The Honors Program at Green Mountain College promotes academic excellence and intellectual rigor across the campus through the ELA curriculum, Honors Forum, and extracurricular scholarly activities.
We seek to attract and retain academically motivated students and provide them with an enhanced learning experience. The Program is dedicated to building community among honors students, thus creating an inviting environment that promotes intellectual curiosity and the aggressive pursuit of knowledge.
Green Mountain College’s Honors Program is organized around our innovative Environmental Liberal Arts Program (ELA) and a one credit Honors Forum course. Honors students register for the Honors section of the four ELA core courses. These sections area specifically designed for Honors students, allowing students to delve deeply into course material and challenge themselves with difficult and important issues. Honors students also register for honors sections of ELA distribution courses (see the course rotation below) so that the total ELA honors credit completed in the Honors Program equals twenty-four (24) ELA credits. In extreme and unusual cases (i.e., student studies abroad for a semester or a year), students can take a non-honors ELA distribution course as an Independent Study for honors credit with permission from the Honors Director and the course instructor. Exceptions will be made for students who are not admitted to the honors program as freshmen — sophomores are required to complete eighteen (18) ELA honors credits, juniors and seniors are required to complete twelve (12) ELA honors credits. Progressive students will only be required to complete the Honors sections of the ELA core courses.
Honors Seminars and Other Events
Honors students also have opportunities to participate in Honors seminars throughout their college career, and are by special invitation included in select meetings and dinners with visiting speakers and dignitaries. Honors students may also apply to the Honors Floor, a special section of housing reserved for program participants that includes study rooms and facilities, and to SAGE hall.
The Honors Certificate
Students who complete all requirements of the College Honors Program, while maintaining an overall grade point average of 3.30 or higher, will be awarded an Honors Certificate recognizing their special academic achievement. In addition, both your College diploma and your official transcript will note your successful completion of work required for College Honors.
The Honors Society
All students admitted into the College Honors Program automatically receive membership in the College Honors Society. The Honors Society also gives you opportunities to interact socially and on special projects with other students whose ability and initiative match your own.
Honors ELA Distribution Course rotation:
- Fall 2017 Natural Systems
- Spring 2018 The Examined Life
- Fall 2018 Aesthetic Appreciation
- Spring 2019 Human Systems
- Fall 2019 Quantitative Environmental Analysis
- Spring 2020 Moral Reasoning
- Fall 2020 Historical Contexts
- Spring 2021 Natural Systems
Honors Forum (HON 1000)
The one credit Honors Forum is a first semester orientation to the GMC Honors Program (HP). Over the course of the semester you will participate in shaping the program, and you will work with and get to know well the HP members in your cohort. The semester is broken in three. In the first third students are formed into committees that each take on a specific task. Committee duties vary from year to year. Some examples: organize Honors Program activities; nominate symposium speakers; refine Honors Floor governance responsibilities; and propose initiatives for the program going forward.The middle third consists of writing short reflective essays that we then discuss as a group. We will reflect on what a great honors program would look like, what our life goals are, who were the major influences in our lives, and how all of this reflects on our academic and career goals. This is where we get to really know each other well, get to know ourselves better, and reflect on what made us who we are today and who we want to be in the future. The final five weeks consist of the Honors Symposiums: Speakers who were chosen by the class from the faculty, staff, or community who will join us to give a short presentation and then engage us in discussion on their topic.
The Honors Program Contract
The Honors Program Contract was designed to provide some flexibility in the program for students who are having difficulty meeting the credit requirements. The HP Contract allows students to receive Honors credit for non-Honors courses that are at the 3000 level and above, for Independent Studies, and for classes offered in one of the MA programs. This will be very useful for students who arrive with college credit, transfer students, and students who want to study abroad. Studying abroad, or spending a semester or a year at one of our fellow EcoLeague schools, is encouraged and the contract will make it easier to do that and finish the program. There is more detailed information about this contract on the contract application form: GMC Honors_Program_Contract
Faculty: Matthew Osborn, Ph.D
Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies
Richardson 201; Office phone: (802) 287-8335