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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: American Honors program

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December 20, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Ramping up the rigor at community colleges

Community colleges have long been a low-cost way for students to start work on a bachelor’s degree, but some students have found it hard to transfer to a prestigious four-year university once they’ve earned their associate degree.

Now, a new national program aims to pump up the rigor at certain community colleges, making them a more reliable on-ramp to a selective college.

The program is called American Honors, and so far it’s only being offered at one Washington community college system, Community Colleges of Spokane. The three-school district in Spokane was one of two colleges nationwide to pilot the program.

An integrated sequence of classes focusing on English, math, science and social studies, the program emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, effective oral and written communication, teamwork and leadership.

Soon it could be heading to the west side of the state.


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