Montgomery Scholars Program

Institution
State
Maryland
Academic Level
Associate
Issue Area
Transfer
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Honors,
Learning Community

Overview

In 1999 the Montgomery Scholars Program was established to create a signature honors program open to incoming "traditional" age freshmen (i.e. straight out of high school) to give a diverse group of students in Montgomery County the option of enrolling in a competitive honors program here in the county and to prepare them for transfer to four-year institutions, both public and private.

Program Description

The Montgomery Scholars Program is a rigorous honors program at Montgomery College. The Scholars spend two years in an intense and nurturing academic environment and are well prepared to transfer to a four-year college or university at the completion of their studies at the community college. The Scholars learning community offers a corrective to the fragmentation and alienation that students may experience at a commuter college. This "supportive network" is the environment of sincere engagement that nurtures the confidence, critical thinking, aspirations, and self-exploration of the Scholars. Students take 10 Honors courses together during the two years of the program - half of their transfer credits are in a cadre learning community environment. Starting with an overnight retreat in August, each class of Scholars quickly learns that the program is dedicated to student success and to their academic well-being. The first-year class also has a four-day 'Cornerstone' orientation before classes begin in the fall; the sophomores have a 'keystone' orientation to their second year capstone research courses.

Outcome

Latino students in the program have the highest completion and retention rate of all groups, including Whites.

95% of Latino students in the Montgomery Scholars Program have completed the Program and have transferred to four-year institutions and are on track to graduate in 2-3 years.

85% of Latino students in the program graduated with an AA degree (some who complete the two years and finish the program choose to transfer without finishing all the requirements of an AA degree).

25%  of Latino students in the program have had their capstone sophomore research papers selected as finalists in the Beacon Conference, a competition for two-year schools for excellence in student writing.