Students who join the Honors program at Pierce College will be rewarded a priority standing in many colleges and the satisfaction of taking challenging classes, said Elizabeth Strother, director of the program.
According to Strother, majority of students in the Honors program strive to one day transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA gives priority enrollment to students within the program.
Seventy-eight percent of the honor students who applied to UCLA from Pierce were accepted last year, while only 31 percent of non-honor students were accepted, according to statistics provided by Strother.
“There’s a huge difference there,” Strother said.
Pierce’s Honors program also gives its members an edge when applying to UCLA by being affiliated with the university’s Transfer Alliance Program (TAP). This program greatly aids students who will transfer to UCLA as juniors.
To be qualified to join the Honors program, one must have at least 12 credits that are transferable to University of California campuses and a grade point average of at least 3.25.
However, Strother believes that the most important requirement is a student’s eligibility to be enrolled in English 101.
Strother notes that the Honors program focuses heavily on writing and research. Chris Lauterdale, the senior office assistant for the Honors program, understands just how writing intensive the courses are.
“I was in the Honors program back in the dark ages,” Lauterdale said, laughing. “It really helped me with writing, research, presentations, and group work.”
The Honors program offers formal Honors classes that encompass most subjects. These classes, according to Strother, offer more vigorous coursework for students.
“It provides a more challenging experience at Pierce,” Strother said.
Some students, like Nima Ganjehloo, 19, an electronic engineering major, welcome the challenge.
“I’d join it because the competition for my major is pretty intense. I’ll probably sign up next semester,” Ganjehloo said.
However, not all students would jump at the opportunity to enroll in classes with more difficult and time consuming course work.
“I would not join the Honors program,” said Brandon Katz, 18, majoring in film. “I don’t think I would be qualified for it.”