Navarro College has launched its new Honors Students Program this semester, with 46 motivated students majoring from accounting to education to pre-medicine.

Most of the students came from the Navarro College service-area counties - Freestone, Leon, Limestone, Navarro and Ellis - but the program has also enlisted students from Africa, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia and Tobago.

I am very impressed with the caliber of students in this program and the diversity of backgrounds, said Dr. Larry Weaver, dean of arts, sciences and humanities. I still have students coming by my office and stopping me in the halls to ask about the program and how to get in. I am sure there will be a waiting list when we accept students into the program next year.

Local students include Shane Boswell of Avalon; Angela D. Lara, Samantha DeLos Santos, Joseph Ramon, Marisela Tobias and Dulce Valencia, all of Ennis; Angelica Mendiola and Javier Villa Perez, of Ferris; Claudio Mercado of Midlothian; Shantarica L. Teal of Milford; and Tammy Tracy of Oak Leaf.

Students accepted into the program include valedictorians, salutatorians or other honors and have become involved in college clubs like the Psi Beta Honor Society or have joined the college football and softball teams.

Up to $500 in scholarships are offered to students selected for the program. The students reside in newly renovated rooms, which have a larger living space and special amenities not found in the typical student residence halls. The residence halls have extended quiet hours to provide a more accommodating study environment and honors students also enjoy special social and cultural activities.

The honors courses are identified and taught by select faculty members and consist of the standard core curriculum with the content enhanced and assignments enriched to bring about a deeper level of thinking and application.

Honors courses are also designated on the Navarro College transcript and students will wear a unique white tassel during graduation ceremonies.

To qualify for the Honors Students Program, incoming freshmen must have a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and must be in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. Current college students must have at least a 3.25 GPA. Students in the program must also graduate with a minimum of 15 credit hours of honors courses in order to be designated cum laude.

Honors students also are required to complete a minimum of 15 community service hours per academic year. Questions regarding the program should be addressed to Weaver at (903) 875-7594 or larry.weaver@navarrocollege.edu.