WCC Celebrates the 2017 Honors College Inductees
President Miles and Dr. Sakrajda with the Honors College. (Photo: Samantha Colonna)
On Wednesday, Sept. 6, WCC celebrated the 18 students that make up the inaugural cohort of the Honors College. These students received special recognition from the college, full scholarships, textbook allowances, and brand new laptops.
The WCC Honors College is a newly created program that allows a group of 18 top-performing high school graduates to complete a two-year Honors-Designated associate Degree, according to the WCC website.
The Honors College has been piloted with a major grant to the WCC Foundation by a generous anonymous donor.
The goal of the program is to challenge students academically while they are guided through their WCC careers and on to a prestigious four-year institution.
“The Honors College initiative will bridge the gap, and give formal definition to our honors offerings at WCC,” said Dr. Mira Sakrajda, interim director of the honors program. “The whole premise of the Honors College rests on creating honors designated degrees that are parallel to the formal academic degrees that already exist at WCC.”
Students in the Honors College are limited to honors degrees in Liberal Arts-Humanities and Liberal Arts-Social Science, but will soon be able to get honors degrees in Business, Cybersecurity and Engineering as well.
“This is truly an honor for the WCC Foundation,” said Eve Larner, Executive Director of the WCC Foundation. “It takes an enormous number of people to create a program like this and to be able to offer it to such exceptional students.”
In order to be considered for the program, students must have a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, two recommendations from high school teachers or counselors, and WCC placement into college-level english and math courses.
On top of the curriculum requirements, students must show outstanding achievements, awards, and extracurriculars. They also must provide the Honors College faculty with a personal statement and interview.
“This year we designed a program that would mirror our A.A.’s and social science, but also would bring forward some great honors program that students will take together as a cohort during their time at WCC,” said Dr. Elise Martucci, Liberal Arts Curriculum Chair.
The Fall 2017-Spring 2019 Honors College cohort consisted of seven Liberal Arts-Humanities majors and 11 Liberal Arts Social Science majors.
“I want to thank everybody for giving me this opportunity to do more than what was expected of me,” said Honors College inductee Sasha Rodriguez. “Thank you all for constantly answering my emails and always supporting me.”
Upon receiving their laptops at the inauguration, all 18 students got the chance to share their stories with WCC students, families and faculty members. They also got the chance to show their gratitude to everyone involved in the program.
“This is just outstanding and I’m so proud of the 18 students who have come on board and our wonderful faculty who has worked so hard and been so persistent,” said WCC President Belinda Miles in her speech at the inauguration. “I know that you will all extend yourselves into your areas of study and it’s very exciting to be a part of that journey with you all.”