SAC Honors Academy Program
About the Honors Academy Program
English Professor Gilliam “Mike” Burton was the first coordinator of the San Antonio College Presidential Honors Program – later renamed the Raul S, Murguia Presidential Honors Program – and held that position from 1989 to 2011. The foundation of the Program owes much to Professor Burton’s leadership. Graduates of the Program under his supervision were accepted to upper division and graduate institutions such as Amherst College, Boston College, Boston University, Columbia, Cornell, U.C. at Berkeley, SMU, Notre Dame, the College of Santa Fe, NYU, Stanford University, The University of Central Oklahoma, The University of Turabo in Puerto Rico, and most public and private Texas universities. Many of these graduates have acknowledged their indebtedness to the Honors Program, especially Professor Burton.
In 2011, under the supervision of History Professor Dr. Jon Lee the Program was renamed the Honors Academy Program. Dr. Lee held that position until 2016. Psychology Professor Dehlia Wallis served as coordinator from 2016-2018. Professor Wallis and History Professor Dr. Erik Anderson served as co-coordinators from 2018-2019. English Professor Laurie Lopez Coleman serves as the current Director of the Program.
The SAC Honors Academy Program offers college courses in core subjects that every student will need for a bachelor's degree in Texas. Dedicated professors and an embedded advisor work one-on-one with students and guide them through academic, transfer and career goals. Honors Academy Program students receive a first-rate college experience during their first two years at a fraction of the cost of a four-year college or university.
The Honors Academy Program is committed to supporting student success through engagement, completion, and graduation/transfer.
The San Antonio College Honors Academy has been selected as a finalist for the 2020 Examples of Excelencia award, an honor bestowed by Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on efforts accelerating Latino student success in higher education. Every year, Examples of Excelencia begins with a national call for nominations encouraging individuals and programs to share initiatives accelerating Latino student success in higher education. Excelencia in Education reviews all program profiles of those intentionally serving Latino students and, this year, identified 20 finalists using rigorous criteria. Finalists identified in each of four categories—associate, baccalaureate, graduate, and community-based organizations—are presented to a national selection committee composed of higher education leaders, grant makers, and stakeholders. The committee assesses the strength of innovative, intentional, culturally relevant, and effective high-impact practices tailored to Latino students and their communities to select the four Examples of Excelencia.
The Honors Academy Program is open to high school graduates or college freshmen with less than 15 hours of college credit. High school graduates must have a minimum of 3.25 GPA (85/B) and college placement scores of 351 in college level Reading, and 340 in college level Writing with a minimum of 4 on the essay. College freshman must have a minimum 3.25 GPA.
The Honors Academy Program supports and values equitable education by promoting non-discriminatory practices, considering the full range of human diversity with respect for all forms of human difference.
Click on the application link below to apply.
The Honors Academy Program provides the following opportunities:
The Honors Academy learning environment facilitates, motivates and nurtures a drive for academic challenge through a sense of belonging.
Honors students receive personalized mentorship, experiential learning, undergraduate research, and capstone assignments similar to a university experience for a fraction of the cost.
- Honors Academy courses are not harder, do not involve more work, and are not designed to torpedo a student's GPA. Our courses provide students enhanced learning of course content.
- Honors Academy students who complete our Program at the Silver and Gold levels are recognized as a "SAC Honors Academy Graduate" at SAC Commencement and on their official transcripts.
- There is no cost to join.
Students can experience the Program within the following levels:
Bronze--successfully complete four Honors Academy courses.
Silver--successfully complete four or more Honors Academy courses, submit an eLumen ePortfolio, complete 10 or more experiential service learning hours to the campus and/or community, and participate in 2 Designated Activities in the Honors Academy.
Gold--successfully complete four or more Honors Academy courses, submit an eLumen ePortfolio, complete 10 or more experiential service learning hours to the campus and/or community, participate in 4 Designated Activities in the Honors Academy, and deliver a Capstone Course Project Presentation.
Students who experience the Program at the Silver and Gold levels will be recognized at an end-of-semester ceremony, receive blue Honors Academy cords to be worn at SAC Commencement, and will be recognized as a "SAC Honors Academy Graduate" at Commencement and on their official transcripts.
The Honors Academy Center is open 8 am - 4 pm, Monday through Thursday for student use. Multiple PC and iMac computers are connected to a GoPrint printer. A kitchenette includes a refrigerator, microwave and single-serve coffee maker. A lounge area with comfortable chairs and sofas is also available. Social hour from 12:30-1:30 pm is set aside for games and camaraderie. Every Wednesday from 2-3 pm, faculty lead Relatable Interest Group (RING) sessions on a topic of interest.
