Benefits and Transfer Opportunities
The challenges of being an Honors Program student include meeting a higher standard of academic performance, accepting rigorous coursework, and contributing to service work beyond that required for an ordinary A.A. or A.S. degree. "Why take on those challenges?" is an important question students must answer for themselves. Many of the challenges themselves are enjoyable to a significant number of students. Others accept the challenges in order to qualify for the benefits.
The benefits of being an Honors Program Student in good standing include
- Priority registration;
- Free UC Irvine library card;
- Smaller, seminar-style classes; Dedicated transfer counseling;
- Eligibility for special scholarships and awards;
- Special recognition at graduation;
- Special preparation for upper-division work;
- Transcript notation not only for each Honors Program course taken, but also for Program completion;
- Priority, preferred, or in some cases guaranteed, admission to the Honors Program transfer partner colleges and universities;
- Opportunities for mentorship in research presentations at honors conferences; and, most fundamentally,
- Challenging and enjoyable academic experiences.
The main motivation for many students is the special transfer opportunities that Honors Program status opens up. Program completion alone is not sufficient for certification to participate in every transfer agreement. Still, it is the basis for all of them.
Transfer privileges vary from school to school. All of our agreements specify some type of priority admission. Some schools, generally those schools who accept very few transfers at all, give only a preference to Honors Program students. Others offer benefits beyond admission, such as guaranteed or preferred acceptance into their own honors programs, or special opportunities for financial assistance. Still others guarantee admission except in the most unusual circumstances.
Transfer privileges also vary from major to major, even within a school. At many schools, and particularly at the University of California campuses, transfer students are not evaluated for GPA alone: they must demonstrate preparation for a particular major.
Some majors require more and better preparation than others. Some are always extremely competitive, requiring very high GPAs and flawless preparation for standing as an upper-division (junior) student in that particular field. Others disciplines may be competitive in some years, but not others. Also, major requirements may change, as well as vary by school. The transfer agreements themselves may change, or not include particular majors. These are some of the reasons Honors Program students must meet with an Honors counselor every semester in order to remain in good standing with the Program and qualify for applying for transfer under the aegis of the Program.
Our transfer partners currently include the following schools. It is not possible to cover the details of each agreement, each of which has many pages of detail, in this space. For this, again, you must contact an Honors counselor. This page does, however, seek to serve as a gateway through which you can explore our partners' campuses.
This list is based on the information provided by the Honors Transfer Council of California, which negotiates transfer agreements for a consortium of community college honors programs to which Saddleback College belongs. Negotiations with new colleges and universities, and revision of current agreements, is a continual process. The list is accurate as of April 2009, according to that source.