History of the Honors Program

Honors Program History

The Honors Program at Georgia Highlands College began in a study of peer institution honors programs requested by then Vice President for Academic Affairs, Renva Watterson. In 2010, a group of faculty members formed an honors committee and proposed a structure for Honors to the full faculty, although no formal vote for such a committee was called. The structure was put into place at Renva Watterson’s request and Georgia Highlands College began offering honors courses and honors options (projects added to standard courses). Since 2010, the Honors Program has been financially supported with a budget through the Office of Academic Affairs, a course release for the Director, and at times, some compensation for others involved in supporting the program.


Honors Program Directors

2010-2011: Sharryse Henderson

2011-2012: Laura Beth Daws

2012-2015: Jayme Feagin (Camille Pace as Assistant Honors Director, 2014-2015)

2015-2017: Teresa Hutchins

2017-2019: Christina Wolfe

2019-present: Steve Stuglin


History of Honors Program Oversight

At inception and through its early years, the Honors Program was considered to be under the purview of the honors committee formed by Renva Watterson, with committee members selected and volunteering for said service. At other times, the Honors Program was considered under the purview of the Academic Progress Committee, with members nominated by Faculty Senate and elected by the full faculty. At some point, oversight of the Honors Program shifted to the Curriculum Committee, with members nominated by Faculty Senate and elected by the full faculty. This shift may have come as part of the evolution of the Faculty Advisory Council into the Faculty Senate or the subsequent overhaul of the Committees of the College and the Committees of the Faculty. There is no clear documentation of this change and proper procedure may not have been followed.

In 2017, the Faculty Senate was asked to review this change in oversight and whether the move was appropriate, could be reversed, and/or whether a new committee should be created to oversee the Honors Program. The Senate responded with a recommendation that the Honors Director assemble an Honors Advisory Council of faculty members to support but not oversee the program, a determination that Curriculum Committee was an appropriate and sufficient form of oversight for the program, and a directive to Statutes and Faculty Affairs committee to modify Statutes as needed to situate oversight of the program in Curriculum Committee. The revisions were delayed in deference to the broader work of rewriting the GHC Statutes from scratch. In 2019, a formal revision to the Statutes reflecting Curriculum Committee oversight of the Honors Program passed the Senate and Statutes and Faculty Affairs Committee but failed its vote of the full faculty due to extremely low electronic voting participation (no quorum).

In 2019 and 2020, broad sections of the Statutes dealing with the Faculty Senate were moved into Faculty Senate Bylaws. In a 2020 revision of a Bylaws section dealing with the rights and responsibilities of Committees of the College and of the Faculty, the language from the 2019 proposed revisions was reintroduced, clarifying Curriculum Committee oversight of the Honors Program. These changes were later approved by a vote of the full faculty (October 2021):

GHC Faculty Senate Bylaws, Article VIII: Standing Committees

Section 1: Standing Committees of the Faculty and of the College
H. 1.1 Curriculum Committee

  • The Curriculum Committee shall consist of the Provost, who shall serve as Chair and one faculty member from each academic school, including the library. The Provost, a representative for Learning Support, a representative for the General Education Council, and Registrar shall serve as ex-officio members.
  • The Committee shall recommend to the Faculty the requirements for all degrees, including those with special honors, and shall approve all courses offered by each school of instruction.
  • The Committee shall review all proposed changes in degree requirements and programs of instruction, including those with special honors, and shall transmit such proposals to the Faculty with appropriate recommendations.
  • The Committee shall serve an oversight function over any substantive changes to the administration, evaluation, or requirements of special academic programs that provide special supplemental honors, supplemental transferable credit, or supplemental transcript notations including, but not limited to, the Honors Program.”