Developing Leaders in STEM: Community College STEM Honors Program
Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Student Union: Ballroom B
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Session
Barbra Sobhani, University of Colorado at Boulder
In an effort to further develop our college's STEM opportunities and support diverse student populations in STEM, Red Rocks Community College committed to developing a comprehensive STEM Honors Program. The mission of the Honors program is to provide exceptional learning opportunities through interdisciplinary education and problem-solving experiences for a community of scholars in order to prepare them to be leaders in a global community. The Honors program will also help them prepare for transfer and career opportunities. Program learning outcomes include intellectual inquiry and research skill, interdisciplinary problem solving, leadership, civic and global learning. Each student cohort will have a STEM theme that integrates the classes, field trips and capstone projects. The first cohort will be working on the wicked problem of the future of water. Students will also be involved with advanced projects, internships, service learning and travel opportunities through the Honors Program, providing an exceptional experience and competitive edge in careers and transfer. We have involved our four year partners in the development of the program in order to facilitate honor to honors transfer for our Honors Scholar graduates. It is recognized that helping high-achieving and/ or high-potential community college students find a more rigorous transfer destination can help increase graduation rates. Since this is a two year program, leading to transfer, the number of additional credits that the students can take is limited. Therefore, required coursework in the program is composed primarily of Honors option sections of guaranteed transfer courses. The theme is also woven through the seminar and colloquium cohort classes, which comprise five credits of the Honors total. Honors faculty from across disciplines are immersed in the wicked problem and brainstorm ways to incorporate the theme into their courses. The Honors student/faculty cohort will promote identity as a scholar and specialized advising and mentoring.