Faculty teaching in the Program schedule office hours in the Center throughout the week. Students do not need an appointment and do not need to be registered for a class with the professor to meet with faculty in the Center.
Students can meet and discuss their degree plan, transfer plan, academic progress and scholarship opportunities with our embedded academic advisor.
Students are eligible for early registration of classes before the course schedule opens. In coordination with our academic advisor, students can select their courses during the course schedule preview days.
Transfer / scholarship / financial aid workshops and presentations on topics of interest may be offered throughout the semester to support student success.
Students who complete the SAC Honors Academy Program with distinction are eligible for automatic acceptance to Honors Colleges at UTSA, University of North Texas and Texas State Honors College. (Pending agreement with Texas A & M San Antonio). Honors distinction is met upon completion of a minimum of four Honors Academy Program courses, a Capstone project, an eLumen ePortfolio, and 10 hours of experiential service learning hours. An approved semester-long experiential learning project can substitute for one Honors Academy Program course.
Collaborative partnerships through two or more linked classes are led by faculty to encourage integration of the curriculum across multiple disciplines. Faculty partners establish academic and social support networks while exploring a common topic and / or common readings through discipline-specific integrated assignments.
Faculty develop their course curriculum to incorporate writing practice. Writing activities give students opportunities to both improve their compositional skills and deepen their learning through frequent writing assignments. Meaningful and timely faculty feedback support students’ writing development.
Faculty teaching the English courses select a common read non-fiction text in ENGL 1301 and a fiction text for ENGL 1302 each semester. For the fall 2020 semester, students will participate in the SAC Library Common Read featuring the book The Moth Presents Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying the Impossible.
The Library will host several events during the fall semester related to their common read, culminating in a SAC Story Slam.
Previous Honors Academy common reads were the following: Hot, Flat and Crowded, Between the World and Me, The Case Against Sugar, World without Mind, A Place to Stand, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Far Away Brothers and The Handmaid's Tale.
Through the Student Organization for the Honors Academy Program (SOHAP), students can serve as any of the five officer positions. Students have an opportunity to exercise leadership, effective communication and interpersonal skills essential to their professional growth.
Experiential Learning (EL) is hands-on learning that involves a real-world-problem-solving process. EL encourages students to synthesize and analyze information through critical thinking as a result of teamwork, communication and research. Students interact with each other and course content through concrete experiences, developing methods and solutions to difficult problems and/or controversies. Students complete guided reflection throughout and at the culmination of their experiences. Students who cannot complete an Honors Academy Program course before transferring can substitute this requirement with a semester-long EL project.
We coordinate with on and off-campus partners to arrange direct community service experiences for our students. These opportunities expose students to issues they are studying in the curriculum and with agencies doing meaningful work in the community. Some opportunities may include job placement within these agencies. Students develop a commitment to giving back to the community as an important preparation for citizenship, career and life.
Our program uses eLumen ePortfolio for students to electronically collect their work over time, reflect upon their personal and academic growth and share selected content with others, such as professors, advisors, and potential employers. To complete the Program with distinction, students must submit an ePortfolio.
Our program offers culminating experiences wherein students complete a semester-long project that integrates and applies what they are studying in both Honors and non-Honors courses.Typically completed in the final semester at the College, the project may be a scholarly research paper, a performance, a portfolio, an exhibit of artwork or any combination of these modes of expression. Students submit a final reflection paper at the end of their Capstone project. Beginning in Spring 2021, students who wish to complete the Honors Academy Program with Distinction will be required to present their project at the Honors Symposium.
Honors Academy Program faculty schedule specific study sessions in the Center to support student learning.
Periodically, faculty will arrange for group outings to local landmarks, such as the San Antonio Museum of Art, the Witte Museum or the Missions National Historical Park. In addition, local university group tours are organized for interested students preparing for transfer.
Local and national authors / educators are brought into the Center for presentations as extended opportunities for thought and discussion of important issues.
Our Program takes into consideration the AAC&U recommendations on Equity-Mindedness:
“Equity-minded practices are created through a
1. willingness to look at student outcomes and disparities at all educational levels disaggregated by race and ethnicity as well as socioeconomic status.
2. recognition that individual students are not responsible for the unequal outcomes of groups that have historically experienced discrimination and marginalization in the United States.
3. respect for the aspirations and struggles of students who are not well served by the current educational system.
4. belief in the fairness of allocating additional college and community resources to students who have greater needs due to the systemic shortcomings of our educational system in providing for them.
5. recognition that the elimination of entrenched biases, stereotypes, and discrimination in institutions of higher education requires intentional critical deconstruction of structures, policies, practices, norms, and values assumed to be race neutral.”
