2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 04, 2024  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College

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The Honors College offers an exciting opportunity for dedicated students interested in a more advanced level of academic engagement both inside and outside the classroom. Students will be part of a more rigorous learning environment complemented by an augmented academic curriculum, making them more prepared and competitive in their future graduate studies and careers.


Students admitted to the program will receive on-campus housing and meal plans, last-dollar scholarships ((in which official Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and financial aid packages totals are less than the total cost of attendance) covering remaining costs for books, tuition, and fees. All scholarships will be contingent upon meritorious academic performance during the year of the award (sustaining a 3.25 GPA), completion of service learning hours, and successful completion of augmented curriculum courses. Students who successfully complete the program will receive honorific designation on their transcript and diploma, as well as acknowledgement at commencement.


Incoming students are eligible for admission if they have earned a minimum GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale) and 25 on the ACT composite test or 1250 combined score on the SAT Critical Reading and Mathematics tests. Students who are currently enrolled at Bluefield State College are eligible; however, Regents Bachelor of Arts degree students and students who have earned more than 30 hours of credit toward graduation from Bluefield State are not eligible for entrance into the program. For reasons of curricular standards and accreditation, students planning to major in degree programs within the School of Nursing and Allied Health are not eligible.

Program Requirements     

  • Admission:  Acceptance into the program will be competitive and require a completed application form, essay, and interview to be evaluated by the Honors College Committee.  An Index Score comprised of High School GPA, SAT/ACT Score, Admission Essay, and Interview will be used to determine ranking, each weighted equally. Transfer students and students currently enrolled at Bluefield State College must have earned and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale) and not exceeded 30 hours of earned college credits. 
  • Honors Enhanced Curriculum (18 Credit Hours + 2 Hours Honors Recitation): The Enhanced Core Curriculum modifies standard course content, requirements, or performance expectations for the honors student in order to merit honorific designation. The specific nature of the augmented curriculum is to be determined by the Honors College Director and Honors Committee following the guidlines of the National Collegiate Honors Council. This curriculum will replace some of the General Studies Core requirements. Students will be required to have an augmented curriculum for twelve General Studies credits throughout the first two years of their program. During the first year a writing intensive Honors Seminar (ENGL 101H and ENGL 102H) would be required that would replace ENGL 101  and ENGL 102 . There will be additional designated honors sections of other General Studies courses that participants will enroll in as well, e.g. HIST 101/102H; ENGL 201/205H; COMM 201/208H. An additional eight augmented credits will be required as part of the student’s major academic program (not including the Honors Capstone Project). With the approval of the Honors College Director, a program-specific course can be converted to an honors-enhanced course through the addition of an Honor Recitation (entailing specific enhancements to student meetings, assignments, activities, or curricular scope). The nature and type of augmentation for each individual course will be determined by the instructor in consultation with the Honors College Director. Equivalency credits will be awarded at the completion of the program by the director. Students must successfully complete all augmented curriculum courses with a minimum grade of B to receive honors credit. Faculty and students will be required to complete and sign an Honors Course Enhancement Form to give the Honors College Director prior to the start of the semester for each augmented course if it is not offered already as a General Studies Honors section.
  • Senior Honors Project (3 Credit Hours): Students will design and implement a senior project, i.e., a clinical, service, or research project, that reflects the highest standards of student achievement and should represent graduate or professional work in the field. The project will be conceived in consultation with the faculty on record for the respective course and submit their proposal to the Honors College Director for approval prior to the semester in which the student graduates. (The Honors College Committee will set guidelines to assist the student and faculty in the design of these projects.) Students will take the project in their major discipline of study. Students must meet all the prerequisites in order to register for the senior research course and have completed their pathways evaluations with their academic advisor. Only 400 level courses fulfill the requirement for the Senior Honors Project (e.g. any 490/495/499).
  • International Experience, Internships, Service-Learning Projects (3 Credit Hours): Students will be expected to complete at least three curricular credit-hours of the following before completion of the program and conferral of the honors degree designation: 1) an academic study abroad program/Soliya Connect, 2) a professional internship in a business or community organization, or 3) a service-learning project. These credits cannot be earned through the Senior Honors Project. The academic study abroad program must be approved by the Office of International Initiatives. The professional internship or service-learning project must be approved by 1) the student’s academic advisor, 2) the internship organization or agency, and 3) the Honors College Director. A clearly written prospectus of skills learned, tasks accomplished, or outcomes desired for the internship or service-learning project must be submitted. Student performance for the project or internship must be commensurate with the expectations of the program. The study abroad, internship, or service-learning project will be completed in conjunction with the honors student’s academic program.
  • Active Membership in at least one Student/Campus Organization or Club:  SGA, Biomedical Club, Honors Societies such as Gamma Beta Phi, Alpha Chi, etc.
  • Mandatory Participation in Honors College Events:  Educational and cultural events, excursions, colloquiums, etc.

Honors-Enhanced Course Approval Process

Students interested in earning honors credit (i.e., for adding an honors enhancement to a regular course) should contact the course instructor, discuss the possibility, and make arrangements for honors credit during the fall or spring registration periods–well in advance of the semester when the student will actually take the course. Instructors are under no obligation to agree to make their course an honors-enhanced course. If an instructor does agree to an honors enhancement, the student should complete the Honors Course Enhancement Form in consultation with his or her instructor. Completed Honors Course Enhancement Forms–accompanied by a copy of a current or recent syllabus for the course–must be submitted to the Honors College Director for approval. If approved, the director will create a related Honors Recitation section for the student to enroll in.

Grade Requirements

Students must earn a grade of B or higher in an honors-enhanced course in order to earn honors equivalency credit for the course. Students who fail to successfully complete the honors-enhanced requirements for a course will still receive credit for the course, but that credit will not be counted toward the honors requirements. The course may be retaken for honors equivalency credit; however, the honors student need not retake the same course; he or she may select another course for enhancement in a subsequent semester. 

Student Honor and Conduct Codes

The Bluefield State College Honor Code and Student Conduct Code provide extensive guidelines on conduct for students attending the college. Students in the Honors College are especially held to the high standards detailed by these codes and are expected to epitomize ethical and responsible conduct. Honors students should generally value academic integrity, ethical conduct, diversity, and respect for others. The Bluefield State College Honor code can be found on the Academic Standards  page and the Student Conduct Code is listed in the Student Handbook available through Student Life.


Any violations of these aforementioned codes above for which you take responsibility, or for which you are found to be responsible, may be grounds for dismissal from the Honors College. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the Honors College Advisory Committee, or when required, in collaboration with the Office of Student Affairs. Any infractions of the above policies or codes that result in the student being formally censured, suspended from the college, or banned from the campus are grounds for immediate dismissal from the Honors College.

Probation and Dismissal Policies

Probation is meant to serve as a warning that students are in danger of being dismissed from the Honors College. While on probation, they will not lose any of the privileges extended to them as Honors students. All students placed on probation are required to schedule a meeting with the Honors College Director to develop an action plan to improve their academic performance and/or other student conduct.


If an Honors College student’s cumulative GPA falls below the required minimum of 3.25, s/he will be placed on probation with the Honors College. (First-year students will not be placed on Honors probation during their first academic year at the College but will receive a warning email if their cumulative GPA falls below 3.25). Students who fall below 3.25 cumulative GPA and remain so for two subsequent full-time semesters will be dismissed from the Honors College. Students will be removed from the probationary status once their GPA reaches a 3.25 again. If, after the probationary period ends, a student’s cumulative GPA remains below 3.25, s/he will be dismissed from the Honors College. Students must earn a 3.25 cumulative GPA at the time of graduation to complete the Honors College program with honorific designation on their diploma and transcript.


Students who do not take any Honors-enhanced classes for two consecutive semesters (including future semesters) and/or are off-track with their Honors requirements may be subject to probation and will be required to meet with the Honors Director to discuss future Honors coursework.


Students who do not maintain ongoing active participation in at least one officially recognized (SGA-approved) student organization throughout the academic year are subject to probation.


Students who are placed on probation, or who are dismissed, will receive an email from the Director of the Honors College providing further details and any applicable next steps. Any student dismissed from the Honors College will be informed in writing by the Director of the Honors College. A student who has been dismissed from the Honors College will not be allowed to enroll in Honors College courses and will not be eligible for Honors housing.


Appeals of dismissal decisions may be made, if desired, to an ad hoc three-person grievance subcommittee composed of two members of the Honors College Advisory Committee and one official from the Student Advisory Board or Office of Student Affairs.

Withdrawal Policies

Students who are withdrawn due to external medical emergency (ex: months-long hospital care) may apply for reinstatement into the Honors College after meeting with the Honors Director and devising a mutually agreed upon plan of study to complete the Honors requirements. Students who do not complete this plan of study may be withdrawn permanently from the Honors College.


Students who volunatrily wish to withdraw from the Honors College should contact the Director as well as complete the Exit Form. Any student who has received the Honors scholarship opts to voluntarily withdraw will not be required to repay the Honors scholarship. However, these students will not be eligible to receive Honors scholarship again in the future.



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