What is the Honors Program?

This program has been a part of the Walla Walla Community College offerings for decades. It has gone through changes, depending on the needs of the college and community, and has recently become more inclusive of the full campus community. Prior to 2022, the program was available only in the AA/AS tracks. We have opened the program up to allow for ALL college-level students to participate, as long as they have permission and support from their deans and program leads. We have Arts and Sciences Transfer students, EV students, Business students and more!! If you have an exceptional GPA (3.5 or higher in college level work), you are eligible to join.

Why Join the Honors Program?

So many reasons! First and foremost, because students who are doing well in school deserve to be recognized for their hard work and success. Being recognized as an Honors student gives you that privilege!

  • The opportunity to “dig deeper” into topics of interest, under the guidance of your faculty members in classes of your choice.
  • The opportunity to connect with other students who are excelling at school, and build community and connections.
  • The opportunity to enhance college applications and resumes with “completed the Honors Program” at Walla Walla Community College.
  • The opportunity to enhance scholarship applications and eligibility by being part of Honors.
  • The possibility of transferring your “Honors” status here at WWCC into the next level of school, if you are moving on to a BA or BS institution with an Honors program.
  • The extra recognition at graduation, with special cords and stoles and notations in the graduation program…this is a way to celebrate YOU, and it makes friends and family so proud as well!
  • And more!

What is Required?

“In addition to maintaining a 3.5 or higher college level grade point average, honors students are also expected to fulfill all of the ethical requirements of the WWCC student code of conduct, as outlined in the student handbook.  Students found to have violated the code of conduct will not be permitted to graduate with honors.  See Student Handbook (pages vary by year) for the appeal procedures for findings of student code of conduct violations.”    

  • Maintain at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in college level coursework
  • Three Honors Classes (a class you are enrolled in to progress in your program, in which you complete an extra “MODULE” or project, about 10-15% beyond the typical classwork). Required paperwork is available from your Honors Program Coordinator. Not all teachers are willing to do this, so ask early!
    • Classes must be from at least 2 academic areas, with a minimum of a “B” in each, over your time at WWCC
      • If you are an AA/AS DTA student, these can be any classes toward your degree
      • If you are in another program, (Workforce, BAS, etc.) you will need to choose classes from YOUR degree pathway, with approval from your instructors or leads.
    • Honors Quarterly Read(1 required to complete Honors). You may do more than one, if desired! A “common read” book read by you and other Honors students and faculty, with encouragement/thoughtful questions through the quarter and an “end of quarter” discussion led by a faculty member, encouraging student engagement and discussion and community-building)
    • Capstone Project: Research or Service.
      • Choose between a research project (this could be a 4th module in a class with a willing teacher, or one on your own time) or meaningful service, volunteering with an agency or leading a community project, based on your interests and goals.
      • In Spring as you prepare to graduate, you will create a presentation about your project. You will be working with faculty mentors to build powerful speeches, videos or visual demonstrations (such as posters) to share with the campus community. You can work with your Program Coordinator to solidify your project/service as well.

Applications are available at www.wwcc.edu/honors.

For those who are eligible, information about joining Phi Theta Kappa is available at www.ptk.org.

Contact the Honors Program Coordinator for more information or a nomination for PTK. ([email protected])

Honors Program

The fact that you are interested speaks well of you! It is great to expect more from yourself than just the bare minimum. Desiring to learn more and knowing you can rise to a challenge, suggests that you are going places in life!

Basic Requirements

  • Do you have a 3.5 or higher GPA in at least 15 college level credits (or in high school, if a direct transfer), and are you working toward an AA/AS Transfer degree?

What does this mean for your college career at WWCC?

  • Maintain 3.5 GPA. If this slips, you will go on probation for one quarter, with requirements to meet with your advisor regularly. If it remains below 3.5, you will no longer be eligible for honors. Once you get it raised above a 3.5 cumulative average again, you can re-enroll in Honors.
  • You can become a member of PhiThetaKappa, the national honors society for 2-year colleges. (See Staci Simmelink for details on this)

How to complete the honors program and graduate with honors?

Generally, we offer 1-2 Honors Courses each quarter, face to face, in order to enhance learning and build community. To graduate with Honors, we require that students participate in at least three of these courses. However, as the world is a bit different right now, we are making some temporary changes. For the 2020/2021 school year ONLY (at this point), we are opening up the possibility of doing “extra modules” in a college level, Arts and Sciences class that is not specifically an Honors class.
This means that, while we DO have one Honors Class offered each quarter (online, due to COVID-19 Pandemic), there may also be some flexibility. If you cannot make the three classes offered as Honors this year (see chart on this page) work for your graduation plan, we may be able to offer you the option of a “Module” to earn Honors credit. For this, you’d work with Staci (Honors Chair) and your instructor, to determine a project worth about 10-15% more work than the typical class. If completed successfully, you would earn Honors credit for that class. Not all teachers will be willing to participate. This is a lot of work for them, so do not assume that they will or they must. Once you are admitted to the Honors program, I can work with you to find the paperwork to get this started.


The second part of graduating with honors has historically been a Capstone Project. This could be an individual service or academic project, demonstrating community involvement, OR it could be ten service hours to the community. Then, we ask folks to make a display poster or give a speech about their work. Given that many of us are not able to be “out and about” in the community, we are offering an alternative capstone project this year. You can do a service project or ten service hours, OR you can complete a research project on a social justice area of passion for you. Think about some issue that you care about. Maybe racism? Maybe the #MeToo movement? Maybe environmental issues like litter or endangered species or global warming? Whatever is important to you, AND important to the world in some way….create a presentation (Video or Presentation of some sort) about it, to share as your Honors project at the end of the year. As of this moment, this alternative is open ONLY to 2021 graduates. We will move with the times as we move forward.

What do I have to do to get started?

  • Come see Staci Simmelink ([email protected] or call 509.527.4298, Office #3 Building D) for an application, or just to chat about possibilities.





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