Honors Program

honors program students around meeting table

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.
Completing the honors program has given me a sense of accomplishment. It's symbolic of rising above all of the dyslexic, low-socioeconomic status, first-generation, teen parent, and student of color narratives. It's been a tough journey, but thanks to the Honors Program, as well as the world’s greatest STEM professor, Dr. Ettienne-Modeste, I am proud to call myself a Massachusetts honors scholar. Monique Selden-Riley, STCC Student Trustee


The STCC Honors 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 who complete the program exclusive transfer opportunities and recognition as Honor students throughout the Commonwealth.   

The program is ideal for those students who want to challenge themselves academically and interact with like-minded and driven peers. The Honors Program offers students creative opportunities to explore topics in more depth and to pursue the highest levels of academic achievement at STCC.

Both new and current students are eligible to participate in the STCC Honors Program. To be eligible to join the STCC Honors Program and to take Honors Courses students must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Recent High School Graduates:
    • 3.5 GPA from high school - OR - a 3.0 GPA from a high school honors program - OR - 1000 combined SAT score; --OR--
  • Current Students:
    • Completed at least 12 college-level credits and maintained a 3.2 overall GPA.

Students who complete the honors program will earn the designation Commonwealth Honors Scholar which will be certified on their official transcripts. Requirements for completing the program and earning this designation appear below.

Commonwealth Honors Program Scholar

  • Completion of three honors experiences (totaling nine credits or more and including at least one Honors Seminar) with a grade of or better in each course
  • Maintain an overall GPA of 3.2 or better on the 4.0 scale
  • Students must take:
    • at least one Honors Seminars (courses designated HNR in the course catalog)
    • a combination of two other Honors Experiences (Honors Seminars, Honors Sections, or Honors Add-ons to a traditional class).

There are a few honors-specific sections of other courses, including English classes such as ENG-101H, ENG-102H, Introduction to Psychology (PSY-101H), Introduction to Sociology (SOC-101H), and Statistics (MAT-115H).  = NOTE: in instances where an honors section, such as ENG-101H is not run in a particular semester, students are encouraged to do Honors-Add-on work.

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

  • Honors Seminars are specially designed courses, which emphasize critical thinking, advanced research, and writing. Honors Seminars appear in the course catalog as HNR classes.  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 Sections are specially designated sections of traditional classes, such as: ENG-101H, SOC-101H, BIO-131H.  These classes can be identified by the letter “H” appearing after the course number.  Honors sections offer students the chance to complete honors work while also filling program-specific requirements and/or General Education requirements.
  • Honors Add-on Projects 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.  Prior to the end of the fourth week of the semester, students pursuing add-on components must complete the Honors Add-On Contract and submitted to the Honors Coordinator, Professor John Diffley at jjdiffley@stcc.edu.

The STCC Honors Program guarantees admission to state 4-year college and university Honors Programs to all students who graduate from a Commonwealth Honors Program at a community college and are accepted for transfer at that particular college or university.

After completing one Honors Experience, students gain access to the STCC Honors Student Lounge. The Honors Lounge is a place for Honors students to gather to socialize and get work done. The Lounge includes access to desktop computers, conference area, refrigerator, and more. 

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?

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
Putnam Hall (B17), room 241
Phone: 413-755-4627
Email: jjdiffley@stcc.edu

It has helped to hone my critical thinking and communication skills. I've always liked taking on new challenges. I feel strongly that the Honors Program has pushed me out of my comfort zone. Nicole Bedard, STCC student enrolled in Honors Program