Puget Sound Joins Plan to Help Students to Their Dream College

December 13, 2013

TACOMA, Wash. – High-achieving students who put University of Puget Sound on their “wish lists” of great colleges to attend—but who may not have the resources or opportunity to seek admission at a leading four-year institution directly from high school—now have a new way to pursue their goal.

Puget Sound has joined other top colleges and universities as a member of the American Honors Network, a first-of-its-kind, national education initiative. Announced today, the new network of 27 public and private four-year colleges and universities will help community college honors students gain access to new transfer opportunities.

The American Honors program is produced by Quad Learning, based in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with leading community colleges. American Honors’ aim is to provide high school graduates with a new route to enroll in top-tier higher education institutions. Admitted students will be offered personalized advising, excellent teaching, small classes, online instruction, the support of student learning communities, and advice on financial aid and career development—all as part of a rigorous, two-year academic program at participating community colleges.

Students who graduate from this special program will earn associate degrees with honors and will be assisted in applying to the colleges of their choice. Puget Sound and other participating network schools—who recognize the academic rigor of the new program—have agreed to work with American Honors’ staff to facilitate the transfer of the students’ academic credits, potentially allowing them to earn bachelor’s degrees with another two years of study.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the American Honors Network to create a direct pipeline for talented community college students to join the vibrant academic community of University of Puget Sound without missing a beat,” said Jenny Rickard, Puget Sound vice president for enrollment.

“Around the country today, many successful community college students are missing out on opportunities to attend colleges that match their academic abilities,” added David Finegold, chief academic officer for American Honors. “We’re excited to launch our transfer network, which will connect outstanding students with many top universities throughout the country.”

American Honors launched earlier this year following pilot programs at Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and the Community Colleges of Spokane in Washington. The first cohort of graduates showed encouraging results, with 83 percent of those who transferred to college making it into their “dream” schools.

The new program is highly selective, accepting mostly students who rank in the top third of their high school classes. Preference is often given to applicants who have overcome major challenges through hard work and strength of character. American Honors advisors work one-on-one with each student to define his or her academic goals, explore college and career aspirations, and plan a pathway to success.

The 27 universities and colleges who have joined the American Honors Network include institutions such as Amherst College, Brandeis University, DePauw University, The George Washington University, Occidental College, Purdue University, Swarthmore College, and University of California, Los Angeles.

Read the story in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/13/education/top-students-at-community-colleges-to-have-chance-to-raise-ambitions.html?_r=0

For more about the American Honors Program and Network, visit: http://americanhonors.org

To learn more about attending University of Puget Sound visit: pugetsound.edu/admission

Photos on page: Top right: A class on the steps of Jones Hall; Above left: Students study marine life in Carr Inlet; Above right: Collins Memorial Library. Photos by Ross Mulhausen.

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