Honors Program

2 students in the Honors Program

The Honors Program at STCC: A Commonwealth Honors Program

The Honors Certificate Program offers a challenging academic experience for qualified students who wish to pursue unique study and research opportunities in their major fields of study. As a Commonwealth Honors Program, our program offers students transfer opportunities and recognition as Honor students throughout the Commonwealth. There are three certificate options available, all of which can be completed within your program requirements. These are enhancements to your degree program, not additional requirements.

Honors students come from all departments and majors. Some students with outstanding SAT scores or placement into an Honors English Comp class can start the honors program the day they arrive on campus. Usually, honors students have earned a GPA (or QPA) of 3.2 or better in at least 4 courses (12 credits). They may need an elective to complete program requirements, or they have decided to challenge themselves by taking an honors seminar or adding to a regular class.

Students who hope to enter career specific programs, like nursing or engineering often take seminars before starting their majors. In addition, some programs (such as nursing) have provided opportunities for honors add-ons within the major. Add-on responsibilities include presenting their work in a public venue, such as a class, a group meeting or at an Honors sponsored event.

History of the Program

Admission Requirements

To qualify for participation in the Honors Program, a student must be either:

  • An entering freshman with a 3.5 GPA from high school - OR - a 3.0 GPA from a high school honors program - OR - 1000 combined SAT score; --OR--
  • A current student with 12 college-level credits and a 3.2 GPA.

Students who do not currently fulfill these requirements may seek admission into the program by submitting a letter of recommendation from a recent professor and an original piece of writing demonstrating academic competence, such as a research paper from a recent course.

Online Registration Form  This form is not required, but will add you to the mailing list for information on Honors Program course offerings, events and activities.

Honors Certificate Options

Students can earn one of three recognitions in the Honors Program

  • Commonwealth Honors Scholar
  • STCC Honors Scholar
  • Springfield Technical Community College Honors Certificate

Commonwealth Honors Program Scholar designation requirements are the completion of three honors experiences with a grade of B or better in each course and an overall GPA of 3.2 or better on the 4.0 scale. Commonwealth Honors Program Scholars must complete: one Honors Colloquium; one Honors Add-on or Honors Independent Study and a third Honors experience of their choosing.

STCC Honors Scholar designation requirements are the completion of  three honors experiences with a grade of B or better in each course and an overall GPA of 3.2 or better on the 4.0 scale. STCC Honors Scholars must complete a total of three Honors experiences of any combination of Honors Colloquia, Honors Add-on or Honors Independent Study coursework. This program option is geared to students pursuing degree programs with limited flexibility in their scheduling options.

The Springfield Technical Community College Honors Certificate is earned by students completing five honors experiences with a grade of B or better in each honors course, and an overall GPA of 3.2 on the 4.0 scale. To complete the certificate, students must take: two Honors Colloquia; and three honors experiences of any combination of another Honors Colloquia, Honors specific section of a course, Honors Add-on or Honors Independent Study coursework.

Students who complete the Springfield Technical Community College Honors Certificate Program receive a certificate of completion and a scholarship of $500.

Honors Experiences

There are four types of honors experiences in the STCC Honors Program. They are described as follows:

  • Honors Colloquia:  Honors colloquia are specially designed courses, which emphasize critical thinking, advanced research and writing. These courses are open only to students admitted to the Honors Program, who have achieved a 3.2 or higher grade point average. These classes tend to be smaller, to employ the seminar form of instruction, and may be team taught.
  • Honors Add-on Component: Honors add-on courses allow the student to pursue the content and subject matter of an existing academic offering in greater depth than is required by the traditional student in the course. The content and subject matter of the add-on component course is developed by the student, in conjunction with the professor and assisted by the Honors Program Coordinator as needed. Usually the add-on component is documented through a scholarly research paper, a group project, a portfolio of creative work, or presentation at a public forum. The student must earn a grade of B in the add-on course for the course to be counted as an honors course on the transcript. The Honors Add-on option is available to any student of the college who has achieved a 3.2 GPA.
  • Honors Independent Study:  Honors Independent Study gives students the opportunity to undertake research and study specific topics not included in traditional course offerings. Students pursuing independent study, work under the guidance of a faculty sponsor. Students are required to complete a course of study with the faculty sponsor and gain approval from the Honors Coordinator and the Honors Committee, prior to end of the first week of the semester. Requests for an Honors Independent Study must be submitted on the Honors Add-On Contract and submitted to the Honors Coordinator, Professor John Diffley at jjdiffley@stcc.edu.
  • Honors Sections: There are a few honors-specific sections of other courses, including English 101, English 102 and Statistics, which count as honors colloquia. These course numbers end with "H" (for example, ENG-101H).

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Honors Program at Springfield Technical Community College is to take a leading role in achieving the mission and goals of the whole college. The program strives to meet the needs of academically motivated students by providing resources and options that allow each individual to reach her/his potential in the curriculum of her/his choice.


  1. To build students' self-esteem and self-confidence through their intellectual achievements.
  2. To develop students' critical thinking, verbal, visual and writing skills and to nurture their individual uniqueness.
  3. To promote students' attitudes toward life-long learning and instill in them an eagerness to continue the pursuit of intellectual challenges.
  4. To encourage students to bring their insights to their other classes thereby enriching all learning at Springfield Technical Community College.
  5. To stimulate faculty by providing opportunities for instructional experimentation which promotes faculty growth and renewal.
  6. To provide service to both the campus and the Greater Springfield Community.

The Board of Higher Education accepted the report of the Commonwealth Honors Program Executive Committee and renewed the membership of Springfield Technical Community College in the Commonwealth Honors Program for six years, effective November 2014.

Looking for more information? Contact:

John J. Diffley. J.D.
Professor of History
Program Chair, Liberal Arts/General Studies
Honors Program Coordinator (as of 1/1/2019)
Springfield Technical Community College
Building 17, room 241
Phone: 413-755-4627
Email:  jjdiffley@stcc.edu