Honors Courses Spring 2021

Honors Courses Spring 2021

All Honors Classes meet at the Des Plaines Campus in room 2735 unless otherwise noted. All Honors Classes meet General Education Requirements, unless otherwise noted.

Learning Communities: Honors Learning Communities are the integration of courses from different disciplines around a common theme. They always meet for at least 2 class periods, both professors are always present, the assignments and material are integrated. Learning Communities are recognized to be high impact learning experiences, and Oakton Community College is one of the few places where you can take one.

You must take at least one Learning Community to graduate or transfer with the Honors Scholars designation on your transcript.


For the spring 2021 semester we are offering two Learning Communities*:

Title: Honors: Composition II & Intro to Environmental Science*

Course Descriptions:

Composition II: Course introduces strategies for planning, writing, and revising advanced expository essays and the college research paper. Content includes critical reading and analysis, the structure of argument and the use of sources.

Intro to Environmental Science: Laboratory course introduces study of the environment in which we live and of factors contributing to its alteration. Content includes ecosystem structure and function; population dynamics; resources; pollution; evaluation and management of natural areas; biodiversity and conservation; overview of ecological balances in nature and humans' relationship to these balances. Intended for non-science majors. Credit cannot be received in both BIO 103 and BIO 106.

Register for: EGL 102 GH1 (CRN: 11466) & BIO 106 0H1 (CRN: 11467)

Days & Times: MW 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. & W 9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Professors Marian Staats & Tess Lesniak

*Students Must Enroll In Both Classes

Gen Ed: Communications, Lab-Life Science, Global Studies

Concentrations: Environmental Studies (x2), Global Studies, Great Books, Women & Gender studies


Title: Honors: Ethics & Contemporary Culture & the Arts*

Course Description: 

National and global protests against police abuse and in defense of Black lives in 202 have brought policing, incarceration and the criminal justice system to the forefront of ethical debate. In the first part of this course, we will examine moral, cultural and economic and racial roots of modern systems of policing and incarceration through the lens of contemporary and classical philosophical texts as well as the Black and Africana arts movements of the last 60 years. In the second part of the course, we will turn our attention to the alternatives to policing and incarceration that have been proposed by artists, philosophers, religious thinkers, and political activists within the same disciplines. Finally, students will be given the opportunity to directly meet and learn from contemporary artists and philosophers on the leading edge of today's struggles for justice.

Register for: PHL 106 GH1 (CRN: 12043) & HUM 122 0H1 (CRN: 11470)

Days & Times: TR 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 

Professors Peter Hudis & Kristin McCartney

*Students Must Enroll In Both Classes

Gen Ed: Humanities, Humanities-Fine Arts

Concentrations: Great Books, Peace & Social Justice


                                                  Single Honors Courses

Title: Honors: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research in Biology OR Chemistry

Course Description:

Interested in a career in the sciences? Want to learn how to develop and carry out your own independent research project using online or nearby resources? Interested in reading and understanding scientific literature? In this class, you will work closely with two professors to design a novel project that you will research, develop and carry out over the course of the semester, and present at the end of the semester. In addition to engaging in your own project you, with the rest of the class, will read and present current scientific articles on SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 weekly. This is to provide you with experience in analyzing the literature while simultaneously keeping you well informed of recent advances in understanding this novel virus.

Register for: BIO 240 0H1 (CRN: 10965) OR CHM 240 0H1 (CRN: 10966)

Days & Times: M 12:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m., W 12:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.*

      *W 12:15 p.m. course conflicts will be accommodated

Professor: Suzanne Ziegenhorn & Melodie Graber

Electives: Lab-Life Science (BIO), Lab-Physical Science (CHM) 


Title: Honors: Intro to Sociology

Course Description:

Course introduces sociological perspective used to study contemporary society, with focus on United States. Content includes culture, socialization, social interaction, groups and networks, deviance and social control, inequality in society, social institutions such as family or education, and processes of social change.

Register for: SOC 101 0H1 (CRN: 12041)

Days & TimesOnline Asynchronous

Professor: Anika Jones

Gen Ed: Social and Behavioral Sciences, US Diversity

Concentrations: Women & Gender Studies


Title: Honors: Intro to Social and Cultural Anthropology

Course Description:

Course introduces subfield of social and cultural anthropology, which studies living cultures. Content includes cultural behavior, language, kinship and social structure, political and economic anthropology, religion and worldview, and topics related to applied anthropology and modern cultures.

Register for: ANT 102 0H1 (CRN: 12229)

Days & Times: Online Asynchronous

Professor: Lindsey Hewitt

Gen Ed: Social & Behavioral Sciences, Global Studies

Concentrations: Global Studies, Women & Gender Studies


Title: Honors: Human Genetics

Course Description

Course introduces basic genetic principles and applications in human populations. Content includes the cell cycle; structure, function, mutation and transmission of the genetic material; role of genetics in health care and biotechnology; and ethical, psychological and social implications of gene-based medicine. Credit cannot be received for both BIO 104 and BIO 105.

