Take Your Education to New Heights in Our Honors Program

San José City College students at Commencement in 2019 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
San José City College students at Commencement in 2019 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Are you a motivated student with ambitious educational goals? Hoping to challenge yourself academically and make the most of your time in school? Or are you nervous about the new rhythm that higher-education requires?

At San José City College every student gets the support and opportunities they need to achieve their unique goals. Because at SJCC, we meet you where you are. We offer an educational experience that shapes students into leaders, critical thinkers, and most importantly — life-long learners. 

Our unique honors program is one of the many academic programs that give students the freedom and flexibility to thrive at one of the best bay area community colleges. So let’s explore the many benefits of joining this program, and how it has the potential to drastically transform your future.

What is an Honors Program?

Every college honors program is different, but most involve a minimum GPA requirement and offer students additional academic opportunities to challenge themselves and grow academically.

Some schools offer honors courses with more rigorous material, while others allow students to pursue individual honors projects or an honors thesis. No matter the style, participating in an honors program is a great way to take full advantage of your college experience.

“I wanted to push my limits and boundaries to overcome my imposter syndrome and to become a better student. By joining the honors program it pushed me to become extraordinary and do more than I was assigned to do.”

Ariattne Zarate, SJCC honors student

Why You Should Join SJCC’s Honors Program

Whether you’re planning to transfer to a 4-year university or not, there are tons of reasons to join an honors program. 

When you become an honors student you learn how to take initiative, think critically, and challenge yourself. And in most honors programs, you get to work closely with distinguished faculty members, cultivating enriching scholarly relationships that may benefit you years after graduation. 

If you do plan to transfer to a 4-year university, your status as a distinguished honors student will make you a more competitive applicant to the college of your dreams. More importantly, the comfort and confidence you gain working with faculty on personalized projects will give you a major advantage once you get to the university of your choice.

Joining any honors program will teach you how to make the most of your education.

The Honors Program at SJCC — How Does it Work?

Every program is slightly different, so let’s talk about the honors program at San José City College. Here’s how it works.

How to Qualify for the Honors Program at SJCC

The qualifications are pretty straightforward.

Continuing Students (Meet all of these requirements):

  • Cumulative college GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Completed 12 college units

New Students (Meet one of these requirements):

  • High School GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • Cumulative GED score of 3400 or higher

If you meet these requirements, then you’ll be able to apply and pursue an honors project.

SJCC faculty at the 2019 Commencement ceremony.

Honors Projects at SJCC

So what does that mean? At SJCC, honors students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty on an honors project.

They will need to seek out a professor or instructor and request their support in an honors project. Then, both will need to complete the honors program planning contract, outlining the details of your project.

Every project is unique, but most students opt for one of the following.

  • Research Paper
  • Class Presentation
  • Experiment
  • Art Installation
  • Video

The beauty of this program is that it allows students the freedom and flexibility to decide their own educational journey. And of course, it provides them with the essential support and encouragement from their supervising instructor.

For more details, you can check out the honors program FAQ, here

“It’ll drastically change your perspective of education and you’ll learn more in depth.”

Rosabel Permito, SJCC honors student

Honors Program Benefits at SJCC

Now for the good stuff — the many benefits of pursuing honors education at San José City College.

Get Support and Boost Your Confidence in Academics

One of the most significant advantages of becoming an honors student has nothing to do with grades. It’s about mindset and confidence.

Rosabel Permito, currently a student at SJCC said, “I joined the Honors Program to get the support I need to graduate with good grades, gain resources that’ll help me achieve my goals and be a part of a community that uplifts and helps each other succeed.” 

Another honors student, Ariattne Zarate said, “I wanted to push my limits and boundaries to overcome my imposter syndrome and to become a better student. By joining the honors program it pushed me to become extraordinary and do more than I was assigned to do.” 

At SJCC, we know that a concerned and encouraging community is essential for success, and for students who may have a hard time otherwise forging more personal, 1-1 relationships with their teachers, this is a great way to do it.

Zarate went on to say, “I decided to join the honors program not just to grow as a student, but as a person. I feel more comfortable in a college setting and I am more confident in myself.”

Ariattne Zarate, honors student at SJCC.
Ariattne Zarate, honors student at SJCC.

Connect with Brilliant Faculty and Learn In-Depth

Working closely with faculty on an academic project can make a huge difference in your experience. Both the 1-1 time and support, as well as the independent research and work can be extremely formative for an honors student.

Honors Coordinator, Yesenia Escobar Mendoza said, “students have the opportunity to develop a lasting relationship with faculty members who can serve as references for their college applications and scholarships in the near future.” 

“More importantly, while developing research through the Honors Program some students have also been inspired to continue research in the same subject.” Said Escobar Mendoza.

Joining the honors program will truly set a new standard for your educational experience. “It’ll drastically change your perspective of education and you’ll learn more in depth.” Said Permito

Prepare for Excellence at a 4-Year University

SJCC prepares all students for success at a 4-year university, but if you’re planning to transfer to a larger university, with much larger class sizes, the honors program can be a real game changer.

“The comfortability that students build along the way is also something that I believe can make an impact in the way they ask for support and attend office hours in the near future. Especially for students who decide to transfer to a university.” Said Escobar Mendoza.

The honors program also provides students with a special distinction on their transcript, may lead to an honors medallion, and prepares students for academic rigor. It makes aspiring transfer students more competitive so that they are more likely to get admitted to the 4-year university of their choice.

Become an Honors Student and Achieve Your Dreams

So if you’re interested in changing the way you think about education, and taking your college experience to new heights, check out the honors program at SJCC.

And while you’re at it, check out more of our academic support programs like the Ganas Project and the Umoja Community.