Source: AAC&U. Step Up and Lead for Equity: What Higher Education Can Do to Reverse Our Deepening Divides. 15 Apr. 2015. https://www.aacu.org/sites/default/files/StepUpLeadEquity.pdf
Newly admitted students will be onboarded
in November for Spring 2021 classes.
Spring 2021 Honors Academy Class Schedule
Last updated 1/15/21
Subject to change during enrollment management period.
Monday / Wednesday
Tuesday / Thursday
MATH 1314.022+0104.035 Chavera
10:50 AM-12:05 PM
PSYC 2314.020 Wallis
12:15 PM-1:30 PM
PHIL 2306.030 Whitworth
ASTR 1304.007 Alaniz
Zoom WEDNESDAY Only
ENGL 1301.228 Falcon
EDUC 1300.402 Bunch
MUSI 1306.025 Morgan
SPCH 1321.011 Ramsey
ENGL 1302 Portales
ENGL 1302.469 Portales
HUMA 1305.013 Bueno
Courses using IM Direct Instructional Materials that are billed directly to student's tuition: SPCH 1321, MATH 1314, PSYC 2301, and ASTR 1304.
Need to meet with the Honors Academy advisor?
Once you have been accepted into the Program, you can schedule an appointment:
1. Log in to your ACES Account
2. Click on the “Start Here” tab
3. Select the “Alamo NAVIGATE” icon
4. Click “Login”
5. Select the “Appointments” tab on the left hand side
6. Select “Schedule an Appointment”
7. Select the Reason for your appointment and hit Next
8. Select the Location and hit Next
9. Select the Day and Time that works for you and hit Next
10. Review the selection and confirm your appointment
If you send any ACES emails to your advisor, please remember to include your student Banner ID in your correspondences.
Scheduled appointments = 30 minutes
Walk-ins = 15 minutes
This is a partial list of scholarships we have identified.
- Alamo Colleges Foundation Scholarships
The Alamo Foundation Scholarship is a one-time application that enables you to apply for more than 80 campus-wide scholarships for which you may qualify–including the Honors Academy Program Scholarship. Deadline: Sept. 10, 2019
- UTSA Distinguished Transfer Scholarship
Non-resident and international students are awarded the Distinguished Transfer Scholarship for a minimum of $1,000.00 for the academic year and will be granted a waiver for non-resident tuition if scholarship eligibility is maintained.
- UTSA Honors College Scholarships
- UT Transfer Scholarships
If you are process of transferring to UT Austin, complete a scholarship application. Deadline: March 15, 2019
- A&M Transfer Scholarships
If you are in the process of transferring to Texas A&M, College Station, complete a scholarship application.
- Terry Foundation Transfer Scholarship
The Terry Transfer Scholarship is awarded to non-traditional students who are transferring from a Texas community college or university and are working toward their first baccalaureate degree.
- Phi Theta Kappa Student Organization Transfer Scholarship
There are many scholarship options for PTK members.
Have questions? Ask Dr. Jim Lucchelli, faculty sponsor
- Café College
Many scholarships are identified on its webpage.
- San Antonio Area Foundation
More than 90 funds offer scholarships to students pursuing their educational dreams.
- MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide
A useful resource, especially for DACA students.
Additional Scholarship Websites:
Transfer Plans to Local Universities
Review this page to stay informed about courses that are part of your degree plan at the university.
Transfer Equivalency Tool
Compare current coursework to coursework at prospective colleges and universities.
Begin a new ApplyTX to initiate the transfer process.
We have partnered with universities and agencies in the community who want to collaborate with our students through academic research or hands on experiences. Some academic conference participation can lead to transfer scholarships. Some community service positions can lead to internships (paid and unpaid), full-time positions or career exploration.
- Once you receive an email that you qualify for the Honors Academy Program, attend your SAC Group Advising appointment as scheduled.
- At this advising appointment your name will be given to the organizers. The organizers will share the Honors Academy advising Zoom information for you to join us. You will have an opportunity to learn more about our Program, complete your admission and ask questions.
- Space is limited. Once Honors fall classes fill, you will have to wait until the next regular semester to officially join the program.
Last Updated: 12/7/2020
Laurie Lopez Coleman, M.A.
Professor of English
Chance Academic Center 122
Phone: (210) 486-1100
Norma L. Ramirez
Certified Academic Advisor
Chance Academic Center 122B
Phone: (210) 486-0349
Oppenheimer Center 322
Phone: (210) 486-0401
General SAC information is available to assist students at the Call Center (210-212-5266), LiveChat (In the bottom right hand side on any SAC webpage) and Zoom room (https://alamo.zoom.us/j/96204747346).