Welcome to the Walla Walla Community College Honors Program!

We are making a BIG transition this year.

The pandemic helped us see the joy in connecting our two campuses, and breaking down barriers between programs. With this as inspiration, we are rebuilding Honors as a more inclusive, more connected program. Please bear with our growing pains.

For those who started the Honors program under the older system, please be in touch with Staci Simmelink about how to finish out.

For those who are new to the program, here is a basic idea of how it will be working. (Small changes may occur as we work through the process of switching gears, but this is the plan.)

To be eligible to join the Honors program, you must have a 3.5 or higher GPA in your college level coursework. You must maintain academic and personal integrity (follow the college Student Code of Conduct) and be willing to complete the work required to graduate with Honors.

First year:

Fall quarter will be for building up your G.P.A. If you earn a 3.5 or higher in your college level courses, you will be eligible to join the program. We will be accepting nominations from faculty, staff, and self-nominated students as well.
Winter quarter will be for building community. We will have a “common read” book selected to read all together. We will offer a 2 credit course, Honors 101, for all interested Honors students. The students and a collection of faculty will read the book, and meet for an hour every other week (with some online material between weeks) to discuss and learn. The class will be taught with faculty from a variety of disciplines and specialties, to help students see the different perspectives and interconnected ideas.
Spring quarter will be for planning your own research and activity. We will offer a 2 credit course, Honors 102, where you will come up with topics of interest (for your future education or career pathway!), find a faculty/staff mentor, and lay out the groundwork for a research or service project to complete next year.

Second Year:

Fall and Winter quarters will be for continuing to maintain solid grades. To graduate with Honors, you must maintain a 3.5 GPA in your college level coursework. You can also enroll in variable credit Honors courses (Honors 201) if you want to work on your project and earn credit as you do so.
Spring Quarter will be for creating a presentation about your project. We will be working with faculty mentors to build powerful speeches, videos or visual demonstrations (such as posters) to share with the campus community. This will include a 1 credit course, Honors 202.

For those who will have only one year at WWCC to complete the Honors Program, we can try to accelerate you through, but it will take hard work and dedication on your part!

Interested in past Honors graduates? Please enjoy this video of the 2021 Honors Graduates!

Questions? Please feel free to contact Staci Simmelink, Ph.D. ([email protected]), Honors Chair.

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.





Psychology 100  Philosophy  CMST201
Philosophy 101
PolSci 202