Students Succeed in Honors Transfer Program

At the 2016 Commencement Ceremony, El Camino College Compton Center celebrated the first three honors students to complete the new Honors Transfer Program (HTP). Aidee Nunez-Jimenez, Lluvia Lastra-Morales, and Deyanira Cardenas-Herrera all graduated in May 2016 with the HTP designation.

“The program not only motivated me to transfer to a four-year university, but I was able to have one-on-one guidance with instructors as part of the Honors Program,” said Aidee Nunez-Jimenez. “Completing special projects or literature reviews helped me gain critical thinking and writing skills that I am able to utilize at Cal State Long Beach.”

The Honors Transfer Program provides a unique learning environment that stresses academic excellence and develops the awareness necessary to achieve this goal. The program prepares highly-motivated students to transfer by focusing on honors courses that are academically enriched to stimulate students intellectually, encourage independent critical thinking, and promote close interaction between students and faculty.

Aidee Nunez-Jimenez

Aidee Nunez-Jimenez

Long Beach native Aidee Nunez-Jimenez attended Long Beach Jordan High School, transferring to ECC Compton Center in 2013 and graduating in spring 2016 with an associate degree for transfer in psychology. She is currently a student at Cal State Long Beach and plans to be either a clinical psychologist or occupational therapist.

“I attended ECC Compton Center because during my senior year in high school I did not feel prepared to go straight to a four-year university,” she said. “My high school counselor told me about Compton Center and the resources the college offers to students, and I became intrigued and applied right away.”

In addition to being accepted to CSULB, she was also admitted to UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Merced, Cal State Dominguez Hills, and Cal State Fullerton.

What did she like best about ECC Compton Center? “It was a safe environment, I was able to meet highly motivated students like me, and the faculty were approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.”

Lluvia Lastra-Morales

Lluvia Lastra-Morales

Some of Lluvia Lastra-Morales’ friends were skeptical when she told them she planned to attend ECC Compton Center after high school. But no longer.

Lastra-Morales not only was one of the first students to complete the Honors Transfer Program, she was selected as the student speaker for the 2016 Commencement Ceremony. And she benefited from the Honors Program by being accepted to UCLA and Cal State Long Beach.

She is the youngest of three siblings raised by a single mother and is the only member of her family to graduate from college. She is a person of faith and dedication who has overcome many setbacks. She dropped out of high school four months before graduating because her mother lost her job and the family became homeless. Lastra-Morales secured a job, but was laid off in 2013, which prompted her to return to Paramount High School to earn her high school diploma.

With her diploma in hand, Lastra-Morales enrolled at Compton Center where the many available resources and student services helped her excel. Last spring, she was a recipient of a Southern California Edison STEM scholarship. She served as the chapter president of the Alpha Gamma Sigma honor society, is a member of MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program), and benefited from Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS). She was also proud to serve in the Student Success Center, tutoring her peers in communications, physical geography and Spanish.

Lastra-Morales had intended to go to UCLA, but decided that the two-hour, one-way bus commute from her home in north Long Beach was too much. Instead, she is happily pursuing a degree in geography and environmental studies, with a minor in geographic information systems, at Cal State Long Beach. She is a member of the campus’ Geography Club and Hermanas Unidas. Her goal is to become a college professor.

Lastra-Morales says what she liked best about attending ECC Compton Center is the people, the sense of unity, and the fact that all employees are dedicated to helping students succeed and accomplish more than they had originally set out to do. “My professors at Long Beach are great and I love my major,” she said, “but I miss Compton Center.”

For more information about the Honors Transfer Program, visit

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