Honors Courses

What Are "Honors" Courses?

Honors courses are more rigorous than regular college preparatory courses. Honors courses are developed to meet the needs of talented and academically motivated students who want to be challenged at a level beyond the traditional college preparatory course.

Honors courses usually parallel the curriculum offered in the corresponding college preparatory class but also provide additional academic challenges. Honors classes give students a deeper, more thorough knowledge of the subject matter. The work load of the honors class will be more strenuous than that of the traditional class, but significant benefits can be obtained.

What Are the Advantages of "Honors" Courses?

Honors courses offer many advantages and are worth the extra effort required. Students in honors classes will be more challenged academically, will be exposed to advanced subject matter, can dramatically increase their GPA, can help strengthen their chances for admission to college, and may also be better prepared to succeed in college. If honors courses are offered at a high school, most colleges expect serious candidates to enroll in honors courses. The strong academic preparation provided by honors courses in high school will generally increase a student’s level of success in college.

What "Honors" Courses are Offered?

Students will have the option of enrolling in advanced “honors” courses in place of the traditional college preparatory courses in the following subjects

9th Grade
English 9 (H)
Geometry (H)
Physical Science (H)
10th Grade
English 10 (H)
Algebra II (H)
Biology (H)
World History (H)
US History (H)
11th Grade
English 11 (H)
Trig- Pre Calculus (H)
Chemistry (H)
Physics (H)
US History (H)
World History (H)
12th Grade
English 12 (H)
Anatomy/ Microbiology (H)
Government (H)

How will honors courses fit into a student’s schedule?

Honors courses are generally offered in lieu of the regular level (college preparatory) course counterpart. Some honors classes will meet together with the traditional college preparatory class (as a “class within a class”). Some classes will meet independently of the college preparatory counterpart, and some honors courses may be offered as independent electives. The course schedule will allow for the students to enroll in honors courses in the same course sequence of the regular college preparatory classes or electives.

How Will Honors Courses Affect a Student’s GPA?

Since honors classes are more difficult than non-honors courses, grades in honors courses are weighted differently and can strengthen a student’s chances for admission to college by boosting their GPA. With the standard four-point grading scale, A = 4 grade points, B = 3 grade points, C = 2 grade points, D = 1 grade point, and F = 0. The grades you earn in honors classes are given an extra grade point, so A = 5, B = 4, and C = 3. (Note: Grades below a “C” are not awarded an extra grade point.) When honors courses are averaged with your regular high school grades your overall GPA can be higher than 4.0.

How Many Honors Courses May a Student Take Each Year?

The answer to this question will depend upon the student’s academic ability, motivation, and involvement in extra-curricular or other activities (sports, fine arts, job, church, etc.). Honors courses are not suitable for all students. However, many students earning at least a “B” average and who are motivated to excel should be able to handle an honors level course. Highly motivated students may choose to enroll in as many as three honors courses during a given school year.


How Much More Homework Should be Expected in an Honors Course?

Students enrolled in honors classes should expect a significantly larger amount of additional homework beyond what is required in a regular college preparatory class. This extra work may be in the form of additional assignments, more challenging daily homework, extra projects, supplemental reading, in-depth research and analysis, etc.

What Are the Requirements for Enrolling in an Honors Course?

In order for students to enroll in an honors course, a student must have earned at least a “B” in both semesters of the same subject area (math, science, English) in the preceding year. Students must also have demonstrated a pattern of completing homework on time and with good quality.

May a Student Switch From an Honors Course to Regular College Preparatory Course (or visa versa) During the School Year?

All changes in course schedules must be made during the first two weeks of school during the “drop-add” time period.

How Will Honors Courses Affect Honor Roll?

The honor roll will continue to be based upon the same requirements as in the past. Students must earn all “A’s” or “A-‘s” for the “A Honor Roll.” Students must earn at least a “B” average with no “D’s” or “F’s” to earn standing on the “B Honor Roll.” The extra grade point awarded for honors classes will not be considered when determining honor roll status.

What If a Student is Not Able to Handle the Additional Academic Challenge of Honors Courses?

Students will continue to have the option of enrolling in the traditional college preparatory courses that have always been offered at SCS. These courses will offer the same level of academic excellence which SCS has traditionally maintained.

How Do Students Enroll in Honors Courses?

Students will choose their class schedule (including honors courses) on the elective sheet that can be downloaded from the SCS website.