Honors Program

The Columbia College Honors Program provides an enriching academic experience for outstanding students committed to excellence. The fundamental assumption of an honors education is that students will continue to challenge their intellectual limits, working creatively and seriously to reach their highest potential as scholars, reflective learners, individual thinkers, and leaders.

The Honors Program emphasizes independent learning and the spirited exchange of ideas in a stimulating classroom environment, encouraging students to develop their own ideas in a knowledgeable and reasoned framework.


Chartered in 1985 to recruit, retain, and develop bright, motivated students, the Columbia College Honors Program is one of the fastest growing and most recognized programs on campus. Paramount to the mission of honors teaching and learning are certain key qualities that translate into goals in courses and programming:

  • Uncompromising academic standards
  • Liberal, interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Willingness to engage in intellectual risk
  • Independent, reflective learning
  • Creativity

Andrea Coker and Taylor Stukes, both of Manning, traveled to Germany with the Honors Program. “Here is a picture of us reading the Clarendon Citizen in front of the Berliner Dom, a magnificent Lutheran Cathedral on Museum Island in Berlin." The Honors Program at Columbia College is all about experiencing more inside and outside of your classes. The honors experience at Columbia College can add more than just academic challenge to your undergraduate career. It can include travel to national and regional conferences, recognition for papers and independent projects, and opportunities that are available only to those who call themselves Columbia College Honors Students.

According to Dr. John Zubizarreta, Director of the Columbia College Honors Program, “Honors is about risk. A student accepts great risk in pushing herself to the highest intellectual levels. Our responsibility is to encourage students’ intellectual growth, provide them with valuable experiences, and challenge them to reach higher.”



October 5, 2016


Nearly 2,000 Students & Faculty to Attend NCHC Annual Event

Columbia, SC – Students Taryn Auerbach, Hannah Broam, Samantha Cely, Erica Cooper, Chau Duong, Kim Duong, Lauren Fleming, Brynna Gregg, Michaela McElveen, Sarah McGhee, Michelle Troup, Kristin Wilson, Meredith Yuhas, and faculty members Ute Wachsmann-Linnan, Marcy Jo Yonkey-Clayton, and John Zubizarreta have been selected as presenters at the 51st annual conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Seattle, Washington, October 12-16, 2016.

The conference highlights student and faculty research presentations from across the nation and abroad, providing development opportunities for honors students, faculty, and administrators. Sherman Alexie—poet, filmmaker, and best-selling author—will provide the plenary session on Friday.

Columbia College honors students and faculty will present sessions on topics such as the role of service in honors, using online forums to enhance learning, the challenges and rewards of honors for international students, City-as-Text™ pedagogy in study-travel, and the use of art across disciplines to promote honors learning. Honors students and faculty of Columbia College will also lead the special Master Class workshop in dance. The national submission process for the NCHC annual conference is highly selective, with hundreds of students and faculty submitting proposals each year.

“We are so pleased to provide an opportunity for honors students and NCHC members to experience the city of Seattle, all while celebrating the successes and presentations that are unique to honors education,” said Dr. Hallie Savage, NCHC Executive Director.

While in Seattle, students and faculty will have the opportunity to explore the city of Seattle through NCHC’s City as TextTM Program, network with other honors students and faculty from across the country and around the world, and celebrate the unique community created by honors education. NCHC anticipates nearly 2,000 students and faculty hailing from all 50 states to be in attendance at the Seattle event, as well as visitors from Mexico, Greece, the Netherlands, Japan, Qatar, Great Britain, and China.

“I am excited for our students and faculty to be invited to participate in the prestigious National Collegiate Honors Council conference and share the results of their research and their expertise with the participants,” said Beth Dinndorf, President of Columbia College. “In our Honors Program, our students have an enriched academic experience that challenges their intellectual limits and encourages them to work creatively to reach their highest potential as scholars, reflective learners, individual thinkers, and leaders.”

If you would like more information about the Columbia College Honors Program please visit columbiasc.edu.

About National Collegiate Honors Council
The National Collegiate Honors Council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to support and enhance the community of educational institutions, professionals and students who participate in collegiate honors education around the world. NCHC members total nearly 900 institutions from the United States and abroad. Professional and student memberships are available. More information is available at nchchonors.org.

About Columbia College
Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a best value institution and ranked among the best regional universities in the South, Columbia College is a dynamic learning and living community known for its emphasis on leadership development and service. Founded 162 years ago by the United Methodist Church as a women’s liberal arts college, Columbia College also offers evening, graduate and online programs serving both women and men. The College is home to the McNair Center for Entrepreneurism, and a nationally renowned honors program led by the 2010-2011 United States Professor of the Year. Learn more at columbiasc.edu or connect with @columbiakoala.