NCHC Surveys and Research

The National Collegiate Honors Council administers a series of three institutional member surveys: the Census of U.S. Honors Programs and Colleges; the Admissions, Retention, and Completion Survey (ARC); and the Budget and Resources Survey (BAR). Together, these survey projects are intended to provide us with a better picture of the landscape of honors education in the United States, the students we serve, and the constraints within which we all labor.

The Census was first launched in 2012–13, and administered again in fall 2016, and the ARC survey was administered in 2013–14. Summary results and several research articles based on data from those surveys appear at the link below, in the NCHC Research Archive. The newest of the NCHC surveys, BAR, was launched for the first time in spring 2017. Summary results from the BAR survey will appear with other survey results as they become available. We anticipate that preliminary results should be available in spring 2018.

Each of the three NCHC surveys is intended to be administered on an alternating triennial basis so that, over time, we will also be able to learn about trends in the provision of honors education. Future iterations of the three surveys are planned according to the following schedule, and thereafter on a regular, recurring basis:

Fall 2018, 2021—Admissions, Retention, and Completion Survey

Fall 2019, 2022—Census of U.S. Honors Programs and Colleges

Fall 2020, 2023—Budget and Resources Survey

For those interested in using comparative national benchmarking data from these surveys in conjunction with their own program-level data, we developed the ARC Data Set Template, a handy workbook of spreadsheets with embedded formulas to assist in the record keeping and calculation of standard program-level data on things such as honors student enrollment as well as retention, program completion, and graduation rates. The Template was designed with the goal of minimizing effort among honors administrators in the recording and presentation of data that may be marshaled for use in annual reports, periodic program reviews, and the like. With minimal effort, tables easily can be tailored, copied, and pasted into word processors for use in such reports. Annual updates of the ARC Data Set Template can be found below.

Please feel free to contact NCHC research affiliate Andrew Cognard-Black ( with questions, comments, or to learn more about the NCHC surveys.

Visit Member Site for NCHC'S Research Archive

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