South Plains College to launch Honors Program in fall 2019

South Plains College to launch Honors Program in fall 2019

LEVELLAND, Texas -

(Press Release)

In an effort to improve the academic experiences of students at South Plains College, a new Honors Program will be launched in fall 2019.

Dr. Kristina Keyton, associate professor of psychology, presented a report to the SPC Board of Regents in spring 2019 about the establishment of the Honors Program.

“There are some very bright students that the program has not been successful in recruiting because SPC doesn’t offer an honors program,” she said.  

She stated that Texas Tech University is less likely to admit a transfer student into their Honors Program as a junior if their current institution does not offer any type of honors courses. 

Former Dean of Arts and Sciences Yancy Nunez started the process to establish the Honors College, she said. Nunez received such an enthusiastic response from the faculty that he established an exploratory committee. The committee was divided into subcommittees which drafted versions of a proposal that was later sent to Dr. Ryan Gibbs, vice president of academic affairs, for approval. Dr. Keyton then made the presentation to the Regents.

In the final version of the proposal, three subcommittees were created. The honors program committee to handle general operations and activities for students. The selection committee which reviews applications and makes decisions regarding acceptance to the college. The curriculum committee will be in charge of reviewing proposals for the honors courses.

“We have recently seen data showing that students who start at a community college have higher GPAs in their bachelor’s programs than students who begin their bachelor’s straight out of high school,” Dr. Keyton said. “South Plains College students have even higher GPAs than the average college student. Many students who are unaware of this data don’t realize the excellent educational opportunities that we provide here at SPC.”

“Students could gain enrichment in a small number of classes and bring that mindset with them to their other classes, thus enhancing the experience with their classmates,” added Dr. Keyton.

According to Dr. Keyton, admission would be based on one of four criterion – an SAT score of 1150, an ACT score of 26, graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class, or have a GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, or 90 percent on a 100 percent scale. For current SPC or transfer students, they must have earned a GPA of a 3.5 in at least 12 hours of college coursework.

Beginning in fall 2019, there are currently four approved honors courses. Dr. Keyton said three or four honors courses will be offered in subsequent semesters.

“These course will not just be a more difficult version of basic classes,” she said. “Students will have the opportunities for engagement and depth of content.

“It is our hope to provide enrichment activities for honors program students in order to deepen the honors program experience beyond the classroom environment,” she said.

For more information, contact Dr. Keyton at (806) 716-4732 or email kkeyton@southplainscollege.edu.

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