BOTTINEAU - Dakota College at Bottineau is the only two-year college in the state that has an honors program, said Keri Keith, coordinator of the program.
The honors program is in its second year at the college, with 10 students enrolled.
Under the program, students take regular core courses, such as anatomy and physiology, general chemistry, introduction to computers, college composition 2, American Literature 1, United States History to 1877 and Introduction to Psychology, but also take an additional one hour honors course per class.
Students in the honors classes may be assigned additional reading or research projects or community service in addition to what other students in the regular class are doing. Keith said each of the honors courses are conducted differently, depending on the instructor. The honors component of each class counts as one extra credit, which qualifies as an elective credit. Full-time students do not currently pay more to take the additional credits, though that might change in a few years if the North Dakota University System begins charging per credit.
To qualify for the program, incoming freshmen must have a minimum 3.25 grade point average or an ACT composite minimum score of 22. Current college students with at least 12 earned credits must have a minimum 3.25 GPA. To remain in the program, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA.
Students who take four or more honor courses during their college career at Dakota College at Bottineau will be designated as honors graduates on their diplomas. Keith said the university is trying to work out partnerships with other colleges that offer honors programs, such as Minot State University or the University of North Dakota.
Students in the Honors Program will present at a symposium at the end of the semester that will be open to the public.
"The Honors Program was successful in its first year," said Keith. "The program is small, but has grown each semester that it has been offered. This year we are on track to double the number of participants, which is exciting both for students and faculty."
Keith said the honors program grew out of Dakota College at Bottineau's strategic planning efforts. The college was focusing on helping students who were behind academically to catch up on skills and also wanted to offer students who are interested in a more academically challenging class the opportunity to take classes with greater rigor.
"Dakota College is proud of the students who participate in the institution's Honors Program," said Ken Grosz, campus dean. "It demonstrates that they have an appetite for the best education possible, an eagerness to seize opportunities for self-improvement and a willingness to intellectually challenge themselves."
Registration for the spring semester will begin in late October.