The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Cornerstone rewarding for honors students

By Marley Malenfant/se news editor

High-achieving students wanting to take a different set of courses instead of the norm can look at Cornerstone.

Cornerstone, an honors program, started in 1991 as a cohort of 30 students who took classes together for two years. The program continued this way until recently.

In 2006, a TCC faculty committee wanted to make the program more flexible and inclusive for students and launched a new Cornerstone. Honors classes include English, history, government, science and math.

Dr. Vicki Sapp, associate professor of English and director of the SE Cornerstone program, said the program has been more important as the recession has worsened.

“I have always believed we needed a program for academically ambitious students, especially with this economy bringing students back to a community college or even changing their mind about going to a university,” she said.

SE student Raquel Deleon said the program inspired him to work harder.

“It has encouraged me to take my education seriously, and I have had the privilege to meet people who are influencing my life in a positive way and help me be a better person,” he said. 

Sapp said honors courses may seem harder, but students get another way to learn.

“I don’t want students to think the classes are just more difficult,” she said. “We broaden students’ ways of doing research, studying, writing and presenting their work. It’s ideal for students who may get into education, law and politics. Through its scholarship and service learning, Cornerstone gets students to think on their own, as a member of the community and as a global citizen.”

SE student Lanza Yangala said she liked Cornerstone’s diversity.

“I see students come from different ethnic backgrounds and that introduced me to new ideas and experiences,” she said. “It gives creative freedom, but you will be challenged.”

Dr. Michael Nichols, the NW Cornerstone director, said seeing students grow outside the classroom makes the program worthwhile.

“In my 10 years involved in Cornerstone, I have had the opportunity to watch students grow and mature into far more accomplished individuals than they believed about themselves,” he said.

“There are few things more rewarding than helping a student realize their full potential, and I would argue that is the ultimate goal of both the honors program and of the Tarrant County College District.”

NW student Alisha Bailey likes how the classes have a creative feel.

“It allows us to be individuals and show our full creative potential without the generic classroom feeling,” she said.

NW student Aileen de la Rosa said the group helped her develop new relationships with people.

“I didn’t just get a good education. I made lifelong friendships while I was learning something,” she said.  

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