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Curriculum offered for Fall 2014

Course Descriptions

HON 110: Honor Expository Writing    (4 credits) 

This course is intended for the student who has already demonstrated a high degree of proficiency in the use of language and who is motivated to pursue an advanced level of writing.   Each student will be encouraged to develop his or her own distinctive voice and style, to make sharp and effective word choices, to become his or her own best critic, and to ultimately experience the satisfaction that comes from producing relevant, effective, and polished pieces of writing. 

The course will be organized around a specific socio-cultural issue ortheme and will incorporate readings about that theme from a variety of disciplines.  The objective of the course is to enhance the depth and quality of students’ written expression through sustained engagement in the semester theme.  The student will practice writing about that theme for various purposes and audiences with systematic feedback from peers and the instructor. 

The course employs a workshop approach that incorporates critical reading, discussion, and a series of intense writing activities including analysis of rhetorical strategies used by other writers, and reading and responding to the work of others.  Working in small groups, students will develop original ideas about the semester theme through active discussion and critique. 

This course satisfies the College’s Composition requirement for the associate degree.

HONN 130 Honors Ancient Greek Philosophy   (3 Credits)

The main objective of this course is to develop students’ understanding of ancient Greek philosophy by examining in depth the work of its three major representatives: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.   Attention will be given both to the social and historical context in which the ideas of these thinkers arose and to the influence of their ideas across the Western world over the course of history. 

The course will help the student develop a sense of the intrinsic value of these classical modes of thought for her or his own ethical development as well as to the development of later civilizations.  After all, Athenian social life was as fraught as any contemporary society with tensions between truth and deception, virtue and moral relativism, and ethics and self-centeredness.   Understanding how the ideas of the classical philosophers evolved in response to these tensions will help students link the relevance of their ideas to the development of individual and social values at almost any point in history.

Students will be encouraged to make connections between past and present through exploration of three fundamental questions: What does it mean to live a good life?  What is the difference between knowledge and belief?  What is an ideal society, and what roles should various groups have within it? 

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group F requirement.

HONN250  Advanced Creative Writing     (3 Credits)

This course is designed to provide students who are serious about their writing an opportunity to focus on a particular genre (fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction) beyond what is covered in ENGN206 or ENGN235. Students come to this course with a firm grasp of all the elements of writing fiction, poetry, and/or non-fiction. Using a workshop format, the course also provides the student with an opportunity to compile a portfolio of significantly revised completed works. In addition to extensive reading within the chosen genre, workshops require participation in class discussions, student presentations and analyses of other students' work. Prerequisites:   Grade of B or higher in ENGN206 or ENGN235.

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group A requirement.

HONN 260A Movies and Social History of the USA  (3 Credits)

This course will explore a variety of topics in the social history of the United States from 1900 to the present using non-documentary movies as a historical source. While targeted social issues will vary for each decade, topics include modernization, the American Dream, poverty, high society, the middle class, family life and gender roles, the lives of minorities, organized crime, youth culture, and baseball. The approach will include assessing the accuracy of how movies portray various decades and their major socio-cultural trends, analyzing the themes of films in the context of 20th century history, and evaluating what movies reveal about the attitudes and concerns prevalent in the USA at the time they were released. This is a writing intensive course.  Joining Netflix will be necessary.

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group D requirement.


Honors Courses Offered Spring 2015

HONN 260C Humor in Literature and Other Media

Students will examine and enjoy a variety of forms of humor and comedy from early Greece to Elizabethan England to present day England and America while developing and strengthening their writing skills in critical analysis and evaluation.   The readings and visual presentations will cover a broad spectrum of humor, including romantic comedy, comedy of manners, absurdist comedy, situation comedy, wit, satire, parody, irony, stereotyping and farce.  Through discussions and writing, students will examine the various techniques through which humor criticizes human nature, analyzes society, and expresses differing political and world views. Students will learn to write effective literary analyses and evaluative reviews.  The authors and performers of humor and comedy under study may include Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Moliere, Wilde, Twain, Will Rogers, Winston Churchill, Thurber, Flannery O’Conner, Neil Simon, Edward Albee,  Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Jon Stewart, and Tina Fey.

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group A requirement.

HONN 210 Calculus I Honor

Students will have an opportunity to explore calculus from a historical perspective with emphasis on discovery and in solving problems.  In addition to performing the mathematical calculations involved in the study of calculus, students will read on the history of calculus and a variety of topics including limits, differentiation, related rates, definite and indefinite integrals, area and volume.  Not only will students learn the various operational steps of this mathematical study, but they will be challenged with researching the areas of application for calculus.

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group E requirement.

HONN117 The Environment in Chemical Perspective

The course introduces students to the study of major environmental problems and issues facing society today with an emphasis on the study of chemical contaminants in the environment.  The course will include topics such as an introduction to the Earth’s crust, the ecosystem, environmental pollution, chemical contaminants in the environment and their ecological and health effects, control of chemical environmental contaminants, chemical contaminant quantification, predicting the toxicity of chemical contaminants in the environment (using concepts such as chemical reactions, the stoichiometry of their equations, their rates, and equilibrium), and green chemistry.   

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group B requirement.

HONN 260B Introduction to Chinese Culture and Society 

With a growing political and economic influence, the study of China is becoming increasingly important for Americans to become a global citizen and educated person. This honors course provides an understanding of the Chinese society and mindset by examining major Chinese geographic features, the formation and evolution of Chinese identity, Chinese philosophical and religious traditions, Chinese political, economic and social systems, Chinese education system, and Chinese literature and arts.

This course will fulfill a General Elective Group D requirement.