Recognition of Academic Achievement
The Dean’s List is an honor awarded to students who achieve academic distinction. Students may be named to the Dean’s List if:
- They complete at least 12 semester hours of Columbia College credit in a given semester with a GPA of 3.5 or higher; or
- They complete a minimum of 6 semester hours during each of two consecutive eight week sessions with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
A grade of Incomplete eliminates a student from Dean’s List consideration. A grade given to replace an Incomplete cannot be applied to Dean’s List requirements. ESOL 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105; ENGL 107 ; ENGL 107N; MATH 104 and MATH 106 do not apply when determining Dean’s List eligibility.
Courses taken by students as pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory are not included in the minimum requirement of at least 12 semester hours (Day) or six semester hours in two consecutive terms (Evening, Online, AHE).
Columbia College confers baccalaureate degrees with the following Latin honors designations:
|3.9 and above
||summa cum laude
|3.75 to 3.89
||magna cum laude
|3.5 to 3.74
To receive a degree with these honors, students must have completed 60 hours of credit at Columbia College.
Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree who received an Honors designation on a prior degree must complete an additional 60 hours in residency and earn the requisite GPA in order to be granted a second Honors designation.
The Presidential Award
Each Commencement, special recognition is given to students earning a 4.0 grade point average who have completed the entire course of study for the bachelor’s degree at Columbia College.
Main Campus Day and Main Campus Evening
Baccalaureate Degrees with Distinction
The Bachelor’s Degree with Distinction is available for any degree program offered by Columbia College and requires a demonstration of excellence in a special two-semester project (excluding summer session) in addition to satisfying degree requirements.
Distinction work is done under the direct supervision of a faculty member qualified in the field of the project. At all major stages of the project (formal prospectus, complete draft or evidence of significant and substantive progress, and final project), work must be submitted by designated deadlines to the Chair of the Academic Honors and Awards Committee for approval or direction. Credits and grades for distinction work are optional.
To be eligible, a student must be currently enrolled and must have second-semester junior standing (75 semester hours, with at least 15 semester hours at Columbia College) and a 3.5 cumulative GPA. Eligibility is based on the assumption that a student may be eligible after five semesters. Entry into the program must be at a date that permits two semesters of work on the project.
Main Campus Day Only
The Honors Program is designed for high achieving students who are philosophers in the literal sense, i.e., lovers of wisdom. Honors students approach the liberal arts and sciences with excitement; they do not continually look for the “cash value” of their education. The goal of the program is to promote genuine inquiry and collaborative learning, emphasizing the dialogic nature of academic work and intellectual discovery. Students who lack the appropriate intellectual curiosity should not take honors courses.
Through multidisciplinary and collaborative coursework, honors students respond to the significant challenges confronting the next generation of scholars. The honors courses both within the General Education curriculum and beyond it are consistent with the students’ academic abilities, preparation and goals. The courses resonate with any academic major or minor and provide opportunities for students to discover their intellectual curiosities, to engage in community service, to develop critical thinking skills, and to excel in oral and written expression.
Although faculty may propose to teach a special topics course or to designate a General Education course, favorable consideration is given to courses that cohere to one or more of the following descriptions: multidisciplinary, collaborative teaching, travel/co-curricular activities, and reading and writing intensive. Classes range in size from 5 to 20 students. Under the direction of a faculty mentor, honors students are encouraged to complete an Honors Distinction project during their final year.
Students admitted to the Honors Program are eligible to take traditional courses with an honors component that allows students to become independent researchers to challenge themselves academically. The honors option allows students to design their own research and/or creative project under the direction of a faculty mentor. Students and mentors will complete a contract that outlines the activities students must complete to earn honors option credit.
To graduate with honors, a student completes at least 16 academic hours in the Honors Program. A one semester hour community service project for Honors 310 must be completed prior to graduation. Students may enroll in three to six hours of honors credits designated for General Education and may be eligible to enroll in a maximum of 3 hours of honors credits for an Honors Distinction project. An honors student may apply no more than six hours of honors credits transferred from accredited institutions toward the completion of the Honors Program.
No honors courses may be taken with the pass/fail option. A minimum 3.25 GPA overall and a 3.0 GPA in honors courses is required to remain qualified for graduation from the Honors Program. Graduation from the Honors Program is recognized during the graduation ceremony and indicated on the final transcript.
Eligible students must demonstrate academic achievement with at least two of the following minimum standards:
- 3.6 high school GPA;
- 26 ACT or 1200 SAT or 2800 GED;
- 3.6 Columbia College GPA;
- Thirty transferrable semester hours with a 3.6 GPA.
Eligible students gain entry into the Honors Program after review of the honors program application and review by the Honors Council and Honors Program Chair. Home-schooled or other nontraditional schooled students are eligible for admission to the Honors Program upon presentation of appropriate ACT, SAT or GED score and demonstration of scholarship in high school level academic coursework. Any student may petition for admission to the Honors Program if he or she has completed a minimum of 30 hours of academic credit at Columbia College with a cumulative grade point average of 3.6.
Transfer students with prior college experience must have 30 semester hours of credit with a minimum GPA of 3.6 or higher on a 4.0 scale to apply for admission to the Honors Program. International students who qualify are eligible for the Honors Program.
Honors and Awards Convocation
Columbia College recognizes the academic achievements of its students through the annual Honors and Awards Convocation. These annual honors or awards consist of gifts, certificates and/or monetary awards given to current students that return the following academic year of their undergraduate program. Many of the awards are made possible by the generous philanthropy of alumni and friends of Columbia College. The monetary awards are applied to the student’s institutional expenses for the upcoming academic year and are non-renewable.
Dean’s Academic Achievement Award
Students who graduate with at least 39 but fewer than 60 Columbia College hours and earn at least a 3.5 cumulative G.P.A. may be eligible for the Dean’s Academic Achievement Award upon graduation. Students must meet the following criteria:
- Hold an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science from a community college with an articulation agreement with Columbia College.
- Complete a bachelor’s degree at the AHE site of articulation.
- Earn a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher.
- Complete 39 hours in residency with Columbia College.
Students seeking a second baccalaureate degree and to whom a Dean’s Academic Achievement Award was granted with a prior degree must complete an additional 39 hours in residency with at least a 3.5 cumulative G.P.A. to be granted a second Dean’s Academic Achievement Award.
Students eligible for Latin Honors are ineligible for the Dean’s Academic Achievement Award.
The President’s Honorarium for Academic Excellence (Overload Fee Waiver)
Columbia College Day students who have earned 30 institutional semester hours may take an overload to a total of 21 semester hours without additional cost if their cumulative grade-point average is at least 3.75.