Information For Parents

You play a significant role in helping your child select a university. You also probably have your own set of questions and concerns about the universities your child is considering. If your daughter or son is considering the Smittcamp Family Honors College at Fresno State, this section is for you.

If you would like further information, please feel free to contact our office at any time.

A Letter from the Honors Director

Dear Parents,

In this section we address some questions we find most parents have on their minds. Here you will also find some representative quotes from parents expressing their thoughts on our program. Of course, should you have further questions of any sort or other issues you wish to discuss, please feel free to speak directly with us at 559.278.8160.

Best wishes,
Honora Chapman, Ph.D., Director

  • Answers to Common Questions
  • Parent Reflections

I want the best educational experience for my son or daughter. Can the Smittcamp Family Honors College offer that?

Without a doubt. In just 13 years, the Smittcamp Family Honors College has become one of the most prestigious honors programs in the Western United States. California State University, Fresno is the premier advanced learning institution in the region and offers many programs that match or exceed those offered by University of California campuses and private schools.

Other honors colleges we’ve looked at are extremely expensive. What is the cost to attend Smittcamp?

If your child is accepted to the Smittcamp Family Honors College, she or he will receive the President's Honors Scholarship comparable to in-state tuition for up to 8 semesters of undergraduate study. This award also includes credit for a community style room in a campus residence hall, and much more. No other honors program in California can compare.

What is the on-campus housing like?

Fresno State offers a safe and fun residential environment where students can live and learn. For more information about on-campus housing, please visit the University Courtyard website.

Will the Smittcamp Family Honors College provide my child with contacts and opportunities he or she needs to excel after graduation?

Yes. Quite simply, Smittcamp Honors College students are recognized throughout the community and the region as the best. Local businesses and community leaders typically offer apprenticeship and internship opportunities to Honors students first. Thanks to the small group dynamic, our students will develop many excellent networking opportunities with some of the region’s most influential individuals. Many of our graduates have or are pursuing advanced studies (e.g., science, law, humanities, social sciences, and medicine), at the nations most prestigious institutions.

My child is a unique individual. Will he or she become lost in a campus of over 20,000 students?

Not here. The Smittcamp Family Honors College is a small, close-knit community of learners within a larger university. In effect, we offer the advantages of a small liberal arts college within the programs and facilities of a large comprehensive university. There are approximately 50 students per class, for a total of around 200 in our entire program. Our students are treated with the personalized attention they deserve, not simply as a student I.D. number. Small group discussions, one-on-one interaction with faculty, and regular meetings (both academic and social), with the Honors College director are all part of the family-like atmosphere the Smittcamp Family Honors College offers.

Is Fresno State a safe campus?

Yes. The campus has its own 24-hour police department dedicated to the safety of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. You can view the campus’ 2010 Annual Security Report.

Will my child have the time to participate in extracurricular activities?

Not only will they have the time, they will be encouraged to participate in these activities. Fresno State has a wide variety of clubs and organizations. Many students also become involved in student organizations and/or student government often playing leadership roles and on occasion fulfilling such elected offices as President of the Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI).

Which graduate programs have your students pursued after graduating from the Smittcamp Family Honors College at Fresno State?

  • UCSF, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Hastings
  • Stanford
  • Yale
  • Cornell
  • Princeton
  • University of Chicago
  • California State University, Fresno
  • Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Indiana University
  • George Washington University
  • New York University
  • Loma Linda University
  • Boston University
  • McGeorge School of Law
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Penn State
  • Santa Clara University
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Colorado, Denver School of Medicine
  • University of Hawaii
  • University of the Pacific School of Dentistry
  • University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • University of Oregon

“We are so grateful . . . take advantage of this wonderful program!”

We are so grateful to have had both of our sons in the Fresno State Honors College. Our oldest son Greg Akin received his teaching credential from CSUF in 2007 and is teaching full time this year. Our younger son Ken Akin will be graduating this May with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Both of them lived on campus. Smittcamp Honors College paid for their dorm rooms, and more. They received advisement and early registration each semester. They both enjoyed their participation in the Honors College very much. We appreciate the wonderful treatment they have both received and the opportunity that the Smittcamp Family Scholarship gave them to attend a four year college. We advise every parent we know to take advantage of this wonderful program!