Register for: BIO 104 0H1 (CRN: 11476)

Days & Times: TR 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Professor: Harper Mazock

Gen Ed: Life Science. Starting on 2/16


Title: Honors: Microbiology

Course Description

Laboratory course introduces biology of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses. Content includes metabolism, genetics, identification, control, physiology, relationship to health and disease, and host defense. Intended primarily for student in health fields.

Register for: BIO 251 0H1 (CRN: 12042)

Days & Times: MW 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. (online synchronous) & MW 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Professor: Suzanne Ziegenhorn

Gen Ed: Lab-Life Science


Title: Honors: Elementary Statistics

Course Description

Course introduces statistics for physical, biological and social sciences. Content includes data collection processes, descriptive methods using quantitative and qualitative data, bivariate data, correlation, and regression, probability theory, probability distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis tests. Technology will be used to perform computations.

Register forMAT 131 0H1 (CRN: 11474)

Days & Times: 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

ProfessorMario Borha

Gen Ed: Mathematics


Special Topics Course

TitleHonors: Philosophy of Emotion

Course Description

This course will focus on the ways emotions play a role in our political life. While emotions have their basis in our biology, they have a social and political dimension as they shape, and are shaped by, our collective experiences. Emotions are sometimes seen as having a dangerous effect on democratic life, as destabilizing our politics and allowing for manipulation by demagogic leaders. Feelings such as hurt, anger and grief are often invoked in our political discourse as forces to be contained or accommodated. This course will seek to go beyond this approach, and we will examine how these and other emotions can be thought of in relation to our political realities and struggles.

Register for: PHL 290 0H1 (CRN: 11472)

Days & TimesR 2:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Professor: Mohamed Mehdi

Elective: Philosophy/Humanities 


                          Honors Spring 2021 Courses and Your AA/AS Degree


AREA A--Communications
EGL 102 (w/BIO 106) Honors: Composition II

AREA B--Mathematics
MAT 131 Honors: Elementary Statistics 

AREA C--Science, all lab courses
BIO 104 Honors: Human Genetics
BIO 106 Honors: Intro to Environmental Science
BIO 251 Honors: Microbiology
BIO 240 and CHM 240 Honors: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research

AREA D--Social and Behavioral Sciences
ANT 202 Honors: Intro to Social & Cultural Anthropology
PHL 290 Honors: Philosophy of Emotion
SOC 101 Honors: Intro to Sociology

AREA E--Humanities/Fine Arts
HUM 122 Honors: Contemporary Culture & the Arts
PHL 106 Honors: Ethics

AREA F--Global Studies
ANT 202 Honors: Intro to Social & Cultural Anthropology
EGL 102 Honors: Composition II

AREA G--U.S. Diversity
SOC 101 Honors: Intro Sociology

Courses that Meet Your Concentration Requirements
Environmental Studies: EGL 102/BIO 106
Global Studies: ANT 202, EGL 102
Great Books: EGL 102, PHL 106
Peace and Social Justice: PHL 106
Women’s and Gender Studies: EGL 102, SOC 101


Additional Opportunities for Honors Students

Honors Contracts allow Honors students the opportunity to earn Honors credit for classes we are not currently offering as Honors sections. In order to do so, the Honors' student works one-on-one with their professor outside of class on an Honors project designed by the student and instructor. Last year, students and faculty completed over 100 Honors contracts! Email your professor before registering or talk with them in the first weeks of the semester to see if this option might be right for you. Apply to the program by going to www.oakton.edu/honors and clicking on "Apply".

The Honors Scholars Designation represents the highest distinction available through the Honors Program. When transferring and applying for scholarships, the Honors Scholar Designation sets you apart from other students with high GPAs, and it is taken as a mark of serious academic achievement. The Honors Designation is awarded to Honors students who have 1) maintained a 3.25 GPA and 2) completed at least 18 credit hours in Honors classes. This includes at least 6 credits from an Honors Learning Community, and no more than 6 credits earned through Honors Contracts. After the Honors Program has verified your course record, the designation is added to your college transcript. Email honors@oakton.edu for more details.

Mellon Humanities Scholars and Fellows Program
Oakton students who plan on transferring to Lake Forest College are eligible to complete Humanities research one-on-one with a Lake Forest College faculty member under the Mellon Humanities Scholars Program. The one-year award includes a $1,500 stipend (in addition to other financial aid and scholarships through the college), and the opportunity to earn credit at Lake Forest College.

Oakton students who are not ready to transfer to a four-year college may still participate in other grant-related research projects, programs or organizational efforts through the Mellon Humanities Fellows Program. The renewable semester-long award requires students to complete a 35-hour project, and it includes a $500 stipend.

Contact Ryan Walters at rwalter@lakeforest.edu to learn more.


QUESTIONS? Please Reach Out!

Fall 2020 Student Hours
Monday 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Request an appointment here
Email: honors@oakton.edu 

Please email us or make an appointment to talk if you need any help planning for the spring 2021 semester. We are available during listed hours, but also happy to accommodate your schedule, as needed.

Your Honors Co-coordinators,
Professors Brad Young & Kristin McCartney