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MCCC to Host American Honors Information Session for High School Students Feb. 27

2/14/14


West Windsor, N.J. -- Next fall, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) will begin a new chapter in Honors education as it expands its program to serve high-achieving high school graduates. American Honors at Mercer invites highly-motivated high school students to an information session on Thursday, Feb. 27, 6 to 7:30 p.m., in the Student Center cafeteria on the West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Students will have an opportunity to speak with faculty members, academic advisors, and admissions counselors to learn more about how American Honors at Mercer can provide an affordable, high quality route to achieving college goals.  Students and parents are asked to reserve their seat by visiting www.mccc.edu/honors or calling 609-770-6128.

American Honors at Mercer is a partnership between MCCC and Quad Learning, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based company that is working with MCCC faculty to further enrich the Mercer curriculum and provide intensive student advising and additional online resources.  American Honors advisors will work closely with students to help them achieve their goals for transfer.  American Honors has developed transfer partnerships with more than 35 selective colleges; graduates have been accepted at Georgetown, Cornell, Stanford Vanderbilt and USC, among other top colleges.

MCCC established its own Honors Program more than seven years ago, with a goal to provide Mercer students with an enriched educational experience and prepare them for transfer to a four-year college or university.  Hundreds of students have enrolled in these classes as the program has grown.

It made sense to build on that success, says Dr. Gianna Durso-Finley, Assistant Dean for American Honors at Mercer.|

“Our Honors students have embraced the education they have received,” she said. “In these classes, we shift the instructional approach from lecture-based to discussion-based, where professors guide the discussion as students share their ideas and learn from each other.  It’s a very stimulating environment and allows students to think critically and take ownership of their work.”

With American Honors, class selection in Liberal Arts, mathematics and the sciences is expected to expand, yet classes will continue to feature the elements that have made the current program so popular: small class size, discussion-based instruction and personalized attention.

Says MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue, “We are excited to begin American Honors at Mercer, which provides a highly rigorous curriculum that will challenge top students, while remaining consistent with our mission to provide a quality education at an affordable price, close to home.”

Current MCCC Honors students were invited to get on board early for American Honors.  Over two days in early February, students had the opportunity to complete their applications, guaranteeing admission into the program.

Durso-Finley says that current Honors students who are thriving in their classes are a natural fit for the new program.

“The classes are challenging, but interesting,” says freshman Kelly French, of Titusville, who is in her second semester at Mercer and is already taking her third Honors class.  “There is more opportunity for conversation and sharing of different ideas.”

American Honors representative Julia Delk assists current Honors student Peace Nawankwo, of Hamilton, with her application.
Honors student Kelly French, left, of Titusville, and her father,
Chris, speak with Dr. Gianna Durso-Finley, Assistant Dean
for American Honors, during the enrollment session.

Current student Darien Morris, of West Windsor, is pictured
with Dr. Gianna Durso-Finley during registration.

Paige Bodnar speaks with representatives from Middlebury
and Mt. Holyoke colleges about transfer opportunities.

French came to the enrollment session with her father, Chris, who welcomes rigorous classes offered at a reasonable cost.  “This increases the value of a Mercer education even more,” he says, noting that he wants to help his daughter avoid the massive debt that so many college graduates are facing.

Honors student Peace Nwankwo, of Hamilton, who is currently enrolled in an Honors Sociology class with Professor Durso-Finley, says she is excited to be signing up for American Honors.  “My goal is to take as many honors classes as possible." Nwankwo plans to transfer for her bachelor’s degree after Mercer.

Paige Bodnar, of East Windsor, echoes Nwankwo’s enthusiasm. Having already taken English and World Literature, she says, “I like the classes because I get to talk more with my peers.  We all add to the discussion.  You learn different points of view.  They might contradict your own, but that makes it interesting.”  Bodnar is majoring in psychology and one day hopes to complete her Ph.D. in the field.

Students also had an opportunity to sit down with admissions officers Carolyn Dietel from Mt. Holyoke College (MA) and Niki Barron from Middlebury College (VT), who attended the enrollment event. Both noted that students' success in American Honors will be an important indicator of success at their schools, making these students attractive candidates for transfer.

To speak with an American Honors admissions officer, call 609-770-6128 or contact admissions@americanhonors.org.

American Honors at Mercer

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