Respectfully submitted by,
Ed and Dixie Akin

“ . . . the students become a very special 'family' to one another.”

The Smittcamp Honors College is a well managed and truly student friendly organization which focuses on helping each student achieve their own particular academic and career goals. The staff is wonderful and welcoming and the office itself is a safe haven where the students go for assistance, refreshment and can enjoy some much needed "down time." One of the best things about the Smittcamp Family Honors College is that the students become a very special "family" to one another. Since all of the kids are already committed students who love to be involved in a number of activities, they seem to just naturally bond with each other and develop strong and hopefully long lasting friendships. Knowing that my daughters have had good solid friends that they could depend on as they began a new chapter of their lives helped make the transition easier for us too!

Thank You,
Mary and Patrick Maddox

“He has thrived, matured, and excelled, . . .”

Russel was qualified to attend any college he desired but he chose Fresno State's Honors College and as his parents we felt he made the best choice. He has thrived, matured, and excelled, with the high quality classes, personalized education, and the guidance of the Honors College staff. It has been an amazing opportunity for him to get his education!

Bob and Janice Statham

“. . . a once in a lifetime experience. . .”

Since we had two sons who were already attending UCLA, we were very worried that we wouldn't be able to afford fulfilling our daughter's dream of becoming a teacher. But when she was accepted into the Smittcamp Honors College we felt so blessed by God. Not only would CSUF be close to home, but it would be a great place to study to become a teacher and now our financial worries were also eased. We were apprehensive about letting her live in the dorms, but we understood that it is a once in a lifetime experience and the friends she met in the dorms are some of her closest friends today.

Javier and Socorro Garcia

“Smittcamp helped [our daughter] get into medical school.”

Smittcamp was very beneficial for our daughter Joy. Joy received an excellent education at Fresno State. She had access to the best professors on campus. Dr. Rodemeyer is one of Joy's mentors. Joy enjoyed all her honor classes. The office staff was very helpful. Smittcamp helped Joy get into medical school.

Sincerely,
John and Julia Mombourquette

“[the Director] enjoys letting them be the young energetic students they are.”

As the parents of two Smittcamp Family Honors College students, Erik and Johanna Cuadros, we were honored that they were selected into the program. While the monetary scholarship eases the financial strain, the academic benefits of priority registration and smaller class size were clearly apparent to us. As we had more opportunities to meet Dr. Rodemeyer, we came to appreciate his knowledge, humor and his concern for the students in the program. It was clear that this was more than a job for him. We remember being in the office and hearing him ask a student about a specific trip he had taken. We thought then, that this was so AWESOME! Dr. Rodemeyer knows these students - their likes, their challenges, and enjoys letting them be the young energetic students they are. The office staff keep everything organized (answering queries from parents as well as students) and facilitate the family feeling. Where else will students be treated to hot chocolate in winter and bagels during finals? When we as parents send our young adults off to college life, it is reassuring to know that they have a place to belong, someone to get answers from, a program that challenges them to give and be all they can, and a program that provides opportunities, networking and higher learning to assist them into becoming adults, ready to take on challenges of the future.

Our thanks to all associated with The Smittcamp Family Honor's College.

Rueben and Peggy Cuadros

“ . . . sense of family and community . . .”

What I appreciated most about the SFHC was the sense of family and community that we felt from the moment we met the staff and students.

Randy and Chris Dower

“ . . . it’s a life lesson on how to be a productive, successful, and caring member of society.”

The Smittcamp Honors College has made a real impact on our daughter’s life and has reinforced everything we tried to instill in her as she was growing up. Success in life cannot be measured simply in economic or professional terms. Success is measured in how you impact other people’s lives. We taught our daughter that service is a part of her responsibility as a student and as an adult. The Smittcamp Honors College reinforces that lesson while also providing an excellent education. It's much more than simply a scholarship, it’s a life lesson on how to be a productive, successful, and caring member of society."

Mike and Cynthia Leonardo

“He has thrived, matured, and excelled, . . .”

The Honors College provided support, direction and an almost immediate sense of familiarity thus making our daughter's transition from high school to college that much easier. Priority class scheduling is a significant benefit, and the ongoing community service emphasis continues to provide our daughter greater insight into life's lessons that go beyond the classroom. The Honors College provides the benefits of a small college atmosphere within the larger university environment.

Dick and Jacquie Ashjian