Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

College of Health and Human Services

Honors Cohort

Honors Program in Collaborative Leadership

Fostering academic leaders within our college

The mission of the Honors Program is to provide scholarly, creative and motivated upper-division students in the College of Health and Human Services an enhanced educational experience through advanced study and interdisciplinary engagement with their peers.

What is the schedule and time commitment?
The program requires a commitment of one 3-unit course in the Fall and one 3-unit course in the Spring

  • The class meets five Fridays (4:30 - 9:30 p.m.) and one Saturday (8 a.m.- 6 p.m.) each semester.
  • Each student will commit a minimum of 20 service-learning hours during each semester toward the project. Note that this may be direct and/or indirect service.
    • For example, in the fall course generally all of the service-learning hours come from the development, implementation, and analysis of the needs assessment (including the literature review), and as such are indirect service. The spring includes more direct service as that course focuses on implementation of a project based on the needs assessment.

How many students are accepted each year?
About 15-30 students, with student representation from the different departments in the College of Health and Human Services. 

What is the focus of each course taken in the Honors Program?

  • HHS 114S (Fall): Students work in interprofessional teams to complete a needs assessment and literature review in collaboration with a community partner.
  • HHS 115S (Spring): Students work in interprofessional teams to implement a project with the community partner based on the needs assessment from the prior semester

What are the benefits of service-learning?
It connects book-learning to real-life education, and provides opportunities to network with community agencies. 

What makes the CHHS Honors Program unique?
Students are able to develop leadership skills and have the ability to work in interprofessional teams in collaboration with a community organization. 

How will graduating with honors benefit students?

  • It will make the student a more competitive graduate school applicant
  • It will enhance students' resume due to Honors College coursework completed
  • It demonstrates student's ability to make a difference in the community 

Are scholarship funds available? 
Yes. Students must apply for these funds during the same semester they are applying for the Honors Program. 

What are some other benefits of participating?

  • Priority registration
  • Networking among your peers as well as members of the community
  • Development of collegiality
  • Development of leadership skills
  • Interprofessional teamwork experience may enhance your resume / marketability 

Program Goals

The two-semester program is designed to help students develop leadership skills in collaborative team building, and to also enable them to understand the contributions that each health and human service professional contributes, in regards to the well-being of individuals, families and communities.

Student Project

Honors Scholars apply their learning in culmination projects of interdisciplinary assessment and evaluation that address the needs of the Central Valley. The hope is to instill and philosophy of service that encompasses inclusion, respect and equity.

 Honors Scholars 2014-15

Who is eligible to become an Honors Scholar?

Enrollment in the program is highly competitive and open to students from each academic unit within the college. Each student is a leader in their chosen discipline, as recognized by their professors and peers. Students are invited into the program by faculty in his/her department and must meet the following Honors Program admissions requirements:

  • Undergraduate major in a CHHS department: Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies, Kinesiology, Nursing, Public Health, Recreation Administration or Social Work Education
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.5 
  • Completed at least one semester at Fresno State
  • Junior or senior standing (completion of 60 units as of fall 2021) 
  • Willingness to commit to HHS 114S in Fall semester (3 units) and HHS 115S during Spring semester (3 units) 
  • Completion of HHS 114S with a grade of 'B' or better in order to continue to HHS 115S
  • A maximum 1,000-word typed personal statement of purpose explaining why you wish to participate in the honors program. Include a description of why you chose your area of study. Also include a description of demonstrated community and/or University involvement. In addition, describe your professional goals and how you believe learning skills in collaborative leadership will contribute to success. 
  • A letter of recommendation/nomination from a Fresno State faculty or staff member who can speak to your ability to successfully complete the honors program. 



Collaborative Leadership in Health and Human Services - 3 units

  • Introduce fields of study - guest speakers from individual disciplines
  • Learn methodologies
  • Identify faculty mentor
  • Develop collaborative needs assessment plan in consultation with faculty mentor

Applied Collaborative Leadership in Health and Human Services - 3 units

  • Implement group projects in consultation with mentor
  • Meet three times during the semester
  • Present project at symposium

Alumni Reflections


“The best part about the Honors Program is getting a small taste of what a career in the health field will be like. Also, health professionals of Fresno will be more willing to mentor students, creating better-prepared graduates, which will benefit local communities.” - Lilliana Toste, 2014-15 Honors Student



“The program has really changed my outlook on teamwork. Everyone brings so many unique things to the table, which just made the whole experience so much better. My classmates have become like family to me and I am honored to have been one of the first students in that program.” - Marine Vardanyan, 2014-15 Honors Student


 "Through the honors program, I was able to grow as a professional. The program, as a whole, is a great opportunity for students in the college to work with passionate, highly-motivated and caring peers." - Araceli Melchor, 2016-17 Honors Student