Community College Honors Program and Boot Camp for Transfer
By Barbara Clinton, Highline Community College
Highline Community College, near Seattle, WA, utilizes a unique strategy to propel future transfer students forward: a community college Honors Program. Highline’s program emphasizes high academic standards, interdisciplinary studies, close ties to faculty members, as well as training in the “game of higher education.” Students self-elect into the program and, if they maintain an Honors level of academic performance, they receive a full-tuition scholarship for their final quarter at Highline.
The HCC program includes an innovative “Boot Camp” to prepare students for the the college application process, advanced projects in all three academic areas of general education, and a capstone project to apply, analyze, and synthesize their knowledge. After completing the program, HCC Honors students benefit from formalized transfer agreements with competitive four-year schools statewide.
The Honors Boot Camp presented here is designed to build the “insider knowledge” that makes transfer desirable and attainable for low income and otherwise underprivileged students. Available through the site are ten distinct “Tool Kit Assignments” to teach students how to “play the higher education game,” thus leveling the playing field as those participants compete with more privileged students for places in BA and BS programs.
This resource serves as an on-line text for students and as a blueprint for other community colleges who seek to offer their students similar advantages. Once you have visited the HCC Honors Program site, please think about ways this model could be applied at your own campus and leave comments in the field below.