Skip to Content
Skip to main content

Why Honors?

In the classroom

The Honors Program at NEO is all about the student. In honors designated courses, students will experience learning opportunities different from those available in the traditional course offering. While each honors course is unique, a student can come to expect more freedom and responsibility in their course work that fosters deep learning and exploration of the subject matter. This can come in the form of skills or project based learning, experiential or service learning, multi- or interdisciplinary learning, and research or creative work. In short, honors courses provide enriched and active learning experiences that encourage students to cultivate and exhibit a deeper knowledge and understanding of course concepts, material, and learning objectives along with like-minded peers and driven, committed faculty.

Whether in an honors only course or traditional course where a student and faculty member contract honors work, students can expect to build their critical thinking, communication, information literacy and qualitative literacy skills. Research, writing, and presentation expertise are key to successful completion of honors work, but may be explored in a variety of ways dependent on instructor and student.

Learning outside the classroom walls

The Honors Program isn’t just about offering a different experience within the classroom, but expanding learning and fostering growth of the student outside of the classroom as well. The Honors Program strives to promote personal and professional growth in addition to academic achievement. Leadership opportunities and civic and community experiences are necessary and vital to the program. Students will find themselves pushed and motivated by fellow members, staff, and faculty who want to see success beyond academics.

Enriched learning

NEO’s Honors Program is dedicated to providing enriched learning opportunities that promote personal, professional, and intellectual growth to highly motivated and academically talented students.

In support of its mission statement, the Honors Program emphasizes active and collaborative classes taught by dedicated and innovative faculty that foster intellectual engagement, interdisciplinary perspective, service learning opportunities, and community responsibility. Classes concentrate on enhancing the core general education competencies of critical thinking, effective communication, information literacy, and quantitative literacy. Honors students will further benefit from peer-group interaction, experiential learning, scholarly and social activities and events, and independent research and inquiry.

NEO Honors Program graduates will demonstrate:

  1. Critical and creative thinking through inquiry and research
  2. Effective oral and written communication skills to persuade, critique, and inform
  3. An ability to locate, evaluate, and utilize evidence convincingly, including synthesis of primary and secondary sources, in an interdisciplinary manner
  4. An awareness of and connection between academic disciplines through various historical, cultural, and global perspectives
  5. Leadership and community/civic engagement


For all students who are members

These benefits are available to all student who are members, including Honors Scholars and provisional members.

  • Enriched non-honors course sections through honors course contracts. Members of the honors program are eligible to create an honors contract with a participating faculty member for enriched honors study and work in a non-honors course section. This allows honors students the opportunity to work closely with faculty, pursue independent study, and experience enriched learning approaches to a traditional course and course content. Contracts are drawn up between the participating faculty member and student. As determined by the participating faculty member, successful fulfillment of the honors course contract for a non-honors course results in an honors designation for that course on the student’s transcript.
  • Meet and greet opportunities. Members of the honors program will have special opportunities to interact with visiting speakers and guests of the college. From speaking engagements to dinners to workshops, students will have opportunities for personalized interaction with special guests and speakers.
  • Information on scholarship opportunities and assistance. The Honors Program staff will actively help identify and promote scholarship opportunities honors members may be particularly qualified for and assist in the application.

For all students who are Honors Scholars

Full members are call Honors Scholars. These benefits are available to all students who are full members:

  • Priority enrollment in honors only course sections. While designated honors course sections are open to any NEO student who meets the eligibility standards for enrollment into an honors course, students who are full members of the Honors Program are given priority enrollment to any honors only course section.
  • Early open enrollment for all courses. Full members of the Honors Program, regardless of credit hours completed or attempted, are eligible to enroll in courses on the first day of enrollment for the following semester. This allows full members the opportunity to build their ideal schedule with their ideal instructors.
  • Honors designation at graduation. All full members who graduate from the program will be recognized in commencement materials, and will receive an honors designation on their official transcripts.
  • Participation in regional and national honors councils and events. Full members will have the opportunities to present at and travel to regional and national honors council events, upon successful application and eligibility.
  • Bookstore Discount. All full members of the program receive 10% off bookstore purchases. This discount cannot be combined with any other discounts.
  • Advising and assistance in transferability. The Honors Program staff will actively help advise and inform students on transferring to honors programs at other institutions and assisting with designation of honors credits and courses to transfer institutions.
  • Advising and assistance in enriched learning opportunities and experiences. The Honors Program staff will actively help arrange, advise, and inform honors members of travel opportunities, field trips, and events available to students and assist members in arranging their inclusion and participation in such opportunities.

Additional benefits

In addition to the benefits listed above, these opportunities are available to select students who are Honors Scholars.

  • Honors scholarships. Select students who are full members of the program, upon application and review, will receive scholarships only available to honors students.
  • Reserved honors housing. Select students who are full members of the program will be eligible, upon application and review, to live in an honors ‘block’ of the newest dorm facility on NEO’s campus.
  • Leadership Retreat fee waived. Select students who are full members of the program will be eligible, upon application and review, to have the cost for the Leadership Retreat waived. The Leadership Retreat is an activity that serves as a component to the Honors Freshman Year Experience Course (a required one credit course for all full time members). Note: the cost of tuition and associated college fees for the one credit course are not waived.

Contact Honors Program
Keeley Adams
Keeley Adams Instructor - Psychology & Honors Co-Coordinator
Bobbie Pennington
Bobbie Pennington Success Center Coordinator & Honors Co-Coordinator
Back to top