Hood College Honors Program Student Handbook

Welcome to the Hood College Honors Program! 

This handbook will help you make the most of your time in the program! Please click on the items below for more information about the Honors Program!

Lisa Algazi Marcus, Ph.D.
Co-Director of the Honors Program
Phone number: 301-696-3476

Tatem 211 and Blazer Hall Honors Center
(She/her pronouns)

Shannon Kundey, Ph.D.
Co-Director of the Honors Program
Phone number: 301-696-3877

Tatem 325 and Blazer Hall Honors Center
(She/her pronouns)

Kerri Eyler
Administrative Assistant
Phone number: 301-696-3763
Tatem 317 and Blazer Hall Honors Center
(She/her pronouns)

General Honors Email address:

We use Facebook and Instagram to provide information about the program as well as to offer information about upcoming events and achievements of Honors students. The Honors Blackboard page is a great resource for information about the program as well as upcoming events. For example, it contains links to useful forms and upcoming class descriptions.

If you are not receiving email from the Honors program or do not have access to the Honors Blackboard site, please let the Honors Administrative Assistant know ASAP so that they can check whether you are on the correct electronic lists.

The Honors Program is a learning community of highly engaged students united in their passion for interdisciplinary education in a global context and empowered to shape their own academic journey. 

The Hood College Honors Program supports and values inclusive excellence by promoting educational equity and non-discriminatory practices. As leaders of a learning community, it is our responsibility to promote the inclusion and success of academically motivated and high-potential learners from all backgrounds, understanding that each of us holds varied, intersectional identities. We make inclusive excellence possible by understanding that differences between and among us are strengths. In response to historical, cultural, and institutional restrictions that have limited student access to honors education and the hiring of diverse faculty and staff, the Hood Honors Program is committed to modeling best practices in inclusion, and to using inclusive leadership strategies, research, and partnerships with other departments and organizations to pursue honors practices that serve and empower all communities.

Below, please find quick links to information that you might find useful regarding the program. 

While the Honors Co-directors do check how students are progressing through the program each semester, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to be aware of and fulfill all Honors Program requirements. Please note that you may be dismissed or placed on probation from the program if you are not taking classes in line with the expectations below and/or not meeting the requirements to remain in good standing within the program. More information, please see the section on probation and dismissal. For example, if you have not completed your language proficiency prior to the start of your junior year and you have not enrolled in a language class during your junior year, you could potentially be dismissed. As another example, if you did not enroll in Hon 102 during your sophomore year, you could potentially be dismissed. Please contact the Co-directors if you expect to deviate from the expectations below as soon as possible. We are happy to work with you, but we do need to know your realistic plan for completing your requirements.

First Year
Students are expected to take FYSH 101 in the fall of their first year and Hon 102 in the spring of their first year (Education should talk to the Honors Director(s) about how to fit Hon 102 in with their major requirements.). Most students should also take a language course in their first and second semesters (Language 101, 102, 201, or 202) to fulfill the higher global language proficiency requirement of the Honors program.

Second Year
Students should take Hon 201 in the fall of their second year and Hon 202 during the spring of their second year. Honors students should also continue their language courses through the 202 level if they are not yet complete. Students may take an upper-level Honors course (except Hon 470), if desired.

Third and Fourth Years
Students must take at least one upper-level Honors course (except Hon 470) during their junior year. In total, students must take three upper-level Honors courses, one of which must be Hon 470. Starting in fall 2022, Hon 470 must be taken in the final year prior to graduation and may only be taken once. As part of Hon 470, students will create a required portfolio of prior Honors work and experiences. The portfolio is used as part of the process to determine if the program is meeting its student learning outcomes.

Please see the Hood College Catalog for information on requirements for remaining in good standing within the Honors Program. Students not meeting the program requirements will be contacted by the Co-directors. In cases of dismissal from the program, the Co-directors will indicate whether or not appeal to the Honors Advisory Council for reinstatement to the program is possible. In cases of probation, the Co-directors will outline what must be accomplished in order to return to good standing in the program. Students, in some cases, may remain on probation for multiple semesters. If a student is removed from the program, Honors classes will be removed from their schedule for the following semester. Additionally, students dismissed from Honors forfeit all privileges relating to the Honors Program with the exception that such students may continue to live in Honors housing through the remainder of the current academic year.

Appeals, when permitted, to the Honors Advisory Council should be in the form of an electronic letter submitted by the student through the Honors Director(s) by the date specified in the communication from the Honors Co-directors. The letter should explain any notable circumstances regarding the lack of progress or poor grade, clearly state the reasons for desiring to remain in the program, and indicate a concrete and realistic plan to meet the program’s requirements. The letter should be sent to the Honors Co-directors in electronic format. The letter will be given to the Honors Advisory Council. The Honors Advisor Council will communicate a decision to the Director(s). The Director(s) will communicate the decision to the student.

Honors is not a good fit for every student who qualifies or for every situation. We understand that. Students who no longer wish to be part of the Honors Program must contact the Honors Director(s). Students leaving the program will not be eligible for Honors housing for the next academic year. All other privileges associated with the Honors Program will be relinquished immediately. The Registrar’s office, Security, and Financial Aid will be notified so that their offices may make appropriate adjustments.

