Thursday, January 19, 2017 2:46 PM
CLEVELAND, Tenn. – When twin brothers Clay and Matt Pankey enrolled in Cleveland State’s honor’s program in the fall, they didn’t really know what to expect, but with one semester under their belt and both having earned a spot on the President’s List, CSCC’s highest academic honor, they now recommend the program to others.
“It is not an easy program,” stated Clay. It’s challenging, and it does require a good bit of effort, but it’s a very rewarding program.”
The brothers were recipients of the Presidential Honor’s Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship for the top high school graduates who attend CSCC. Students must be accepted into the CSCC Honors Program and participate in a Presidential Leadership Program. The Presidential Honors Scholarship is designed to assist students with books and other educational expenses, such as non-mandatory fees.
“One of the best things about Cleveland State is we have a wonderful diversity of students, and this certainly includes an outstanding group of honors students,” stated Dr. Bill Seymour, CSCC President. “High achieving students find a home within our honors program and develop strong relationships with students that have similar aspirations.”
Seymour went on to add, “Any high school senior in our five-county service area with a 24 on the ACT or a 3.5 high school G.P.A. can apply, and those students selected for this honor can receive $2,000 a year on top of the Tennessee Promise.”
Matt stated, “It’s FREE money! If you do the work, you might as well be rewarded for it! I’d definitely recommend it to others!”
In just two years, CSCC’s honors program has grown significantly in terms of organization, goal achievement and student recruitment. According to Dr. Victoria Bryan, Honors Program Director, honors students work toward mastery of five program goals: academic excellence; in-depth subject exploration; presentation skills; leadership experience; and service to the campus or community.
Bryan stated, “There are a lot of advantages to being an honors student at CSCC, but I think principle among those is the fact that we are offering our students the chance to make a sound financial decision by taking advantage of the Tennessee Promise while still being challenged to grow as learners.”
“The honors program gives everyone a greater sense of community—not just with the students, but with the professors as well,” stated Matt.
Clay said the honors program has not only helped him learn more about himself, but it also helped him to confirm he was making the right career choice. (Clay is majoring in Pre-Engineering and Matt is majoring in Exercise Science / Pre-Occupational Therapy.)
Cleveland State has direct articulations with UTC and MTSU’s honors programs to ensure that if students graduate from CSCC with an Honors diploma, they can articulate directly into the Honors colleges at those schools.
Matt went on to state, “Another reason I’d recommend the honors program is because if you are looking to transfer to a university, they do have transfer agreements to go directly into honors programs at four-year universities like UTC and MTSU.”
The brothers insist that the program isn’t all academic—they have fun, too. They both liked the fact that they have been able to meet and develop friendships with students outside of their high school—students they might not have met had they not joined the honors program.
Bryan stated, “What I think is most powerful about the Honors program at Cleveland State is that our students experience a sense of community unparalleled on a commuter college campus. As the students meet challenges in their classes or their extracurricular activities, they band together and support each other in inspiring ways. I’ve been proud to see this kind of bonding and support every semester that I’ve served as Honors Program director at Cleveland State.”
For more information on the Presidential Honor’s Scholarship or the CSCC Honors Program, contact Bryan at (423) 473-2442.