"A Matter of Degrees" by Susan Sharpe [Magazine, June 13] was insulting to the students, faculty and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).

Contrary to Sharpe's list of "reasons why a student attends community college," I graduated with honors from high school, my nonalcoholic professional parents encouraged me to attend college and I didn't suffer from any trauma during my adolescence. I achieved a 4.0 grade-point average at the University of Central Florida before transferring to NOVA's honors program and graduating summa cum laude last month. I was accepted as a transfer student by both the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary.

Sharpe should examine the opinion of diversity and "like-minded souls" that she espouses. She should be concerned about the lack of diversity at her daughter's school, Reed College, with a student body that is only 1 percent African American and 4 percent Hispanic. The diversity represented by NOVA students and faculty reflects the strength of America.

Sharpe's statement that NOVA instructors are "not intellectuals actively engaged in scholarly pursuits" is offensive. NOVA's faculty provided me with academic challenges and stimulating intellectual exchanges.

If Sharpe cannot provide her students with quality education and has such contempt for NOVA's diversity and faculty, she should resign.

-- Stephanie Fuller

Fairfax City