Rouse scholar-transfer program launched at HCC Students switch to 4-year school

November 22, 1992|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

Howard Community College has launched a new scholars program that would give students who successfully complete it guaranteed

transfer into such prestigious colleges as Johns Hopkins University and Howard University.

The Rouse Scholars Program, named after Columbia founder and entrepreneur James W. Rouse, will target bright students who are opting to go to the two-year college either because they cannot afford rising tuition costs elsewhere or because they want to go to school close to home, HCC President Dwight Burrill said.

"What we've observed over the last four to five years is an increasing number of students coming to Howard Community College [who] in previous years would have gone to four-year institutions in the area," he said at a meeting with parents and students Thursday night.

More than half of Maryland's undergraduates -- about 115,000 of them -- have chosen to attend community colleges this year, according to the Maryland Association of Community Colleges. Close to 2 percent of them, or 4,800 students, attend HCC. This year marks the third consecutive year that community colleges have outranked four-year institutions in student enrollment, the association said.

"As we looked at the ins and outs of why students are attending the college, we asked ourselves if they were getting" the full-range of courses that would challenge them, Mr. Burrill said.

Mr. Rouse also attended last week's session. "I'm excited to have my name used as a scholar, because I've never been a scholar," he said, recalling how he parked cars in Baltimore during the day as he finished his law degree at the University of Maryland at night.

The program, 18 months in the making, involves partnerships with more than a dozen four-year institutions that have agreed to automatically accept the Rouse scholars.

The four-year schools include Temple University, Hood College, James Madison University, Penn State, University of Delaware, George Washington University and the University of Maryland campuses, among others.

An HCC counselor will work with students to help them transfer to the college of their choice.

"Unquestionably, this is the wave of the future," said Robert J. Massa, in charge of admissions at Johns Hopkins. "This college [HCC] has taken the national leadership position not only in a school program . . . but also in the transfer to four-year colleges."

The program starts next fall with 25 Rouse scholars, who would )) be required to take a prescribed "honors" curriculum and to participate in a seminar in which they'll be matched up with business leaders who'll act as their mentors.

"The goal is to enable students to find out what it is [people] are doing in [the] variety of careers they may be aspiring to," Mr. Burrill said.

The deadline is Feb. 15. High school seniors with at least a 3.2 grade average in college-prep courses or a 3.0 in gifted and talented classes and who score more than 1,000 points on the Scholastic Aptitude Test are eligible to apply.

The program sparked the interest of Centennial High School senior Kerri Deuchler, who carries a 4.0 average and aspires to become a doctor. "It seems like it's going to be a good opportunity for students who do not have the financial opportunities to get a good lead in college," she said.

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