The University of Houston System Board of Regents presented the Regents’ Academic Excellence Award to the Bonner Leaders Program in the Honors College of the University of Houston. The award recognizes University of Houston System institutions’ programs and initiatives that exemplify excellence in teaching, research, and/or public service.
The Bonner Leaders Program admits first-year honors students who serve 10 hours of community service each week, with a total of 270 hours over the course of the year. The students engage with community partners across the city of Houston to deliver services to the Third Ward, Cesar Chavez High School, Habitat for Humanity, Urban Harvest, METRO, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Workshop Houston, and other local non-profits.
“In addition to helping to prepare students for the workforce, the program also strengthens ties between the University and the community” said William Monroe, dean of the Honors College. “With projects in education, food and nutrition, recycling, and health care, the Bonner Program is an engine of positive change in the Third Ward and across Houston.”
The success of the students in the Bonner Leaders Program is outstanding. Not only did 100% of program participants return as full-time students, but they completed their first academic year with a higher average GPA and more credits than other Honors College first time in college (FTIC) students. While representing only 3% of the incoming 2013-2014 Honors class, they received 26% of the Outstanding First-Year Student awards at Convocation last May.
“I am proud to recognize the impressive work of the Bonner Leaders Program with this award” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost of the University of Houston. “Through the collective work of students in this program, the Bonner Leaders Program will grow to become the largest service learning program in the country over the next two years. Participants in this program continue to serve their communities well after graduation and pursue careers in the public and non-profit sectors.”
(Written by Christine Klocke, director of marketing and communucation for UH Office of the Provost)