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News Release

Date: December 14, 2007
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

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Montgomery College’s Montgomery Scholars Honors Program Named One of Nation’s Top Programs That Make a Difference for Latino Students
Program Chosen as Semifinalist in the Examples of ¡Excelencia! Awards

Montgomery College’s Montgomery Scholars honors program was recently named one of the nation’s top educational programs that make a difference in the achievement of Latino students. Excelencia in Education, a nonprofit organization aimed at accelerating higher education success for Latino students, chose the Montgomery Scholars program as a semifinalist in its Examples of ¡Excelencia! Awards, in the associate’s degree category.

Montgomery Scholars is a rigorous honors program for a select group of 25 recent high school graduates. Created in 1999, the program’s students participate in a learning community that provides a supportive and engaging academic environment. The program features interdisciplinary, team-taught courses and research in the humanities, in addition to extracurricular learning opportunities and trips, including a summer study abroad at the University of Cambridge in England. The program aims to prepare its scholars for transfer to competitive four-year colleges and universities.

Since the program’s inception, Latinos have made up 17 percent of the program’s students. These students have since attained the program’s highest completion and retention rates. A total of 95 percent of the Latino students have completed the program, have transferred, and have graduated or are on track to graduate from a four-year college or university within 2-3 years of their transfer date.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by Excelencia in Education for our Montgomery Scholars program,” said Dr. Mary Furgol, director. “This award is a tribute to the program's dedicated faculty, counselors and staff and, most of all, to our Latino students who, from interning on Capitol Hill to volunteering at an orphanage in Peru or a hospital in Morocco, have excelled both locally and globally.”

Former Montgomery Scholar Diana Gonzalez transferred to the University of Maryland, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree and now works in New York as a buyer for a major national clothing company. She considers her decision to attend Montgomery College and enroll in the Montgomery Scholars program as “one of the best decisions” she has ever made.

The Montgomery Scholars program has helped Latino students to transfer to some of the country’s major colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland, American University, and Smith College. At least 25 percent of these students have continued their studies in graduate school. Now in its ninth year, the program has educated more than 200 students from Montgomery County, Md.

The Montgomery Scholars program is currently accepting applications for its fall 2008 class. The deadline is January 25, 2008.

For an application or additional information about the program, please visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/admissions/MCScholars/ or contact Maria Davidson, admissions coordinator, at 240-567-5039.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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