Honors University Transfer Program

Two students smiling in grad garb
Honors Program Information Night

Want to learn more about how you can optimize your transfer options by joining our West Valley College honors program? Our special partnership with UCLA and connections with other top-tier universities will help set you up for transfer success.

Program Overview

The Honors University Transfer Program provides highly motivated students the opportunity to work closely with instructors and other motivated students in advanced levels of critical thinking, analysis, research, writing, and communication. The goal of the Program is to engage, support, and challenge self-motivated students to pursue a deeper education, enabling them to create opportunities for success in both their personal and professional lives. Honors courses offer enriched educational experiences through our Honors faculty, challenging coursework, typically smaller class sizes, and the opportunity to study with other highly motivated students.

Honors Courses

See current semester's list of Honors course offerings:

Transfer student on stage with president during graduation ceremony
Benefits

The Honors University Transfer Program provides highly motivated students the opportunity to work closely with instructors and other motivated students in advanced levels of critical thinking, analysis, research, writing, and communication. The goal of the Program is to engage, support, and challenge self-motivated students to pursue a deeper education, enabling them to create opportunities for success in both their personal and professional lives. Honors courses offer enriched educational experiences through our Honors faculty, challenging coursework, typically smaller class sizes, and the opportunity to study with other highly motivated students.

Each honors course you take is designated as Honors on your academic transcript and indicates you took on the additional challenge that these courses represent. If you complete 15 units of Honors courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.25+ then you qualify to receive a special Honors Graduation Medal during Commencement as well as a Permanent Notation on your Transcript noting that you are an Honors Program Graduate. There is no consequence if you enter the program and do not complete the 15 units.

The Honors Program has special partnerships with 4-year universities that provide significant advantages in the application and scholarship process. For example, UCLA TAP applicants are admitted at more than double the rate of the non-Honors transfer applicants.


Transfer Alliance Program

UCLA Tap slider
UCLA TAP

The Transfer Alliance Program is a collaboration between the West Valley Honors University Transfer Program and UCLA. The program is designed to foster academic excellence at the community college level and to promote diversity and retention in the UCLA transfer population.

Students who have completed the Honors Program at West Valley College receive priority consideration for admission to UCLA College of Letters and Science. Admitted TAP students are eligible to apply for scholarships reserved for the Transfer Alliance Program. In a typical year, TAP students are admitted to UCLA about 75% of the time, while the non-TAP UCLA admission rate is about 25%.

Paulina Berestov with UCLA sign

My name is Paulina Berestov and I was admitted into my dream school. My journey to where I am today started at Presentation High School where I opened an admission letter which stated, “We are sorry to inform you”. Those words changed my trajectory for what I had envisioned for my undergraduate experience and landed me at the steps of West Valley Community College. Through this rejection, I was motivated to find the next step necessary to try again. I researched and uncovered the West Valley Honors Program. This program’s relation with the UCLA Transfer Alliance Program (UC TAP) gave me this second chance I needed. Through only five Honors courses, I was able to strengthen my writing in Honors Critical Thinking with Professor Pape as well as learn about topics such as dance, theatre, and anthropology that helped shape my perspective on different cultures. Equipped with the skills from these classes, I wrote personal insight questions about topics I felt truly embodied me such as curating playlists or my love for skimboarding. I think these responses as well as co-founding the West Valley Women in STEM Club were the reason I got into UCLA. Now that I am here, all the hard work that I did throughout my time at West Valley is worth it. I have met some well-rounded individuals, networked with world-renowned professors, and enjoyed the town of Westwood that I get to call home. My biggest tip for anyone who is in a similar situation is to create a plan for your end goal, focus on your academics and let your personality shine through your personal insight questions. I remember being in the same shoes where the future felt so unknown, but where you are at now is not your final destination, but rather a stepping stone to your incredible journey.

