A new opportunity for students who excel academically either as high school seniors or transfer students will be available starting in the Fall 2014 semester when the WCC Honors Program begins.

The Board of Trustees approved the program during its Feb. 25th meeting. It will offer students an enhanced academic experience with a focus on an intensive reading and writing curriculum based around the theme, “America The World: Global Awareness & Diversity.”

Housed within the Humanities, Social & Behavioral Science division, the Honors Program will offer a new avenue for students to begin or continue their academic careers at WCC. It is designed to set an academically challenging foundation to give students the skills they will need to transfer to academically rigorous and selective programs at four-year universities.

The faculty teaching in the Honors Program will be comprised of highly credentialed, published authors with doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, Loyola University and the University of Exeter.

The Honors Program will allow students to work within the small-class environment typical at WCC and will allow students direct access to instructors, provide a classroom setting focused on engaging discussion sessions and realize opportunities to learn from their peers who bring new perspectives and ideas to the coursework.

The program will have an honors director, who will give one-on-one academic advising sessions to assist students with planning their course schedules as well as monitor their progress as they advance through the program.

“The Honors Program offers high-achieving students an opportunity to challenge themselves in a rigorous, academic environment,” said Interim Vice President of Instruction Bill Abernethy.

By working within the theme of “America The World: Global Awareness & Diversity” academically advanced students will receive a unique opportunity within their coursework to expand their understanding on how the world perceives America and the governmental, social and economical elements that make up the fabric of this country. The theme may change as the program evolves – again providing new intellectual challenges for students.

“By having an Honors Program WCC will provide students the academic challenges they need to stay motivated within a community of like-minded students and faculty. The program will provide them with a springboard for lifelong learning, and a forum for insightful discussions and enlightening viewpoints designed for their personal and intellectual enrichment,” said Dena Blair, interim dean in the Human, Social and Behavioral Science division.

The entry criteria is as follows: Students must be a high school graduate with a GPA of 3.5 or higher or ACT of 25 or higher or a college GPA of 3.5 or higher for 20 credits of college transfer courses. Students having more than 30 college credits may be deemed ineligible. In addition, applicants must provide a résumé of their accomplishments along with a writing sample. Applicants may also be asked to sit for an interview with the honors director and/or honors committee.

“As a community college we oftentimes are not seen as an educational institution which provides challenging and rigorous academic programs for our students,” said WCC President Rose B. Bellanca. “It’s time to change this misperception as our entire faculty is committed to providing our students with the highest levels of academic instruction within each and every program we offer. I am very excited about the Honors Program as it will draw an influx of students who are dedicated to expanding their love of learning. I fully expect this passion for learning will extend into the broader student body providing a campus environment which intellectually challenges each and every student who chooses WCC as their college home.”


Clarification
In the March 10 edition of On the Record, the story regarding the new Honors program should have stated that:
Many of the faculty who will teach within the Honors Program are highly credentialed published authors with doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, Loyola University and the University of Exeter. The program will incorporate an intensive reading and writing curriculum based around the theme, “America the World: Global Awareness & Diversity.”