The Southern University and A & M College System established the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement (CUSA) with funding from the State of Louisiana, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Ford Foundation to undertake an important challenge to reverse the trend of fewer African-American males graduating from college, while also increasing the number of male classroom teachers in urban settings. Embedded on the SUNO campus, the Honoré Center is the centerpiece and pilot initiative of the Five-Fifths Agenda for America (FFAA), conceived by former SU System president Ronald Mason Jr., a national effort with the dual goals of increasing the number of college degrees among black men and increasing the ranks of black male classroom teachers.
Named for retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, the program recruits male students into a highly structured campus living and learning environment designed to ensure their academic and personal success as college men and future leaders. All Honoré scholars must agree to serve at least two years after graduation as classroom teachers in the New Orleans area. Students with leadership potential and the motivation to make a difference in their communities are chosen ideally with ACT scores and GPA that qualify them for University admission with no more than one developmental course required. As of May, 2016, the overall GPA for the 8 Honoré Scholars at SUNO is 2.9.
Honoré scholars are provided year-round campus housing at SUNO in a holistic living and learning environment. Additional support includes a personal computer, campus meal plans, a monthly $100 stipend, plus a $500 textbook voucher per semester for up to five years. Personal counseling, life skills, and tutoring resources are incorporated to help ensure their academic and personal success.