Honors Program Benefits

Joining the honors program entitles students to a wide range of opportunities for fostering community, engaging in service, participating in research, and growing into leadership. These include:

  1. Small Classes
    • Small, dynamic classes with Anna Maria’s most experienced professors
  2. Research Opportunities 
    • One-on-one research opportunities with professors in the student’s major
    • Opportunities to present research at conferences
  3. Specialized Advising
    • Special honors advising in addition to student’s academic adviser
  4. Priority Registration 
    • Honors students may register for classes before their peers
  5. Community 
    • Co-curricular and extracurricular events throughout the year
  6. Honors Student Council
    • Opportunities to participate in service with other honors students
  7. Honors Housing
    • Honors students enjoy early room choice for on-campus housing

What distinguishes an honors class?

There is no single model for an honors class; however, there are important characteristics that distinguish an honors section from a non-honors class at Anna Maria College:

  • Intellectual challenge. Honors classes should emphasize content and activities that stimulate students to think about topics in new ways, explore subject matter in greater depth or breadth, or gain first-hand exposure to issues through experiential learning. 
  • Quality, not quantity. Honors classes do not simply load on more assignments. Honors classes should not involve substantial extra work when compared with a non-Honors class. The emphasis in Honors classes should be on exploring the subject matter a little more thoroughly.
  • Interactivity. Honors classes often involve much more student-faculty interaction than a typical non-honors class. While the format of the class is left to the discretion of the instructor, student participation is generally greater in an Honors classroom.
  • Faculty accessibility. Honors classes are all taught by experienced full-time faculty members. Honors students are more likely to seek out faculty for detailed feedback on their work and for mentoring advice on their academic and career aspirations; having faculty who are present and committed to the institution is essential.
  • Distinctive. Honors classes are distinct from the non-honors classes in substance and/or teaching methods. Faculty members have discretion to determine what will be different about their honors section. Distinctive features might include one or more of the following:
  1. Greater breadth of topics:  The addition of topics that are not covered in a non-honors version of the class. This might include readings, lectures, assignments, activities, field trips, or out of class experiences unique to the honors class.
  1. Greater depth on selected topics:  More in-depth treatment of a particular topic or topics. This might include readings, lectures, assignments, activities, field trips, or out of class experiences unique to the honors class.
  1. Pedagogical techniques unique to the honors class: Such as case studies, peer-teaching or discussion-leading, flipped classrooms, experiential or service learning, or essay questions rather than multiple choice exams.
  1. Connection to mission: Deeper exploration between the content of course and the essential learning outcomes of Anna Maria College, particularly using critical thinking and creativity to be adaptive and grow to meet the challenges of the future.
  1. Higher standards in grading: Such as requirements for more references in a research essay, fewer grammatical errors in written work, or greater evidence of creative or critical thinking.