College

Honors Academy fosters student success

The Honors Academy at San Antonio College is a life-line that has been extended to a select group of students in San Antonio.

The pilot program launched last fall with 40 students from area high schools including Jefferson, Edison, Fox Tech and Lanier High School. The program is led by a cohort of SAC faculty members who make up the Honors Academy faculty, including  Dr. Jonathan Lee, professor of history; Dr. Erik Anderson, instructor of history; Christy Woodward Kaupert, associate professor of political science; Dehlia Wallis, assistant professor  of student development; and Dr. Amy Whitworth, associate professor of philosophy.

Unlike typical Honors Programs, this academy is made up of learning communities, or linked courses, where students have an opportunity to bond and get to know each other. The curriculum is designed around a skills-building model that allows students to develop critical reading and analytical skills that are needed to succeed at a university level. The curricula aligns with state College and Career Readiness Standards.

According to program lead advisor and history professor Dr. Jonathan Lee, the foundation skills students will develop at the Honors Academy gives them an advantage to succeed in college and promotes lifelong learning.

Dupont Grant Recipient
Earlier this month, Dr. Lee and his cohort of faculty advisors were awarded a $150,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The three-year grant will improve and help expand the Honors Academy to include an Honors Academy Center, a “nesting” place for Honors students and faculty to study, collaborate and build a community of success.

Aside from the Honors Academy Center, the program is unique in three aspects:

1) Intrusive Advising – Faculty will meet with students on a monthly basis to ensure students stay on track.
2) Building on foundational skills and aligning courses as Learning Communities
3) Peer Mentorship – Students will work alongside each other sharing and supporting each other.

The step-building curricula is designed to develop academic skills, confidence and leadership. Once students complete the two-year program, they may graduate or transfer to other schools as Honors students.

Requirements
The Honors Academy is open to any first-time in college student (or any student with less than 15 college-credit hours) with a 3.25 GPA or higher. All students must score at college-level reading and writing.  For more information about the program, contact program advisor Dr. Jonathan Lee at jlee@alamo.edu.

Read more about this story at SAC News & Events.

Photo Courtesy: SAC Honors Academy