By Mitchell Mylius
There’s always that one class. The class with that one lesson everyone remembers. Something that may even push a student to research the subject when they get home, the thing that took research past the limits of the curriculum.
Students should get credit for that extra effort, and they can. It’s called the Honors Transfer Program at Las Positas College.
According to the Honors Courses website, there are several courses with embedded honors components, most of which are in Humanities disciplines, including Philosophy and Spanish.
However, there are no restric- tions against students who might want to apply for honors projects in other courses.
“They can be in any disci- pline,” said Dr. Candace Klaschus, the program director, from “Chemistry to Humanities. Art. I had somebody make (homemade) paper one year.”
To apply for honors recogni- tion, students need to notify their
professor, indicating an interest. Then the student and teacher come up with a curriculum to go along with the normal syllabus, with work to be completed dur- ing the semester.
If the professor agrees with the project and the student completes what is written on the proposal, their transcript will be stamped with an honors badge next to the corresponding courses.
“The Honors Program is a wonderful program for students to do things above and beyond what they normally do.”
Professor Steven Chiolis instructs two of the Humanities courses and encourages students to pursue their interests.
“The Honors Program is a wonderful program for students to do things above and beyond
what they normally do,” said Chiolis.
Students in his English and Humanities courses would approach him and say there are things (the professor) is not covering. The students then ask if they can pursue it. And the answer is always yes,” said Chiolis with a smile.
But, Honors students are not just regular students. They are students who actually want to push boundaries and simply gain more knowledge, to seek more than just a degree.
Klaschus told a story about a former Las Positas physics gradu- ate, Tyler Hayden, who created an interactive laser-tag based do- it-yourself Zombie Apocalypse and gained Honors credit in his Computer Science class. The project was nominated for the Bay Honors Consortium at UC Stanford in 2013.
And according to Klaschus, the audience fell in love with it.
Hayden eventually went on to become a student assistant at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is currently con- ducting graduate studies at the
University of Arizona.
When honors students trans-
fer to the universities, they will take on the actual honors courses. Klaschus said not to fear, how- ever. She said these students are encouraging and supportive of one another rather than being
There are only 150 registered
honors students at LPC, which Klaschus claims is too small to have any dedicated honors cours- es.
“We don’t have a big enough cohort to have dedicated honors classes,” she said. “Some schools do, but they’ve just allowed those classes to be smaller, and we just can’t do that.”
And that, she said, is why the honors program is in place – to allow that small group of students to excel.
The honors requirements for transfer students include a Cumulative Las Positas College GPA of 3.5 or higher, a mini- mum of 12 units, and eligiblity for English 1A. New students must provide a high-school transcript and have a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher.