2022-2023 Academic Catalog 
    Jun 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Honors College

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 University 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.

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. 

Program Requirements     

Augmented Curriculum (15 Credit Hours, 2 Hours Honors-Enhanced Courses, Senior Honors Project): The Augmented 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 guidelines 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 (HONR 101 and HONR 102) would be required that would satisfy the ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 requirements, representing six credit hours. The Great Books curriculum, HONR 201 and 205, requirement would satisfy the General Studies requirements for Literature and Humanities/Fine arts, representing six credit hours. Finally HONR 210, Speech and Debate, would satisfy the General Studies requirements for Speech and Communications.

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. 

Honors College Core Curriculum  

The following courses are required for all Honors College Students. These courses replace required courses in the General Studies curriculum: 

• HON 101 (3 credit hours): Honors Seminar I - substitute for ENGL 101 (approved) 

• HON 102 (3 credit hours): Honors Seminar II -substitute for ENGL 102 (approved)

• HON 201 (3 credit hours): Great Books I -substitute for World Lit 

• HON 205 (3 credit hours): Great Books II -substitute for Humanities/Arts requirement 

• HON 210 (3 credit hours): Speech and Debate -substitute for COMM 201/205 

• Two Honors-Enhanced courses Junior Year (2 credit hours)

Honors-Enhanced Courses 

During the Junior Year, 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. 

Honors-enhanced courses would likely be taken during the junior and senior years of the students program. With the approval of the Honors College Director, a program-specific course can be converted to an honors-augmented course through the addition of a one-credit honors-enhanced 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 and Committee. 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.

• International Experience, Internship(s), Service-Learning Project (3 Credit Hours): The study abroad, internship, or service-learning project should be completed in conjunction with the honors student’s academic program. 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 should be completed in conjunction with the honors student’s academic program. 

Senior Honors Project (3 Credit Hours): The Senior Honors Project should be completed in conjunction with the honors student’s academic program. 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 of study. 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).  

• Honors Extra-Curricular Enrichment Program: The Honors College at Bluefield State requires ongoing extra-curricular enrichment as part of its rigorous enhanced education program. The following program outlines a flexible point system that enables students to realize the mission statement of the Honors College program while complementing their educational experience at Bluefield State College.  Ongoing participation in the Honors College will require the student to achieve annually twenty-five (25) Honors Points to be documented and submitted annually in an Honors Point Portfolio. These points may also be acquired through summer and intersession activities officially documented and reported to the Honors College.  There will be a total of six qualifying Honors Point categories. They are the following: 1) Honors College Events and Colloquia; 2) Intellectual Breadth and Depth; 3) Local and Global Civic Engagement; 4) Diversity and Intercultural Awareness; 5) Academic and Professional Development; and 6) Health and Well-Being. Please note that events and points used for one category cannot also be counted for another category. 

Each calendar year, students are required to complete a minimum of six (6) points for Category 1: Honors College Events and Colloquia, six (6) points for Category 2: Local and Global Civic Engagement, and six (6) honors points for Category 3: Intellectual Breadth and Depth. The remaining seven points may be acquired from any category or qualifying activity. Points given for reports or presentation must be equivalent to four-to-six double-spaced pages of writing or a 12-15 minute presentation. However, activities, events, or projects credited for one category may not also be credited simultaneously for another. Honors points are distinct, exclusive, and separate from credit hours or coursework. 

Awards, honors, inductions, scholarships, and participation in events must be documented or reported by a relevant authorized document, organizing official, ticket, presentation, or report. Ten-minute reports must be either presented visually (either live or recorded) using presentation software or written in expository prose in either MLA or APA style. These can and will serve as Honors College colloquia and events.

