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Honors FAQs


Who may participate in the Venango Honors Program?

Any student, traditional or non-traditional, enrolled in at least one class at Venango College may participate in the Honors Program.  Thus, both full-time and part-time students are welcome to take part.  In addition, students enrolled in programs with clinical experiences or internships are also encouraged to join.

What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?

To be considered for acceptance into the Venango College Honors Program, applicants must meet ONE of the following academic requirements:

  • 1150 SAT score or higher (combined critical reading and math scores)

  • An ACT composite score of 25 or higher

  • 12 credits of Clarion University coursework with a 3.4 or higher QPA

  • Evidence of academic or intellectual achievement such as extensive personal reading or study

Students who demonstrate one of the aforementioned criteria must also successfully complete an interview with a member of the Venango Honors Steering Committee and a personal essay.

What do I need to do each semester?

Venango Honors students have two course options each semester.  They may choose to enroll in one of several Designated Honors courses or Honors Component Courses.

For example:  Fall 2010:
HON130 - Special Topics:  Humanities:  Banned and Challenged Literature and Film in the U.S.  This Special Topics course will introduce students to 'classic' works of literature and film that have been challenged or banned within the U.S. in the 20th century, with a focus on understanding the historical and social forces involved in such challenges or bans as well as contemporary interpretations of the literature and film.

For example:  Spring 2011:
HON 240 - Special Topics:  Social Sciences:  The Psychology of Happiness.  What is happiness? How can we achieve happiness?  These are old questions, asked across civilizations and across academic disciplines, and so an ideal topic for an Honors course.  The basis for exploring these questions will be the book The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.  Haidt looks at ten "great ideas" about happiness which have been addressed by several civilizations and asks if these ideas stand up in the face of modern scientific evidence. This course will also explore the new sub-discipline of Positive Psychology, which is concerned with discovering the factors which give life meaning, create happiness, and enable individuals and communities to thrive.  

How many classes do I need to take to graduate "with Honors"?

To graduate with Honors, students must complete FOUR Venango Honors courses.  These may be designated Honors courses, Honors component courses, or a combination of both.  If fewer than four courses are taken, no recognition will be made at graduation, but each of the completed Honors courses will be designated as such on the student's official transcript. 

Will I need to take "extra" classes?

NO!  Each of the Designated Honors courses satisfies a General Education elective in one's regular curriculum and, as such, will not require any "extra" classes.  Similarly, the label "Honors component course" merely indicates that students have contracted to complete additional work in one of their classes in any particular semester; again, no additional courses must be taken.

How much extra time will it take?

Honors students who have designated a class as an Honors component course are enrolled in "regular" lecture sections.  As a result, they may, unfortunately, not have the opportunity to experience some of the diversity and engaging discussions that accompany a more traditional Honors class.  To capture this Honors culture and community, Venango Honors students must participate in a minimum of FIVE Venango Honors co-curricular activities during each semester.  Of the five, one must be an "Open Forum" during which time Venango Honors students have an opportunity to discuss a myriad of topics with the Venango Honors Program co-directors, and the other must be a field trip which pertains to the PTK Honors study topic.  The remaining activities in which the students must take part may be a combination of the following:  the Venango Lecture Series, the Venango Independent Film series, and/or various discussion topics/group projects, all of which pertain to the PTK Honors study topic.  In addition, Venango Honors students are required to meet with their faculty mentor a minimum of FIVE times, to discuss their component course projects, over the course of the each semester.  These additional requirements, however, are waived when one is enrolled in a designated Honors course.

What is the advantage of participating in the program?

Venango Honors students have access to the Venango Honors Lounge, which is a quiet place to relax or study with its computer access and "free" printing privileges.  More intangible advantages include the opportunity to participate in a number of cultural and social events, such as field trips to area attractions (no charge for Venango Honors students).  Similarly, students working on component course projects have the opportunity to engage in unique learning experiences through one-on-one collaborations with faculty members.  Students who choose to take part in the program also have the opportunity to apply for the Venango Honors Ambassadors positions, which provide students with a $500 stipend over the course of a semester.

Will I receive any extra or special academic credit or recognition for participating?

Students who have completed FOUR Venango Honors courses will be recognized as having "graduated with Honors" and will be given Honors cords to wear at graduation, and the designation "Venango Honors Program Graduate" will be displayed on one's official transcript.

How much does it cost?

Students are not required to enroll in any additional courses. Similarly, transportation costs to and from the mandatory Honors field trips, as well as event admission fees are covered by the program.  As a result, there is NO additional cost for participating in the Venango Honors Program.