Activities outside the classroom are an important part of the Honors program. Students are encouraged to attend as many as possible! You can find some examples of these activities here. From trips to DC to climbing in the treetops, we have something for everyone! While we do not require community service, we do encourage it. Participation in community service is often student-led. Opportunities and events outside the classroom are as varied as our community! Keep up with all the opportunities by following us on social media (Facebook, Instagram). We also post opportunities on Blackboard, bulletin boards in the Honors Center, and send them out via email.

Want to do something new? We also welcome ideas from you! Submit your ideas here!  

Some housing for Honors students is available in Blazer Hall. To live in Honors housing, you must apply by the designated date, be in at least your second year at Hood, be in good standing with the Honors Program, and agree to the terms and conditions of Honors Housing. Applications typically open in late January or early February. The submission deadline is typically in April. Being in good standing with the Honors Program includes making progress on fulfilling Honors courses and the language requirement as well as maintaining the required program grade point average. The exact terms and conditions are available on the application, but they generally include agreement to plan and execute a social event approved by the Honors Director(s) and Administrative Assistant as well as endorsement by the Honors Director(s). Failure to meet the terms and conditions for living in Honors housing may lead to reassignment to another housing space.

Once approved by the Director(s), individual student applicants and group student applicants will be assigned to Honors housing on a space-available basis by Residence Life staff using the following preference criteria:

  1. Previous resident of honors program housing in good standing who fulfilled the housing terms and conditions during previous residency (including event obligations)
  2. Academic class level as shown by completed course credit hours
  3. Applications received/the availability of spaces.

All applicants will be contacted regarding their status. Students not assigned to Honors housing will be required to select another space in the room selection process unless exempt from the residency requirement. Students assigned to Honors housing must submit an electronic Housing and Dining Contract through Self-Service during the advertised period it is available, which is usually mid-March. If you are placed, fill out the contract right away so that your room assignment can be made official.

Some other highlights:

  • Honors program housing is in Blazer Hall.
  • It requires you to have roommates and/or suitemates. General room structures include: 4-person semi-suites with 2 double rooms that share a small common area, bathroom, and shower room, and 2-person semi-suites with 1 double room that shares a bathroom/shower room.
  • All spaces must be filled (no vacancies will remain).
  • Unless more than one gender is specifically requesting to live with each other, only one gender will be assigned per suite.
  • To ensure all vacancies are filled, Residence Life may designate rooms a specific gender for assignments.
  • The most current pricing information can be found here; information on fees for 2020-2021 for the new residence hall is here.
  • Violation of Hood College policies may result in residency reassignment or removal from college housing.
  • Residence Life may reassign residents of honors program housing as needed to fill vacancies.

Honors students have 24-hour keycard access (via their Hood ID) to the Honors Center, which includes the Honors Lounge, in Blazer Hall. If your keycard is not working, please let the Honors Administrative Assistant know so that we can check to make sure that you are on the list for access. If you are, you will need to stop at Security so they can check your keycard.

This space has furniture for relaxation, spaces to work, a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker, board games, a bulletin board for announcements, a TV, and ample snacks. The Honors classroom inside the Honors Center may also be used for studying, rehearsing presentations, groupwork, or watching movies on a big screen when it is not being used for other activities. Students may use this form to update the Honors Director(s) as to items needed within the space.

Director(s) of the Honors Program
The Director(s) is responsible for the development and trajectory of the program. The Director(s) coordinates the curriculum, recruits and admits students to the program, finds faculty to teach classes within the program, plans speakers and events, assists in the planning of extracurricular activities, and serves as a resource for Honors students throughout their college experience. The Director(s) hold office hours in the Honors Center and can also be contacted via email for appointments.

Honors Advisory Committee
The Honors Advisory Committee includes the Honors Directors, faculty members with an interest in the Honors Program, and three Honors students. At least one of the Honors students must be a transfer student. Faculty members serve for three-year renewable terms. Honors students self-nominate for the representative positions in the fall semester for open positions. The Honors Director(s) select students who have self-nominated based on the self-nominations and the vacancies within the representative positions. Student representatives serve one-year renewable terms.

The Honors Advisory Committee typically meets at least once per semester. However, meetings may be held more often, as needed. The committee serves as a resource for the Honors Director(s), aids in monitoring aspects of the Honors Program (as needed), makes decisions regarding appeals for dismissal, and assists as resources for Honors events (as needed). Neither the Honors Director(s) nor student representatives participate in deliberating or voting on student dismissal appeals; student representatives are excused from this portion of the meeting.

Honors Administrative Assistant
The Honors Administrative Assistant is a resource for the Director(s), faculty, and students. They can be helpful with contacting faculty teaching Honors classes, answer questions about the program, offer help with information about college resources, as well as help with the planning of Honors events. The Honors Administrative Assistant can be contacted via email.

Honors Student Workers
Many of the day-to-day functions within Honors are facilitated by a group of student workers. Honors Student Workers help with events, publicity, social media, and making the Honors Center an inviting and inclusive space. If you are interested in becoming a student worker for the program and have work study as part of your financial aid package, please reach out to the Honors Administrative Assistant and Director(s).

If you have a question about the program that was not answered here, please reach out to the Honors Director(s). We are always happy to help! We are excited that you are part of the Honors program. We look forward to learning together!