Throughout the year, the student will keep and maintain an Honors College Portfolio of the events, awards, and activities they have accomplished throughout the year, as well as the points assigned to each. At the end of the academic year, or July 15th, students will submit their annual Honors Point Portfolio digital format to honors@bluefieldstate.edu. All relevant documents should be scanned or combined in a compressed archive (.zip) file. These documents must accompany a typewritten annual summary of activities in which the student summarizes their activity and point equivalencies for the past year. 
1) Honors College-Endorsed Events and Colloquia
(Annual Goal: Six Honors Points)
Participate in an engaged intellectual living-learning community through shared learning experiences among faculty, staff, students, scholars, and professionals. 
Honors College-sponsored or partnered events will include periodic colloquia, events, lectures, and outings that support its Mission Statement. These may also include student-organized events or honors college student presentations or performances. The points for these events will be determined based upon their requirements and time commitments. Honors College will also award points for suggested events not organized by the Honors College by the wider campus community.
2) Intellectual Breadth and Depth
(Annual Goal: Six Honors Points)
Foster intellectual breadth and depth in students through a broad but integrated educational program, one that joins reading, writing, research, critical thinking, and debate in the liberal arts and sciences or with the student’s specific discipline and focused program of study. Activities done for points should not (have been) required for curricular coursework. 
• Attend an extra-curricular debate, lecture, conference, or research presentation (live/virtual/streaming) : (1 point)
• Attend a (live/virtual/streaming) tour or public museum, performance, creative space, installation, concert, art/music festival : (1 point)
• Report or present on a research topic or current event of interest to you (2 points) 
• Report or present a significant historical event and its broader social, political, or cultural impact: (2 points)
• Report or present one of the Intelligence Squared Debates and explain why you think the winner won and/or why you agree or disagree: (2 points)
• Report or present one of BFI’s 100 Greatest Films from world cinema after seeing it : (2 points)
• Report or present one of librarian Philip Ward’s 500 Greatest Books–or a portion of one-after reading it : (2 points) 
• Report or present on a science documentary film or series and why you think its lessons are significant to your health, environment, or worldview. (2 points)
• Publicly perform, publish, or present a visual, filmic, musical, digital, dramatic, or literary work at an organized event: (3 points)
• Record and present an interview with professional artist, musician, creative, designer, or performer about their work : (2 points)
• Partake in an extra-curricular lab or research project under faculty supervision : (2-3 points)
3) Local and Global Civic Engagement
(Annual Goal: Six Honors Points)
The student will seek to understand how social, economic, and political actions affect both local and global communities towards addressing problems and promoting communitarian well-being. The individual is an informed, open-minded, and responsible citizen who is attentive to improving the communities in which they live. 
• Serve as a Residential Assistant or Honors College student representative for year : (8 points)
• Participation in and completion of the Soliya Program: (5 points)
• Active ongoing participation in a non-athletic student, campus, or community organization for the academic year. A list can be found here: https://bluefieldstate.edu/community/activities-organizations : (3 points).
• Active ongoing participation in Gamma Beta Phi Public Service Honors Society, Bluefield State Chapter for the entire year: (6 points).
• Active participation and volunteer work in a civic organization (Rotary/Rotaract, Bluefield Union Mission, Bluefield Beautification Commission, Salvation Army, CASE West Virginia, Chamber of Commerce, church/religious organization, etc.) : (1 point per hour of service contribution)
• Take a leadership or officer position in a campus organization or chartered national/international organization (e.g., Rotary, etc.) for the year : (6 points).
• Volunteering on campus, or at library, school, or athletic organization as tutor, coach, or assistant : (1 point per hour of service contribution)
• Recognition or award for civic engagement: (3 points)
4) Diversity and Intercultural Awareness
(No Required Annual Goal)
The student will learn to value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. S/he demonstrates openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand others’ differences.
• Complete the Soliya Program: (5 points )
• Participation in the International Students Organization/Open House cultural event : (1 points)
• Participation in Big Blue Pride / LGBTQ Organization meeting or event: (1 points)
• Participation in African American History Month activities and programming (2 points)
• Reporting unique discoveries/experiences from international travel : (2 points)
• Internship, programming, activity, or service work in Office of Student Affairs on equal opportunity, equity, diversity, or inclusion : (points to be determined)
• Active creation or participation in an event that promotes equal opportunity, equity, diversity, or inclusion and an explanation on how it does so : (points to be determined)
• Reporting attendance/witnessing/participating in a collective ritual or worship ceremony for a religion or religious sect significantly different from one’s own. (Report must compare and explain differences between religions/sects and their ritual worship): (2 points )
• Participation in a study abroad program (either online or at international location; points to be determined)
5) Academic and Professional Development
(No Required Annual Goal)
The student will engage academic and professional development through research, presentations, scholarships, internships, study abroad, awards, organizational leadership, honor societies, and employment. (Does not include honors-enhanced credits or coursework). 
• Complete an extra-curricular professional internship, student/professional conference, or seminar. Ask you professors about internships in the area. More information on finding and applying for internships can be found here: internships.com and here (https://www.internshipfinder.com/): (points to be determined)
• Maintain ongoing part-time employment throughout the academic year : (5 points) 
• Present/publish an extra-curricular debate, lecture, or research project : (3 points)
• Receive an academic award, scholarship, or fellowship or be inducted into an honors society. More information on finding and applying for these can be found at fastweb.com: (3 points)
• Develop, maintain, grow, or change a small business or non-profit organization (points to be determined)
• Receive special recognition at a place of employment, such as Employee of the Month, Special Commendation, workplace promotion, etc: (2 points)
• Attend a formal employment or career fair: (1 point)
6) Health and Well-Being
(No Required Annual Goal)
The student seeks to maintain healthy mental, physical, financial and emotional states, contributing to overall wellness for the student and general public health.
• Documented active and ongoing participation in an official wellness program, sports team, or fitness class for the academic year: (4 points)
• Receive special recognition for athletic performance: (2 points)
• Teach a fitness course in a recognized sports or athletic facility: (1 point per class to 4 points)
• Participation in Suicide Awareness Organization or Suicide Awareness month activities: (2 points)

Student Honor and Conduct Codes

The Bluefield State University 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 University 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.