2017 Cohort


UCCS Honors program (New Fall 2017)

Honors Learning Outcomes

Motivating students who want to broaden their horizons beyond the classroom by promoting their: 

  • Passion for life-long learning seeking stimulating peer-group interactions.
  • Appreciation for diversity of thought and opinion.
  • Development of creative problem solving skills and analytical thinking.
  • Preparation to be outstanding candidate for future education and job opportunities.
  • Contributions to the global and the local community.
  • Leadership aspirations by including all perspectives in decision making.
  • Understanding of Gray Matters, its ambiguity, indeterminacy, diversity, and complexity.

Final Project

A peer-reviewed document, piece of art, framework, movie, animation, poster, thesis, or portfolio where a student, using topics and tools in their chosen area of study, can explain their narrative and understanding about any of the following: an experience, a problem, a case study, a theater production, a research project, a study abroad experience, or a computer program analysis, exhibiting the student's learning of Gray Matters.

Academic Rigor

Student accepted in the honors program will have:

  • Access to the "Gray Matters" course, which is a cornerstone of our program.
  • Access to a course on Public Speaking and Leadership which helps students succinctly and professionally express their views. We believe that good ideas need our clear and personal voices.
  • Emphasis on regular one-on-one faculty interaction with Honors students.
  • An opportunity to demonstrate the student learning and growth through the Honors senior portfolio or project. The honors portfolio/project will provide an opportunity to deepen intentional learning in Gray Matters areas that the students are passionate about, encouraging personal growth and community impact. The Honors thesis depth is supported by two designated courses of the student's choice. The assigned Honors program faculty-member will guide the student with honors-thesis advisor selection from the UCCS faculty members across all departments.
  • Experiential learning outside the classroom with peers and mentors contributing to growth of global awareness through engagement.

Eligibility Criteria for Honors Scholarship

A total of thirty-three $1000 per year Honors Scholarships for four years will be awarded, by invitation only, to those students:

  • Awarded UCCS Chancellor's Scholarship and who also have:
  • ACT scores of 30 or higher, or SAT scores of 1400 or higher
  • An unweighted High School GPA of at least 3.5

Plan of Study Requirements

Students accepted in the Honors Program will have the opportunity to interact with motivated, and like-minded peers, who understand that good citizenship includes contributing to society. Besides the courses in their own degree program, Honors students are required to take the additional courses required to graduate with Honors from UCCS as described below. Many of our students embed these courses in their degree program without additional tuition. 

Once accepted into the program, University Honors students will graduate with University Honors if they complete the following:

Gray Matters course (GPS 1010): All students receiving UCCS Honors Scholarship must enroll in Gateway Program Seminar (GPS) 1010 (Gray Matters) course in their first year. This course anchors the philosophy of our Honors Program: that Gray exists in real life situations and often times there is no definite, black and white. Students will learn adaptability and flexibility through the various Gray Matters interdisciplinary themes from perspectives drawn from disciplines such as Complex Systems, Leadership, History, Ethics, Philosophy, Psychology, etc.

Honors Organizational Leadership course (Honors COMM 3440)

Research Methods Workshops: Honors students will participate in research seminars during the first year to prepare for a group research Honors portfolio/project to be completed and submitted for publication by the end of the sophomore year.  These seminars will teach students how to be successful in an extended research project by developing skills in discipline-specific research, planning, time management, and editing.

Honors Senior Portfolio/Project [1]: Completed by the student or group of students in coordination with their Honors and project/portfolio faculty advisor. Honors students will have their project accepted into the UCCS Undergraduate Research Journal (URJ) or other venues such as CSURF (Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum), Mountain Lion Research Day (Poster presentation), regional conferences specific to student major, Research Synthesis/Case Studies for Nursing Students, riverrun, or juried exhibitions.   Publication or presentation in national and international conferences and journals, coauthored with their advisors, provide another method to satisfy these requirements.  Students may complete this project as part of their department's Summit experience or in ID 4950).

Two student-selected honors "designated" courses: selectable from the student's primary degree program, or from any other program, Compass Curriculum requirements or electives in coordination with your Honors faculty advisor and/or project/portfolio advisor. Student-selected honors courses are recognized by completing the honors learning contract form and getting all the necessary approvals. Grade of B or higher required.

Honors designated Courses: We require UCCS Honors students to do additional honors "designated" courses. For example, students who are enrolled in the UCCS Honors Program are required to take 6 hours of Honors Designated or Honors Dedicated coursework. Since there are very few Honors Dedicated courses (i.e. courses that only enroll Honors students) most students opt to take Honors Designated courses. In an Honors Designated course a student works with a faculty member to identify additional work they can do that goes above and beyond the standard course requirements. There are many different ways to approach this depending on the discipline. In the past, students have written essays, collaborated on research, served as a tutor or lab assistant for others in class, developed their own creative work or completed more complex work products. There is no one model that fits for all courses so we ask the instructor and student to complete a contract [2] that is turned in to the Honors Office. One final point of note: the work agreed upon to "designate" the course for Honors should not be factored into the final grade awarded to the student. The faculty teaching the designated course will still grade the student based on their completion of the course assignments required of all others, but the Faculty teaching the designated course will provide an additional pass/fail acknowledgement in regards to the additional work both the designated course Faculty and the student have contracted. 

Maintain a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.5

Engagement: Honors students will report [3] on a regular basis to their peers about their activities within the program, on the larger campus and in the broader community.  Students will get opportunities to interface with faculty and peers during multiple honor-organized events (including social get-togethers, retreats, and community/volunteer events), but they may also share activities such as participation in departmental and campus clubs, or their involvement in efforts outside the university.

Transfer students must complete a plan of study consistent with the above plan of study and will register for GPS 3010 in their first semester at UCCS. A transfer student must complete their last 60 hours of study at UCCS and submit their honors project/portfolio and finish all requirements of the honors program.

Good Standing Requirement in the Honors Program

Honors students are expected to maintain a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.5 and to complete their Honors dedicated and designated courses with a grade of B or better as explained above. A UCCS Honor's student shall not violate other University, College or Departmental rules and policies sufficient for disciplinary action.

Dr. Michael Hackman UCCS Honors Scholars

Students with cumulative UCCS GPA of 3.75 for all their (four or more) years at UCCS, and graduating with 3.75 or higher cumulative GPA at UCCS, will be recognized as a Dr. Michael Hackman UCCS Honors Program Scholar.

[1] Faculty mentors will assess the outcomes 3-7 using Evaluating Project form.
[2] Honors Learning Contract
[3] A student in the honors program will provide a report, every year by January 30, reporting on their engagement using the Student Yearly Report On Engagement Form. Honors program may use this form to evaluate outcomes 1 and 2.