Reaching diverse and nontraditional students through honors programs
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Reaching Diverse and Nontraditional Students Through Honors Programs. League for Innovation Conference March 5, 2012. Why do you want to target under-represented & nontrad’l groups?. Increase retention and graduation rates Bridge the achievement gap between white and non-white students

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Reaching Diverse and Nontraditional Students Through Honors Programs

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Reaching Diverse and Nontraditional Students Through Honors Programs

League for Innovation Conference

March 5, 2012

Why do you want to target under-represented & nontrad’l groups?

  • Increase retention and graduation rates

  • Bridge the achievement gap between white and non-white students

  • Offer them an honors experience if they had been denied the chance in high school


Peterson’s Honors Programs

  • Only 6.5% of community colleges have honors programs; over 40% of these have been established during the last ten years

  • 2-yr ccs also have comparatively larger percentage of Hispanic students

  • Honors programs tend to have less than 500 students. At 2-yr ccs, over half have less than 100 students.

  • The ethnic makeup is disproportionately white.

What is your outreach plan?

Rack cards, dean’s list postcards,

ads in the schedule of classes

Ice Cream Social Invitations, pizza at honors club meetings, e-blasts

Who are you targeting now?

The ethnic makeup of Mesa Honors program is similar to that of the college.

There were 23,942 students enrolled at Mesa College in Spring 2011. Of those, 565 enrolled in honors

What is your target in 5 / 10 yrs?

Who does the outreach?

The Board meets two times per semester

More SS: Counselors, Mesa Academy for African American students, Transfer Center, Mesa Athletics Program

How do you reach your target audience?

  • High school outreach (

  • Honors ambassadors visiting classes the first weeks of the semester

  • Student Services Fairs & Transfer Day Fairs:

  • Honors Club (

  • Book Awards and many other scholarships (

  • Visits by distinguished guests (e.g., Provosts, Deans of Admissions) from transfer universities

Example: Offer unique opportunities -- Student conferences (HTCC at UC Irvine & UCLA TAP)

Example: Offer honors courses that reflect our student diversity


Why earn a certificate In Global Competencies? An Honors Global Competencies Certificate of Achievement offers students the opportunity to gain a global perspective in multiple areas of study to enhance their critical thinking and intercultural competencies in order to compete in today’s global economy. It is useful for those considering careers in numerous fields, including law, politics, international affairs, education, and social service. Students interested in distinguishing their academic record should apply. All courses (20 units min.)in the certificate program are UC & CSU transferable and emphasize areas such as intercultural issues; globalization; world philosophical, political, economic, and social systems; and international relations.

Our Honors CORE consists of 20 courses, in addition to the existing 10+ ad hoc honors courses

Example: Promote prestigious scholarship opportunities

  • Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships ($30,000/year x 5years)

  • All USA Phi Theta Kappa Awards ($2,500/winner)

  • HNIP (Hispanic National Internship Program) nominations

  • HTCC (Honors Transfer Council of California) Exemplary Achievement Awards

  • MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) and CAMP (California Alliance for Minority Participation) Scholarships at UCSD

Example: Promote international education opportunities

  • Boren Awards - provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad

  • Gilman Awards - offers grants of up to $8,000 to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world

  • Freeman-Asia Awards – offers grants up to $7,000 designed to support U.S. undergraduates with demonstrated financial need who are planning to study overseas in East or Southeast Asia


  • Describe your college’s Honors / Scholars Program.

  • How does your Honors Program encourage and promote diversity on campus?

  • What can you do to reach out more to underrepresented and non-traditional college students?

  • What immediate steps will you take in order for this to happen?

Contact information:Dr. Leticia P. López,Honors & International Education CoordinatorSan Diego Mesa [email protected](619) 388-2353

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