Honors program may end: Funding cut by nearly 2/3


Baolien Dang

Mehrdad Khosravi, Honors Program Coordinator, makes his case for program’s budget at DASB’s annual budget meeting Feb. 12.

Jay Serrano, news/ opinions editor

Following an extended debate at its meeting Feb. 12, the DASB Senate voted to reduce the budget for the Honors Program for the 2014-2015 school year

The program budget was cut to $8,550 for 2014-15 from the $25,090 it received this year.

The DASB Budget and Finance committee originally proposed eliminating DASB funding because the program is not currently recognized by many four-year universities, according to Koosha Seyvani, DASB Senate vice president.

Transfer programs, such as UCLA’s transfer alliance program, require the honors program to be funded by the college, not the students.

De Anza College does not have teachers who teach only honors courses nor special classes that only honors students can enroll in.

According to Seyvani, the lack of specialized classes puts honors students at a disadvantage.

“Honors students end up with hard homework they have not been properly instructed for,” Seyvani said.

Another outcome of not having specialized honors courses is honors projects are not always separated from the regular class work.

“My honors project was a regular class project with two extra pages,” said Robert Yasin, a budget and finance committee member.

Senators argued the honors program should be fully funded for the next year.

“I think the program is going to improve,” said Ben Pacho, a students rights and services committee member. “It’s not fair to cut them off at the knees financially.”

Other senators argued against giving the honors program more time to improve.

“They have been promising they will be better for years and years,” Yasin said.

“Our intention is not to hurt the honors program,” said Nupur Mehta, budget and finance committee chair. “To get to the next step, they need to get on the college budget.”

The honors program has not had enough time to fix the flaws, according to Mehrdad Khosravi math instructor and honors coordinator. It can take up to a year to get the outlines approved. Khosravi became honors coordinator in fall 2013.

“If they do not fund the program I’ll have to talk to the administration,” Khosravi said.

There is no guarantee the college will fund the honors program if the DASB does not.

According to Khosravi, the budget cut may cause the honors program to be eliminated.

“I am on the side of the students, “Khosravi said. “But I think the students are going the wrong way.”