San Antonio College Honors Academy Program

San Antonio College Honors Academy Program
Institution
State
Texas
Academic Level
Associate
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep,
Honors

Overview

The San Antonio College Honors Academy Program provides underserved community college students—a majority of whom are Latino—honors-designated core courses, comprehensive academic services, one-on-one guidance by dedicated professors/advisors, scholarship and transfer support. The Honors Academy Program seeks to increase the number of underserved students who receive an associate degree and transfer to a four-year university.

Program Description

Established in 2012, the Academy was founded to replace the former honors program that served just a few dozen students. In 2012, the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund awarded a 3-year grant to support a new focus on recruiting a larger, more diverse population of students, particularly those in neighboring inner-city, at-risk Title I/III schools which are 60-90% Latino.

The Academy offers specialized honors curriculum centered on identity, communication, teamwork, marketable skills, critical thinking, and research. Participants receive intrusive advising/mentoring that emphasizes clear pathways to graduation/transfer and are offered workshops on transfer admissions, career choice, stress/time management, scholarships, and internships. Aside from taking honors-designated core subject courses to earn honors course equivalencies, students can complete semester-long experiential learning opportunities.

Participants also have access to an Honors Center with study space, 20 computers, a printer, lounge area, kitchenette, and faculty offices for advising and engagement. The Academy also offers a Strategies for Success course emphasizing time management, grit, fluid intelligence, and goal setting for participants whose GPA falls below 3.25.

Outcome

  • Increased 3-year graduation: Of the Academy’s Fall 2016 cohort, 42% of program participants graduated in 3 years compared to only 28% of non-program participants. Of the Academy’s Fall 2015 cohort, 49% of program participants graduated in 3 years compared to only 29% of non-program participants.
  • Increased 6-year transfer: Of the Academy’s Fall 2013 cohort, 46% of program participants transferred within 6 years compared to the institutional average of 30%. Of the Academy’s Fall 2012 cohort, 73% of program participants transferred within 6 years compared to the institutional average of 30%.