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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Honors program now offers degree

Angela Taylor and Matthew Swango work together on a class experiment during a Cornerstone honors biology lab. TCC students are now able to get an Associate of Arts honors degree, which can provide scholarship opportunities. Photos by Kelsey Kimbrough/The Collegian
Angela Taylor and Matthew Swango work together on a class experiment during a Cornerstone honors biology lab. TCC students are now able to get an Associate of Arts honors degree, which can provide scholarship opportunities. Photos by Kelsey Kimbrough/The Collegian

By Haneen Khatib/nw news editor

Students in the Cornerstone honors program on NE and NW can now not only take honors classes but also get an honors degree.

“Every year, more and more students join and get scholarships,” said Dr. Lynn Preston, NW Cornerstone director. “This is the first year that the students of this program can get an associate honors degree that other universities look at.”

Students must meet one of several qualifications ranging from high school grades, college grades or SAT scores.

“We are currently working on providing information and applications on the TCC website,” said Donovan Hufnagle, director of NE Cornerstone.

Since Hufnagle has been a part of the program, there have been some positive changes.

“I was asked to take over the position about two years ago,” he said. “In those two, we helped modify the previous humanities-focused program and created an Associate of Arts honors degree program that is core-curriculum focused. A degree opens more opportunity to university scholarships and a core focus opens the door to a wider range of students.”

Cornerstone has no extra fees, and interested students just have to fill out an application in person or on CampusCruiser from the Cornerstone Club.

To apply, NE students can get an application in NFAC 3226A, and NW students can go to WTLO 4205.

“If students meet any one of those qualifications, they fill out an application and two teacher references. If they meet all the criteria, they interview with us, and we get them started on the program,” Preston said.

Cornerstone does not have a certain number of people they accept.

“As long as you meet the requirements, we are limitless,” Preston said.

Dr. Lynn Preston talks with Jonathan Kurth during the class’s biology lab.
Dr. Lynn Preston talks with Jonathan Kurth during the class’s biology lab.

Danielle Mills, a NW Cornerstone student, said she entered the program to take honors classes.

“At first, I entered the program for the opportunity to take honors classes specific to my major,” she said. “I was unaware of all the Cornerstone programs offered aside from just the classes.”

Sydney Strong, another member of this program, said she should graduate by the end of the school year.

“I found out about Cornerstone when a high school English teacher encouraged me to try and take honors courses if I was going to be going to a community college,” Strong said.

Cornerstone is not just about honors

classes. The program has several events and activities organized by the honors students.

“The second annual dodgeball tournament is coming up. Last year’s was a huge success,” Preston said.

Not only is there the dodgeball tournament, but students also learn about service learning.

“In addition to the honors classes, Cornerstone program offers service-learning opportunities, which colleges look at,” Preston said. “We give them outlets to all of these. They just pick and choose what they want to do. Last year, we raised tons of money for elementary school supplies and also planted a tree at an elementary school.”

NE hosts separate events, such as Honors Week and Coffeehouse Conversations.

“Honors Week highlights service-learning projects conducted by the top Cornerstone students,” Hufnagle said. “Coffeehouse Conversations spotlight the work of local artists, writers and musicians while providing informal question-and-answer sessions.”

Students in this program have the opportunity for an affordable education.

“Let’s get you in the school you want and let that school pay for it,” Preston said.

The Cornerstone directors want students to know this program can help move their future toward success.

“Cornerstone provides a platform for students to achieve the highest level of academic excellence, and it increases the opportunity for university scholarships,” Hufnagle said.

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