American Honors at Pierce College

American Honors’ mission has evolved and their program is moving in a new direction. American Honors and Pierce College’s partnership will be ending at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. We want to give you some advance notice about changes to the program.

While we will no longer be accepting new American Honors students, we are honoring our commitment to the current cohort of American Honors students through Spring 2019. Below is list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that explains this further. If you are a current student in the program, please work closely with your advisor to confirm your education plan through graduation.

We are sorry this program will be coming to an end, but we remain committed to creating quality educational opportunities for you. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


Holly Smith, Dean for American Honors

Almetta Pitts, Program Director of American Honors
253-778- 6551

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the partnership ending?

American Honors’ mission has evolved beyond partnerships with colleges, and their five-year contract with Pierce expires at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

I am an AH student now, how does this impact me?

If you plan to graduate in 2018, this may impact you very little.

  • We will still have American Honors courses and advising support through Spring 2018. 
  • Your access to the American Honors transfer network and online support related to that network will continue through 2020.

If you just started at Pierce (Fall 2017) working on your AA degree, you will receive a modified program throughout the 2017-18 academic year (this is typically provided across two years).

  • We will have American Honors courses and advising through Spring 2018.
  • We will be offering the American Honors Transfer Seminar in Spring 2018 (while this is usually offered in the fall, we want to provide this seminar prior to the end of the contract). 
  • For new students entering the program in Fall 2017, we encourage you to complete an Honors Certificate in lieu of the Honors Diploma. This will entitle you to all the benefits of the American Honors Transfer Network, but requires fewer courses to complete (20 credits instead of 30 credits).
  • We will be offering a full complement of honors courses this academic year, but there will be limited honors courses offered in 2018-19. Please work closely with your advisor to make sure you stay on track to complete your Honors Certificate.
  • Your access to the American Honors transfer network and online support related to that network will continue through 2020.
  • Regardless of whether or not you choose to be in American Honors, you can receive an AA from Pierce — staying in Honors will not impact your ability to earn a degree.

How do I know if I can graduate with honors or not?

Work closely with your honors advisor to review your academic plan and the plan of courses for the next two years. This will help you determine if you would be in the diploma, certificate, or participant level of the program.

What will American Honors cost in the future?

  • For the 2017-18 academic year, there is no change in the fee structure of the program. There is a program fee of $275 and a course fee for each American Honors course you take.
  • For the 2018-19 academic year, courses offered as honors will not have additional fees attached to the coursework. There will be no American Honors fees for the 2018-19 year, since no American Honors program will be offered after Spring 2018
  • Students who participated in 2017-18 will have full access to the American Honors Transfer Network and related support through 2020, at no cost.

What if I no longer want to be part of American Honors? What happens to my current schedule of classes?

  • Please make sure you reach out to your American Honors admissions officer or advisors if you have any questions about whether ongoing participation is right for you.
  • If you decide you are no longer interested in participating, and you are registered for an American Honors course and you are unable to find another course to fill your schedule, you may remain in the course for the fall term and you will not be charged the American Honors fees, and will not receive American Honors credits. The course will be taught as an honors course, with the lower course cap and the honors outcomes. For winter quarter, you must register for standard Pierce courses.

Will Pierce College create a new honors program?

We will be working with a team of faculty, staff and students to review what we have learned in our partnership with American Honors and to determine if we would like to offer our own honors program.

About American Honors

  • Honors quality classes. Small, seminar-style classes are discussion driven with minimal lectures. All classes are led by selected honors faculty.
  • Personal advising support. Dedicated American Honors advisors help students with their college plan, transfer process, and career exploration.
  • Leadership opportunities. Students use what they learn in the classroom and apply their skills in leadership roles as honors council members, volunteers and mentors.
  • Transfer options. American Honors’ network of four-year schools actively recruits program graduates and, in some cases, guarantees admission.
  • A community of students like you. Ambitious, dedicated students find like-minded friends in the diverse American Honors community.
  • Professional development. From resume writing workshops to in-depth career conversations, American Honors prepares students for life after college.

The American Honors National Transfer Network

Over 60 top colleges and universities are interested in attracting American Honors program graduates as participants of our exclusive Transfer Network.

  • Member Institutions: Four-year colleges and universities that work closely with American Honors to facilitate the transfer process. This can include conditional acceptance agreements, transfer articulation, Honors-specific scholarships, and/or application fee waivers.
  • Affiliate Institutions: Four-year colleges and universities who are interested in attracting American Honors students, and who provide limited benefits such as application fee waivers and participation in transfer activities.

A few members of the national transfer network are highlighted below. See the complete list of more than 60 four-year colleges and universities in the American Honors network.

school logos for Arizona, Duke Gonzaga, Illinois Institute of Technology, Ohio State, Pacific Lutheran, University of Puget Sound, and Whitworth
American Honors Logo


Holly Smith