Valedictorian student speaking during graduation ceremony
Eligibility

West Valley College Student Qualifications

  • Earn a GPA of 3.25 or higher in at least 9 units of university transferable work at WVC

High School Student Qualifications

  • Earn a high school cumulative GPA of 3.5

Maintaining Membership

To maintain active membership in the Program, students must:

  • Maintain 3.25 or higher cumulative GPA
  • Recommended: Enroll in at least two Honors courses each year

Program Completion

Students who successfully complete at least 15 units of Honors coursework with a GPA of 3.25 or higher will receive the benefits of the Honors Program. Please refer to the Benefits tab for more details or contact the Honors Coordinator or Counselor for specific questions.

There is no consequence or penalty if you join the program and do not complete the 15 Honors units.

Faculty

Jose Bautista

Jose Bautista

Psychology, History
Instructor and Department Chair

(408) 741-2492
jose.bautista@westvalley.edu
Language Arts / Social Sciences 1F

Leigh Burrill

Leigh Burrill

English
English; Women, Gender, Queer, and Social Justice Studies

(408) 741-4054
leigh.burrill@westvalley.edu
LA/SS 3H

Rachael Fields

Rachael Fields

English
English Instructor

(408) 741-xxxx
rachael.fields@westvalley.edu
Language Arts Building

Nichola  Gutierrez

Nichola Gutierrez

Political Science
Political Science Instructor and Department Chair: Humanities, Political Science, and Sociology

(408) 741-2557
nichola.gutierrez@westvalley.edu
LA/SS 1-D

Janis Kea

Janis Kea

Economics
Professor, Economics

(408) 741-2538
janis.kea@westvalley.edu
LA/SS 2E

Tim Kelly, Ph.D.

Tim Kelly, Ph.D.

History/Political Science
Instructor of History and Political Science

(408) 741-2546
tim.kelly@westvalley.edu
SS/LA 1E

Heather Kenyon

Heather Kenyon

Theater and Film
Designer and Instructor

heather.kenyon@westvalley.edu

Andrew Kindon

Andrew Kindon

Anthropology/Geography/Philosophy
Department Chair-Anthropology Instructor

(408) 741-2554
andrew.kindon@westvalley.edu
Office: LA/SS 2F

Gail Kirk

Gail Kirk

Communication Studies
Communication Studies Instructor

gail.kirk@westvalley.edu

Sam Liu

Sam Liu

Economics
Economics Instructor and Honors Program Coordinator

(408) 741-2147
sam.liu@westvalley.edu
SS 1C

Julie Maia

Julie Maia

English
English Instructor

(408) 741-2507
julie.maia@westvalley.edu
Language Arts/Social Science

Ann Malmuth-Onn

Ann Malmuth-Onn

Dance
Dance in America (Honors) and Flamenco Instructor

(408) 741-2524
ann.malmuth-onn@westvalley.edu

Benjamin Mendelsohn

Benjamin Mendelsohn

Astronomy
Astronomy Instructor / Planetarium Director

(408) 741-4018
benjamin.mendelsohn@westvalley.edu

Lance Shoemaker

Lance Shoemaker

Business
Business and Real Estate Instructor, Co-Department Chair

(408) 741-2436
lance.shoemaker@westvalley.edu
Che 109C

Rebecca Wong

Rebecca Wong

Mathematics
Math Instructor

(408) 741-2631
rebecca.wong@westvalley.edu
Science/Math (SM) 4L

Michelle  Zajac

Michelle Zajac

Communication Studies
Communication Studies Instructor

(408) 741-2485
michelle.zajac@westvalley.edu
Language Arts (LA) Building Room 4L

Contact Us

Honors Program Coordinator

Sam Liu

Sam Liu

Economics
Economics Instructor and Honors Program Coordinator

(408) 741-2147
sam.liu@westvalley.edu
SS 1C

Michael West

Michael West

Academic Affairs
Articulation Officer and Honors Counselor

(408) 741-4037
michael.west@westvalley.edu
Fox Room 215

Last Updated 5/2/22