By Chris Hearon
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The Honors Program at Camden County College offers a unique and challenging experience to students at the college who meet the eligibility requirements, while providing them with important opportunities and information that can help these students with the rest of their college career. For the past four years, the Honors Program has given the diverse benefits of special scholarships, small-sized classes, and serious students to all of the members of the Honors Program.
Professor Jennifer Hoheisel, the director of the program and one of the professors who teaches an honors course, emphasizes the value of the Honors Program by stating it is “the best preparation that we can give you to transfer on.” One of the main reasons Hoheisel founded the Honors Program here was, as she said, “I wanted you to have the experience of having some peer learning.” This type of seminar-style class is prototypical of junior and senior level university courses. Also, to show how students feel about the value of their honors courses, Hoheisel cited retention rates for honors courses over the last seven semesters that range from percentages in the mid-80s to the mid-90s.
The desired effect appears to be working, according to statements given by Amanda DeNardo, an honors student at Camden County College. DeNardo’s experience led her to reinforce the idea of peer learning with an idea of self-learning. Of the honors professors, DeNardo stated, “They are not teaching you, as much as you are teaching yourself.” This quality of teachers is something she calls “very uncommon among most teachers.” The way in which a student can learn from more than a lecture is when, as DeNardo explains, “They (honors professors) expect you to create your own outlooks.”
To be eligible for the Honors Program at Camden County College, a student must have accrued 12 or more credits and have a minimum GPA of 3.5. Alternately, a high school student can join in his or her first semester at Camden County College if he or she has a history of high school advanced placement courses, a high SAT/Accuplacer score, and has received acceptable reviews of an essay sample sent to the Honors Committee. After being accepted, a student can graduate from Camden County College with honors if he or she has completed four honors courses, maintained a minimum GPA of 3.5, and attended three cultural-based events that are intended to expand the worldview of the student.