MARIETTA, Ohio (April 15, 2016)–Ashton Amos recently traveled to Richmond, Indiana to present her paper on “Health Effects from Global Climate Change” at the Mid-East Honors Association Conference. Amos, a College Credit Plus student at Washington State Community College (WSCC), presented her research as a member of the WSCC Honor’s Program.
WSCC’s Honors Program launched this past Fall with a small group of students. “Our mission is to nurture the talents of the most academically gifts and motivated students,” remarked program coordinator Dr. Christina Valedota. The initial limited enrollment allowed for individual student growth and collaboration with faculty. It also gave the program’s leaders an opportunity to plan for “a more robust course offering” in the future.
Among the benefits of taking honors classes, students enjoy smaller class sizes, intellectually demanding courses, collaboration with faculty, honors seminars, and personalized advising.
Amos, a charter member of the group, acknowledge that her presentation was successful because of the guidance provided her by the Honors faculty. Initially, her topic was an assignment in Associate Professor Mickey Kessler’s Comp II class, but with critiques, finessing and editing offered by Kessler and other honors faculty, she was able to develop her research paper into a speech. In addition to academic guidance and encouragement, Amos said she also credits the honors leadership with helping her earn an academic scholarship. “They made suggestions [on her application essay] and helped edit to direct me down the best path,” she explained.
To participate in WSCC’s Honors program, student must meet specific academic criteria, including an application process, however, any student enrolled at WSCC can take an honors course to see if it’s an avenue they wish to pursue. “The program is a good feather in their cap,” described Valedota. When employers or transfer colleges review transcripts,honors courses make a statement about what they can expect. “You can count on an honors student to give more,” she attested.
Set to graduate in May with transfer degrees in general science and liberal arts, Amos has been accepted into the Honors Program at West Virginia University where she plans to study Biochemistry. Her admission into WVU’s honor’s program is a direct result of her success in WSCC’s program. She said her acceptance was based on an essay she wrote about her experiences in WSCC’s honor’s program. “I had to show them I was committed to being challenged academically. Being in WSCC’s program showed them I’m very capable.”
Amos, whose ultimate goal is to become a cardiologist or a physician’s assistant, acknowledged the value of presenting her research at the conference was great preparation for her future. “I’ll be presenting a lot of my research, with the field I’ve chosen, so I see this experience as a benefit.”