BHC’s Honors Program: Your next academic adventure

Students at Black Hawk College may not know it yet, but the Honors Program could be their next adventure.

“We wanted to give the opportunity to do honors work to people who maybe wouldn’t normally be the audience for honors work,” said Nicole Banks, Honors Program chair.

The Honors Program is meant for both transfer and career and technical education (CTE) students to participate in honors work in their areas of interest.

What is the Black Hawk College Honors Program?

The focus of the Honors Program is to give students the opportunity to participate in academic work to enrich their college experience.

Black Hawk College Honors Program logo

By the time these students finish the program, they will have the tools to research, analyze, synthesize and communicate their findings on a broad range of topics. Not only does the program focus on developing more academic skills, but students will also get real-life experience to grow professionally and personally.

The Honors Program consists of two classes:

  • The HONR 200 Honors Seminar course introduces students to concepts in academic research, scholarship, leadership and service.
  • The HONR 205 Independent Study course allows students to take an area of academic interest and collaborate with faculty to create an opportunity to demonstrate academic research and share findings with the college community.

There also is a required Service Project that allows students to find an area where they can apply their interests and skills in a way that provides service to others.

“We’re really trying to bring together the idea of what honors students do; they are leaders, they are interested in doing academic inquiry and research, and they are willing to participate in service,” Banks said.

What are the Requirements?

The Honors Program admits students as new freshmen, as well as current Black Hawk College students and transfer students. Interested students can enroll now in the eight-week HONR 200 class that will begin Monday, Oct. 18. The class is being taught fully online at this time to allow more students, including Quad-Cities Campus, East Campus and dual-enrolled high school students.

Students who are thinking about adding a class after the 10th day of the semester and who receive financial aid/scholarships should contact the Financial Aid Office before registering to ask if the cost of adding the class will be covered. In some cases, financial aid/scholarships do not cover the cost and the student is responsible for paying for the added class. There also will be a section of HONR 200 offered in the first eight weeks of Spring 2022.

To complete the program, students must have a GPA of 3.25 or better and meet the requirements of the program:

  • Complete HONR 200 (one credit) and HONR 205 (minimum of two credits) with a C or better.
  • Complete the Service Project requirement.
  • Submit the Service Project Reflection Form.
  • Share HONR 205 Independent Study findings through the HONR 205 Reporting Form.


On top of a great academic boost, there are other perks that come with the Honors Program. Students who enroll will receive a welcoming gift. Other opportunities include going to various academic events in the community. These events will allow students the chance to network outside of the college and give them a better idea of where they want to focus their research. The students in the program also will have their academic research and findings shared with the Black Hawk College community.

Students who join will not have to finish the program to receive all the perks. Professors are aware that plans change for students. So, each class will be reflected on the academic transcript showing that the student was a part of the Honors Program. The goal is to give students an advantage when they are looking to transfer to a four-year institution or looking for their first job after graduation.

Looking to the Future!

The BHC Honors Program provides an opportunity to grow, not only for the students but for faculty as well. “For students to be successful in this program, I would like to see them feel like they were challenged,” said Andrew Mansheim, assistant professor of mathematics. “Teaching these courses, I think is really going to challenge me.”

Black Hawk College is always looking for new ways to challenge both its students and faculty, and this is a great way to do both while adding to the incredible reputation that the college already has in the community.

Students who are interested in getting started can enroll online. Students who have more questions about the program and getting started can contact Nicole Banks, Honors Program chair, at or 309-796-5422.

Apply for free Thursday, Feb. 29 using code LEAP2BHC!Apply
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