By Laci Sutton/Staff Writer

Hutchinson Community College is full of outstanding programs, both academic and nonacademic, giving the student body many opportunities to make the most out of their college experience.

One of those opportunities is the HutchCC Honors Program.

The program is unlike any other college honors program. Students can choose from a selection of honors credit classes, many of which are general education classes. During students’ freshman year, they are paired with a college staff or faculty member to complete a research project of the student’s choosing. This gives the student a chance to dive deep into a topic of their interest. The projects will then be presented in the spring for students’ to show off their hard work and accomplishments from their time working with their mentor. This year’s projects will be presented on April 25 in the Sports Arena. Students also have the opportunity to present their research at national and regional conferences.

The HutchCC honors program also helps in the community. Ryan Diehl is the Curriculum and Program Improvement Coordinator for the college, and has also been the Honors Program Coordinator since 2011.

“The HutchCC Honors Program has participated in the United Way Community Work Day since 2010,” Diehl said. “Our project is usually cleaning up Carey Park.”
This year, they were unable to make it to the park due to weather, but instead met up and accomplished a few RASKs (Random Acts of Kindness).

The HutchCC honors program has played a large role in the development of campus’ RASKforce which sends weekly updates on RASK happenings around the campus and community. The honors program also organizes the Food Bank of Reno Country Food Drive, which is the largest food drive on HutchCC’s campus.

Many incoming students hear the word “honors” and instantly think the classes are much more difficult, so they might shy away.

Honors classes aren’t actually harder. Instead they take you to a different level of critical thinking while diving even deeper into the course’s material. They push you to use your full potential and abilities as a student.

HutchCC sophomore and Honors Student Council Tri-Chair Member Alexis Bradley shared her thoughts on the HutchCC honors classes, saying, “They go more in depth into a subject that you’re interested in.”

The honors students are able to participate in a wide range of activities to give themselves a break from cracking the books.

“Some of the past activities include etiquette dinners, hikes at Sand Hills State Parks, a bike ride to Carriage Crossing for cinnamon rolls, outings to both the Cosmosphere and Strataca, movie nights, game nights, community service projects, the Food Bank of Reno County Food Drive, and even a Four Square tournament,” Diehl said.

The students will also be going to the state fair this year for a fun night out and a scavenger hunt.

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