Looking to go above and beyond a normal college education? Westmoreland County Community College offers numerous advanced scholarship opportunities through programs, seminars, research and student activities.
The Honors Program at WCCC allows students and faculty to work cooperatively in the pursuit of academic excellence while fostering the development of personal potential in communication, leadership skills and community service.
WCCC offers two specialized courses – Seminar and Leadership – focused on student success. Honors Seminar allows students to design, develop and implement a specialized report on a project of their choosing.
The WCCC Honors Program offers capstone courses and projects to integrate with students’ competencies in their field of study. These can be anything from an art gallery exhibition or welding project to a marketing campaign portfolio. This classroom experience is supplemented with supervised, hands-on internships that give students firsthand experience with the careers they want.
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is a national academic initiative providing undergraduate research opportunities for students. The mission of this council at WCCC is to promote high-quality research projects that allow for collaboration as well as educational and professional success.
For the last two years, WCCC students have had their research projects accepted for presentation at the national CUR conference alongside their peers from four-year universities.
Diversity and global learning is another major focal point of the program. Campus events such as the Model United Nations help address worldwide issues. The college also offers activities exemplifying cultural differences, civility training and community awareness.
WCCC sponsors a local chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society which recognizes academic excellence at two-year colleges. Phi Theta Kappa continues to be one of the largest and most active groups on campus.
In 2011, Geoffrey Fowler wasn’t even considering a community college. But after his financial aid was cut at a four-year school, he decided to continue at WCCC.
To get the most out of his time at WCCC, he applied to Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
“It was cool for me as a student to find programs at a junior college that recognize outstanding achievement,” Fowler said. “WCCC is not a stereotypical community college.”
Fowler found that joining Phi Theta Kappa was a quick way to meet new people and be involved at the college. He pitches in time whenever he can, volunteering at a local senior center and helping the club with their activities and fundraisers.
“You have to want it,” Fowler said. “People aren’t coming to you; you have to branch out and make the most of your college experience.”
The honors initiatives Fowler joined are great additions to any résumé and can help you stand out from the pack when transferring to a four-year school. Other benefits include special offers from colleges which seek members of these organizations, offering additional scholarships and special tuition rates.
“I see being a member of Phi Theta Kappa now definitely paying off in the future,” said Fowler.