The Honors Suite, located in H-209, is the envy of community college honors programs statewide. It is exceptional for an honors program to have a suite that was expressly designed for the purpose that it serves.
Starting with the reception area, the SCC Honors Suite provides an ideal environment for students to mix and mingle. Students are encouraged to hang out thanks to dataports and a comfortable sitting area. The area provides a workspace for the student employee who assists the counselor with reaching out to students for appointments, educational plan information, and information about the Honors Program.
As you continue down the central hallway, you will see the counselor’s office through the first door to the left, followed by the Honors Program coordinators’ office, and a dedicated reading/study area. On the right side of the central hallway, you will find two seminar-style classrooms.
Since honors classes are taught seminar-style, these classrooms are a perfect fit. They each are mediated with a central computer, projector, screen, and whiteboards. In addition, each classroom has storage for 12 laptops available for student use. Each classroom also has two breakout rooms off to the side, which are used for small group work.
"The classrooms provide an egalitarian setting. We want to foster a culture where students take the lead in discussions," said Tiffany Gause, SCC assistant professor of sociology and Honors Program co-coordinator. "The smaller, more intimate setting of the honors classrooms encourages students’ active participation in classes."
In essence, the classrooms themselves help change the mode of delivery of learning. At first, it can be intimidating to students to realize that they must take an active role in their own learning. But early in the semester, honors students get comfortable with the approach and tend to hang out after classes.
This fall, over 175 students enrolled in 13 honors classes. Not all of these classes take place in the suite, but most do. The suite also serves as home to the SCC Research Club, which was launched this fall.
"Thanks to the Honors Suite, we have been able to change the SCC Honors Program to a cohort culture,” said Mark Smith, SCC assistant professor of biology and Honors Program co-coordinator. “This engagement continues past the classroom. Students are often popping in to ask questions; they feel that this place is theirs."
The Honors Suite is open for student use Monday through Thursday and the Honors staff is always happy to see students. Drop in and get acquainted! For more information about the SCC Honors Program, contact Honors Program Co-Coordinators Tiffany Gause at (714) 628-4870or Mark Smith at (714) 628-4959 or visit www.sccollege.edu/honors.