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Shenandoah University, LFCC enter honors partnership

shenandoah universityShenandoah University and Lord Fairfax Community College have entered into an agreement that will facilitate the transfer of honors students from LFCC to the university.

A memorandum of understanding, signed by administrators from both institutions, facilitates the transfer of Lord Fairfax honors program students into Shenandoah University’s College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program beginning fall 2020.

“We value the time and effort students have spent completing an honors program at a community college,” said Laurel Rodgers, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and director of the Shenandoah honors program. “This MOU allows a streamlined transition from their honors program to our honors program.”

Students who complete LFCC’s honors program (a minimum of 10 credits) and who are accepted into Shenandoah’s honors program may waive the freshman and sophomore portions of Shenandoah’s program (this includes six credits of general education honors courses, along with Honors 101 and 201 seminars). Transfer students are then required to complete Honors 301 and six honor credits within their declared major, which allows them to complete the honors program within two years at Shenandoah.

There were 25 honors program scholars at LFCC in the 2017-18 academic year. The program is designed to challenge students who are both intellectually motivated and academically able by providing opportunities for in-depth study.

Graduating LFCC students who have a GPA of 3.2 or higher, and who have earned honors credit in at least three courses, plus an honors seminar, will be designated honors program scholars on their transcripts and diplomas.

“I have been involved in several rich and robust collaborations involving LFCC and Shenandoah, and, certainly, working with professor Rodgers to develop this MOU is one of them,” said Brent Kendrick, Ph.D., professor of English at LFCC and a coordinator of the honors program. “I am delighted that LFCC transfer students will have the opportunity to join a community of student scholars at SU.”

LFCC joins Blue Ridge Community College as the first schools to partner with Shenandoah’s honors program. Richard Bland College is expected to sign a similar MOU with Shenandoah within the year.

This is the first year for Shenandoah’s College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, with the first students having started in January. Currently, 15 freshman students are enrolled in the program. To complete the program, students must complete six honors general education courses, earn six honors credits within their major, and complete three credits of honors seminars. Honors program students graduate with a certificate of completion in the program, and honors classes are marked on their transcript.

“This program provides students with a personalized support system while at Shenandoah, while simultaneously providing experiences in courses and events that help students develop skills necessary for graduate school and their future careers,” Dr. Rodgers said. Rodgers said Shenandoah’s honors program also provides leadership opportunities through the new Student Honors Council, which relays any concerns about the program to the Faculty Honors Committee. The council also develops and plans events on campus for both honors and traditional students.

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