CATALOG: Academic Recognition

RCC recognizes curricular students who have earned superior grades while completing a minimum of 12 semester hours of credit, not including developmental courses, during a given semester. Students with a grade of “D,” “F,” or “I” in any course will not be considered for honors.

Board’s Honor List: Each semester, students achieving GPA of 3.8 or better are recognized as the RCC College Board’s Honor Students.
Dean’s Honor List: Each semester students achieving a GPA of 3.5 to 3.799 are recognized as the Dean’s Honor Students.
Honors List: Each semester, students maintaining a GPA of 3.2 to 3.499 are recognized as Honor Students.

Phi Theta Kappa: Phi Theta Kappa is a national honor society for two-year colleges which recognizes scholarship among associate degree students. In addition, it provides opportunities for leadership, service, and fellowship. To become a member, a student must (1) be enrolled in a regionally accredited institution offering an associate degree program; (2) have  completed at least 12 credit hours of coursework leading to an associate degree; (3) have established a GPA of 3.5; and (4) adhere to the moral standards of society.


Honors Program

Program Director: Dr. Tom Mosca III

Contact Information: tmosca@rappahannock.edu

The RCC Honors Program is designed to provide an enriched academic experience that will enhance a student’s individual development. Through this program, a student will be able to earn special recognition for achievement based on an advanced level of learning. A course in which the student is regularly enrolled may be converted to an Honors-designated course upon the successful completion of a project for that course. Participation is voluntary, both for stu­dents and faculty. Any student who is interested in the Honors Program must submit an Honors Program Application to Dr. Tom Mosca III no later than September 15th (fall semester) or February 1 (spring semester). This application must be submitted only once.

A project designed to earn Honors credit in a course must be must be mutually agreed upon by the instructor and the student.  The student must be currently enrolled in the course, and the Honors Project must be completed by the end of the semester.  The Honors Program director is not involved in approving the Honors Project.

The Honors Contract must be submit­ted to Dr. Tom Mosca III no later than Septem­ber 15th (Fall semester) or February 1 (Spring semester). Honors Contract Proposals must be submitted each semester an Honors Course is anticipated.

At the end of the semester the instructor should email the Honors Program Director and indicate whether or not the Honors Project was completed to his or her satisfaction. The Honors Program director is not involved in this decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RCC Honors Program?

The RCC Honors Program is designed to provide an enriched academic experience that will enhance a student’s individual development. Through this program, a student will be able to earn special recognition for achievement based on an advanced level of learning. Courses in which the student is regularly enrolled may be converted to an Honors-designated course upon the successful completion of a project for that course. A student may also graduate with an Honors diploma by successfully completing three Honors-designated courses with a grade of B or better, and two Honors Seminars (MTH 195 and BIO 195) with a grade of B or better, while maintaining a 3.4 cumulative GPA for all RCC courses.

Am I eligible to participate in the Honors Pro­gram?

Eligibility criteria for the Honors Program are based on the student’s past academic ex­periences as follows: Newly Enrolled from High School: Fulfillment of one of these requirements:

  1. Top 10% of graduating class
  2. SAT scores above the 69th percentile
  3. 2 cumulative GPA on a minimum of 12 dual enrollment credits

Currently Enrolled RCC Students:
Fulfillment of these three requirements:

  1. Minimum of 12 hours college credit (or Honors Program Director approval)
  2. Cumulative GPA of 3.2
  3. Recommendations from two RCC instructors.

Newly Enrolled Non-Traditional Students and Students with “Special Circumstances”

Upon receiving the student’s Honors Program Application the Program’s Director will consider past academic performance, life experiences, and the student’s readiness for Honors-desig­nated courses. A student’s acceptance is at the discretion of the Honors Program Director and will be a probationary acceptance until the stu­dent may enter the Program through one of the methods described above.

What courses are eligible to be Honors Courses?
Any transfer-level course of three or more credits may be converted to an Honors Course. An Honors Program student may designate cer­tain courses for Honors credit if and only if the professor is willing to participate in the Program and in the particular project.

How do I enroll in an Honors Course?
The instructor for a course in which you are regularly enrolled may have previously agreed to offer an Honors component for that course. If that’s the case, Honors work will take place through a contract made in consultation with, and approved by, that faculty member. If you are interested in converting a regularly enrolled course into an Honors course, you must ask the instructor about the possibility of earning Honors credit for that course no later than the second week of the semester.

How will my Honors Course be different?
The Honors Course distinction will be de­fined through the satisfactory completion of the project established in the Honors Contract. Your first step in creating an Honors Contract is to review the course assignment schedule. A good strategy is to identify a topic that is of special interest to you and then ask to develop, with the instructor’s assistance, an Honors Project related to that topic. However, an Honors Project relat­ed to the course materials but not listed on the assignment schedule may also be arranged with the instructor’s approval. The key to deciding on a project is that it should be of special interest to you because Honors Projects involve more time and effort than normal course requirements. While many Honors Projects involve writing an essay, such a practice is not always required. For example, fieldwork in a specific course is often an appropriate basis for a project.

What is an Honors Seminar?
The Honors Seminar is two, one credit-hour courses that are available to Honors students as MTH 195 and BIO 195. The Seminars will typical­ly be conducted each Fall and Spring semesters. The Seminars will be based on topics deter­mined by the Honors Program director. A persua­sive, research-based essay will be required for each student in each class.

I’m not a “Math Wiz.” Do I have to take MTH 195?
MTH 195 is an Honors Seminar and is re­quired of all Honors students. Students will not be required to do math, but will be learning about math. Typically, an essay about some facet of mathematics in society will be required. Students who enjoy math may be given an opportunity to do certain projects instead of writing the essay.

Do I have to take BIO 195?
BIO 195 is an Honors Seminar and is re­quired of all Honors students. Students will not be required to dissect any frogs. Students will be required to produce an essay about some as­pect of biology, either written or some other form (such as perhaps, a photo essay), at the instruc-tor’s discretion.

How will I be recognized for my Honors Courses?
All courses for which you have successfully com­pleted an Honors Project (and earned a minimum grade of “B” for the course) will be noted as Honors Courses on your permanent transcript. If you choose to graduate as an Honors student (three Honors Contract courses, both Honors Seminars, and a minimum 3.4 cumulative GPA), you will receive a special notation on your diplo­ma and recognition at graduation. It is required to submit the Honors Diploma application on or before the Graduation application deadline.

What is an Honors Diploma, and how do I qualify for one?
A student in the Honors Program may choose to earn an Honors diploma at RCC. Once a student successfully completes three Honors cours­es with a grade of B or better, both one-credit Honors seminars with a grade of B or better, and maintains a 3.4 GPA, the college will award an Honors diploma to that student. An Honors Di­ploma Application must be submitted to Dr. Tom Mosca III by the Graduation Application deadline for the semester the student wishes to graduate.

What if I have more questions?
Contact Dr. Tom Mosca III, the Honors Program Director, at tmosca@rappahannock.edu to ar­range an appointment. Most questions can be answered via email.


Last modified on 08-08-2017