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 awardan 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.

Equity Statement

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.

Honors Academy Application

 The Honors Academy Program provides the following opportunities:

Levels of Your Honors Experience

Students can experience the Program within the following levels:

Participation--four Honors Academy courses

Completion--four or more Honors Academy courses, eLumen ePortfolio and 10 or more experiential service learning hours to the campus and/or community

Distinction--four or more Honors Academy courses, eLumen ePortfolio, 10 or more experiential service learning hours to the campus and/or community, Capstone course

Students who experience the Program at the Completion and Distinction levels will be recognized at an end-of-semester ceremony. Students will also receive blue Honors Academy cords to be worn at SAC Commencement.

Honors Academy Recognition Ceremony 2019

Access to Honors Academy Center

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 Availability in the Center

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.

Embedded Academic Advisor

Students can meet and discuss their degree plan, transfer plan, academic progress and scholarship opportunities with our embedded academic advisor.

Early Registration

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.

Specialized Workshops

Transfer / scholarship / financial aid workshops and presentations on topics of interest may be offered throughout the semester to support student success.

Automatic acceptance to UTSA and Texas State Honors Colleges

Students who complete the SAC Honors Academy Program with distinction are eligible for automatic acceptance to UTSA Honors College and Texas State Honors College. Honors distinction is met upon completion of a minimum of four Honors Academy Program courses, a Capstone course, an eLumen ePortfolio, and 20 hours of experiential learning hours. An approved semester-long experiential learning project can substitute for one Honors Academy Program course or the Capstone course.  

Learning Communities

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.

Writing-Intensive Courses

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.

Common Reads

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.

Leadership Development

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

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.

Undergraduate Research
According to the American Association for Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the "goal of undergraduate research is to involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions." Faculty in our Program embed research opportunities in their courses, most notably within the Capstone courses.
Service Learning/Community-Based Learning

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.

Capstone Courses

Our program offers culminating experiences wherein students complete a semester-long project that integrates and applies what they have learned in a Capstone course. Completed in the final semester at the College, the project may be a research paper, a performance, a portfolio or an exhibit of artwork.

Professor-Led Study Sessions

Honors Academy Program faculty schedule specific study sessions in the Center to support student learning.

Off-Campus Excursions

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.

Guest Speakers

Local and national authors / educators are brought into the Center for presentations as extended opportunities for thought and discussion of important issues.

Why considering EQUITY in our Program is important

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.

Course Schedule

Newly admitted students will be onboarded
in November for Spring 2021 classes.
The Honors Spring 2021 class schedule
will be published online in October.

Summer/Fall 2020 Honors Class Schedule


Monday / Wednesday

Tuesday / Thursday

 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM

EDUC 1300 Lucchelli 

EDUC 1300 Bunch (LC)*

9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

 ENGL 1301 Portales

HIST 1301 Serafine

EDUC 1300 Lucchelli


ENGL 1301 Falcon  (LC)*

10:00-11:40 AM

Math 1314+0104 Chavera



10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

SPCH 1321 Ramsey 

PSYC 2301 Wallis
ENGL 1301 Portales 

 SOCI 1301 Slonaker 

GOVT 2305 Cain 

PSYC 2301 Wallis

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

PHIL 2306 Whitworth 

HIST 1301 Khan

1:40-4:20 PM

BIOL 2402 Apple

BIOL 2401 Apple

11:20 AM - 1:20 PM

HIST 1302 Serafine 


*Note: Courses marked (LC) are part of a Learning Community, meaning they are linked. Students registering for 1 course must register for both courses. 

Courses using IM Direct Instructional Materials: SPCH 1321, MATH 1314, PSYC 2301

Meet with Honors Advisor

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.

  1. 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
  1. 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.

  2. UTSA Honors College Scholarships

  3. UT Transfer Scholarships
    If you are process of transferring to UT Austin, complete a scholarship application. Deadline: March 15, 2019

  4. A&M Transfer Scholarships
    If you are in the process of transferring to Texas A&M, College Station, complete a scholarship application.

  5. 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.
  6. Phi Theta Kappa Student Organization Transfer Scholarship
    There are many scholarship options for PTK members.
    Have questions? Ask Dr. Jim Lucchelli, faculty sponsor
  7. Café College
    Many scholarships are identified on its webpage.
  8. San Antonio Area Foundation
    More than 90 funds offer scholarships to students pursuing their educational dreams.

  9. MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide
    A useful resource, especially for DACA students.

    Additional Scholarship Websites:


Transfer Resources

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.

Research Majors and Careers

Begin a new ApplyTX to initiate the transfer process.

Professional Opportunities

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. 

UTSA Mellon Research Conference

Good Samaritan Community Services

    1. Once you receive an email that you qualify for the Honors Academy Program, attend your SAC advising appointment as scheduled.
    2. 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.
    3. Space is limited. Once Honors fall classes fill, you will have to wait until the spring semester to officially join the program.
  • August advising sessions will only be scheduled if seats remain in Honors Academy fall classes by the end of July.