • practice at least two of CCA’s Institutional Outcomes (Communication, Critical Thinking, Career and Transfer Readiness, and Cultural Competence). 

Some possibilities for Honors Projects include:

  • Community service projects (may be connected to an Academy of Civic Engagement project)
  • Primary field research
  • Conducting a solo art exhibition or literary reading
  • Planning and leading a study group for students in the class
  • Completing research on a topic that is more original and more challenging than those assigned in the course

See below and the Honors D2L shell for project samples.

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

Student 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
    (exceptions subject to Honors Committee approval)
  • Download Exception form

Honors Project Process

(All submissions should be emailed to or sent in hardcopy to Candace McClelland-Fieler, C208E.  Links to forms are below.)

  1. The Honors Project Form must be completed by the student and the instructor in total, with a description of the project, end project documentation type, and applicable S-numbers, by the application deadline (four weeks from the start of regular classes).
  2. The form will be reviewed by the Honors Committee.  The instructor will also provide a copy to the student.
  3. If the project does not meet academic standards, the Honors Committee will provide suggestions for changes when appropriate. The instructor and student will then have two weeks to resubmit the Honors Project for reconsideration.
  4. The student and the faculty member should plan on meeting four to six times throughout the semester for project guidance and structure. This ensures that the student works on the project during the course of the semester and not just at the end. 
  5. Successful completion of the project will be determined by the instructor. Honors Projects will be completed pass/fail to receive the Honors Designation on the student’s transcript (“H”). The project should not be counted as extra credit.
  6. The student must earn an A in the course and pass the Honors Project to earn Honors Designation.
  7. Upon completion of the approved project, the instructor will submit a copy of the approved application, final grade in the course, project completion documentation, and supplementary pay form to indicate successful completion to the Honors Committee.
  8. The Honors Committee will submit all successfully completed applications to enrollment services for an Honors Designation to be added to the student’s transcript.
  9. Students will be able to verify the Honors Designation by the 2nd week of the following semester.

Examples of Projects

(For more ideas and to view an archive of projects, visit the Honors Project Program D2L shell):

  • Anthropology/History/English: 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.)
  • Literature/Music/Theatre: Attend three 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 the conclusions you’ve drawn after completing your research. (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 that draws conclusions about your findings. (Written Communication and Inter/Intra Personal Responsibility.)

Honors Project Forms

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