A great place to start
With an ACT score of 32, Josh Thrutchley showed up on the radar of many colleges and universities when he graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School in 2010. However, this academically talented 18-year-old wanted time to solidify his thoughts on a specific career, something in the medical field, so he chose to begin college life at Johnson County Community College.
“JCCC is a great place with great professors,” Thrutchley said. “All of them are great in their own way. I know JCCC is rated one of the top community colleges in the nation, and there is a reason more than 20,000 students study here each semester. It is just a great place to be.”
Several JCCC professors had a particular impact on Thrutchley.
“One is Michael Hembree,” he said. “He got me interested in the history side of education. I did an Honors contract with him my last semester on World War I. That has always interested me but I hadn’t taken the time to explore the topic. Hembree was my Western Civilization I and II professor, and I became more interested in finding out more about World War I.”
The JCCC honors program stimulates and challenges academically talented students, providing them with an opportunity to excel and achieve their educational goals. The program allows students to:
- explore new ideas
- engage in creative activities
- research areas of interest
- sharpen skills
- become independent learners
- collaborate with experienced faculty
Once part of the honors program, students can sign an honors contract, agreeing to do concentrated study with a particular JCCC professor en route to earning an extra one hour of credit. As part of his honors contract, Thrutchley spent extra time with Hembree outside of class analyzing the operations and offerings of the World War I museum in Kansas City. He presented his findings in a research paper.
Outside of the JCCC honors program, Thrutchley was involved in the pre-med club, which met twice a month.
“This group offered members tips on what to expect when applying to medical school,” he said. “The club has JCCC pre-med counselors come down and talk to us. The club also had someone from the JCCC Writing Center visit a meeting because there is an element of the MCAT that involves writing. Many of the applicants focus on science and math, but they sometimes struggle with the writing section. If you do well there, it can sometimes set you apart.”