Honors Program

The Kirkwood Community College Honors Program offers outstanding students the opportunity to push their academic boundaries, work closely with faculty in their career fields and make themselves more attractive to selective four-year schools.

Qualified students work with a faculty member to develop a one-credit-hour honors project. The nature of a student's honors project is left open to inspire creativity in both the student and the faculty member, as well as to allow for adaptation to a variety of disciplines.

The registration deadline for Honors Projects
for the spring 2020 semester is:
 Friday, February 21.

The application deadline for the Terry Moran Honors Scholarship is Monday, March 2. To learn more about this scholarship, click here.


Students can choose their honors project by:

  • Using one of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honors topics. (See full list). A study guide has been developed by PTK for each topic. Copies may be obtained from the honors program chair.
  • Developing a project based on an alternative study topic.
     
Note: The Honors Program at Kirkwood is associated with the International Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honors Society for two-year colleges. However, students do not need to be PTK members to participate in the Honors Program.


For further information, contact:

 
Peter Jauhiainen, Ph.D.
Honors Program Chair
330 Nielsen Hall
398-5899 ext. 5709
peter.jauhiainen@kirkwood.edu



 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 
Who can do an Honors Project?
  • Incoming freshman must have a high school GPA of 3.6, an ACT score of 25 or an SAT score of 1170.
  • Students with 1-11 earned Kirkwood credits must have a minimum Kirkwood GPA of 3.4 in non-developmental courses and one of the following: a high school GPA of 3.6, an ACT score of 25 or an SAT score of 1170.
  • Students with at least 12 earned Kirkwood credits must have a minimum Kirkwood GPA of 3.4 in non-developmental courses. (In special circumstances, this requirement may be waived by the honors program chair.)
  • Transfer students from other colleges and universities must have a minimum Kirkwood GPA of 3.4 in non-developmental courses. (In special circumstances, this requirement may be waived by the honors program chair.)
  • Students must be enrolled in other Kirkwood courses during the semester of their honors project.


What are the rules and requirements?

  • Students may take up to four honors credits.
  • Students may sign up for one honors credit per faculty member per semester.
  • Students may work on more than one honors project per semester with separate faculty members.
  • Students may develop several projects with the same faculty member in different semesters.
  • Participation in honors projects requires approval from an honors faculty member, the appropriate dean and the honors program chair.


How do you register for an Honors Project?

After choosing an honors topic, a student must:

  • Write a short paragraph describing the proposed topic.
  • Complete a learning contract with the supervising honor faculty.
  • Submit both the paragraph and the learning contract to the honors program faculty chair for approval.
  • Fill out a ‘Late Registration’ form.
  • Submit the form to the department office coordinator.


BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION
  • Students doing honors projects receive up to four free honors credits paid for by the Kirkwood Foundation.
  • Students can enter their projects in the fall and spring honors project competitions. Faculty and administrators judge the competition, and cash prizes totaling $1,000 are awarded to the top contestants.
  • Student may apply for the Terry Moran Honors Scholarship. Two winners are awarded each year.
  • At the end of each semester, honor students are given the opportunity to present their work in a five-minute talk before other honors students, faculty and Kirkwood colleagues. This presentation will not be evaluated, but is intended to showcase the students' academic talents.
  • PTK students who do honors projects may receive up to $25,000 in scholarship money in addition to a $15,000 scholarship for transferring to Cornell College.
     
Mount Mercy University

Students who complete an honors project with a "B" grade or higher may take a free, three-credit course at Mount Mercy under the following conditions:

  1. Students must take the course during their second year at Kirkwood.
  2. Students must have earned at least 24 semester hours at Kirkwood.
  3. Students have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.4 at the end of their first year at Kirkwood.
  4. Students are strongly encouraged to take an honors section course, but may opt for any three-credit regular course at the sophomore or junior levels. 
  5. Students who pass a Mount Mercy honors section course with a "B" grade of higher will be accepted into the Honors Program if they later decide to transfer to Mount Mercy University.


TERRY MORAN HONORS SCHOLARSHIP

The Kirkwood Honors Program Committee would like to alert you to an exciting scholarship opportunity for honors students. Currently enrolled Kirkwood students who have successfully completed an honors project or who sign up for an honors project in the 2020 spring semester can apply for a scholarship up to $1076 funded by the Terry Moran Endowed Scholarship Fund from the Kirkwood Foundation.


To apply for the scholarship, students must submit a 200-300 word statement describing their educational goals, any special financial circumstances they have overcome and still face, and why they believe they deserve a scholarship to the Honors Program Chair, Dr. Peter Jauhiainen. Please submit statements by emailing peter.jauhiainen@kirkwood.edu.

The application deadline is Monday, March 2, 2020.