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Understanding American Honors: Student Selection, Key Program Components, and Stakeholder Impressions

By: Shanna Smith Jaggars, Markeisha Grant, Maggie P. Fay & Negar Farakish

Abstract

Understanding American Honors: Student Selection, Key Program Components, and Stakeholder Impressions

Established in 2013, American Honors (AH) is a program operated in partnership between the for-profit company Quad Learning and a growing number of public two-year colleges. It is designed to provide an honors curriculum and intensive wraparound advising for high-achieving, low-income domestic students, as well as for international students who study in the United States. The goal is to help these students complete an associate degree, transfer to a selective four-year college destination, and be prepared for academic success at that destination.

Community college faculty design and teach the Honors courses, while Quad Learning provides instructional design assistance; recruits, trains, and deploys advisors; develops relationships with admissions staff at selective universities across the country; and works with community college recruitment staff to recruit both domestic and international students into the program. To cover the cost of these services, the college charges AH students additional tuition and/or fees, and it splits the associated revenues with Quad Learning.

CCRC is conducting a mixed-methods study of AH at six colleges in order to document key components of the program and to evaluate its effectiveness. This brief focuses on the nature of the domestic population currently served by AH; its key programmatic features; and community college student, faculty, and staff perspectives on the program. A final research report including findings on student outcomes and a cost-benefit analysis will be released late in 2018.