Honors Program helps students thrive

Taking on the challenge

Aliyah Ramirez, Staff Writer

No matter where students decide to begin, the Honors Program at Los Medanos College has encouraged them to aim higher in their education. The program allows students to challenge themselves in advanced coursework and activities, including participation in the Honors club.

Students can work up to become an Honors Scholar, the highest academic award granted by LMC. To earn their awarded medal at graduation, students must maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher, be involved in the club for two semesters and take five Honors classes. Each class must fulfill each area of fine arts or humanities, social or behavioral science, math or science, seminar and an elective course.

Each student holds different personal aspirations when it comes to advancing their education, but all share the common goal of becoming better students. Jenna Cajayon joined the Honors Program to stand out on applications and get to know other students. Still, after completing her first semester, she plans to continue her progress in the program. 

“Students can get better connections,” said Cajayon. “Basically engage in a different kind of learning experience and meet new people.”

In terms of workload and grading, classes are similar, but the Honors courses are specifically designed to motivate students. The system intertwines a challenging curriculum but fulfills general education requirements for transfer. By completing the set number of classes and achieving the Honors Scholar award, can grant transfer scholarships and partnerships with top universities.

Honors Director Jennifer Saito said she “spearheaded” the effort of creating a program for students to be able to transfer to competitive universities and build off their academic strengths. She has worked with students to reach goals some may have seen as out of reach.

“Everyone can do the Honors Program. You have to just get over your fear. Probably 90% of the students in the program felt intimidated to join it,” said Saito, but through assistance along the way, she has watched, “students bloom, as so many of our graduates now are doing amazing things.”

Not only does the program help students academically, but encourages them to participate in extracurriculars as well. They can join the programs’ Honors club, a supportive learning community to learn and have fun. With each event, members of the club have been given many opportunities to create long-lasting friendships with others. 

Throughout the fall semester, Honors club officers have put together many events to bring the campus back to life after the pandemic. To name a few, the Honors club hosted a welcome-back picnic and bake sale for members to interact with others. In addition, the Honors club collaborated with other learning communities to plan events celebrating Halloween and Friendsgiving.

Honors officers, President Lorenzo Navales and Vice President Luigi Aficial, have worked with other club officers this year to bring events back to campus. For officers “we support each other, we uplift one another,” Aficial said, adding that the effort has helped him and Navales bring never-ending laughter and smiles to members of the club.

Since the founding of the Honors Program, its focus is providing students with the best opportunities. As professors and staff work to motivate students, participating in the program and club can allow students to grow beyond their education. 

If you are interested in joining, please contact Honors Director Jennifer Saito at [email protected].