News from NCHC | April 2018

In This Issue...

From the ED - Value
Treasurer's Report

Call for DIH Facilitators & Topics
Call for Consultants Center
2018 Faculty Development

NCHC Scholarships & Awards
Call for Papers: JNCHC

From the Executive Director: Value

Mary Beth Rathe, NCHC Executive Director

Value: to determine worth and benefit.

You can search "within" for value and hope that you are enough. You can google it, and learn that no matter what you value, someone else seems to value something else more.

Higher education conversations have been focused lately on the value of education. Does a degree equate to a career path with salary and benefits? Or does time spent on campus mean that the learner values something other than a corporate ladder rung? Do we as a society value thoughtful and deliberate development of humanity-- the growth of intellect, the acknowledgement of differences, the recognition of experience-- or do we only measure success by an outdated vision of the American Dream?

NCHC – the network of members and your association – is digging in to the questions that were, I'm sure, some of the same ones that prompted the very founding of our organization over fifty years ago. The cycle of economy, politics and perhaps even generational angst are nudging NCHC into opportunities to be more proactive in the discussions, putting honors programs and professionals in a position to bring innovative and deliberate ideas forward.

Existing value systems and the constant barrage of comparisons are creating mental health issues, identity crises, and volatile responses to whatever opposition stands in our way.

So what is the value of honors? I wonder how you are answering the questions posed on your own campuses. When a potential donor asks "Why honors?" what answer do you give? When a parent questions enrolling in honors versus opting out, how do you recruit? When policymakers question the value, what is the defense?

The value lies in how we begin to formulate answers and solutions, in ways that existing political and administrative structures can appreciate and accept. All while equipping the students on each campus with the same educational opportunities as before, but with a little extra.

The ability to talk about the value of who they are because they chose honors.

Mary Beth

Treasurer's Report

Steven Engel, NCHC Treasurer

NCHC is at a financial crossroads. Our institutional dues rate of $500 per institutional member has not changed since 2005. Our costs of running NCHC, however, have increased with inflation over the past thirteen years. In fact, if we had put in an inflation adjustment in 2005, our current dues rate would be $634.21. In short, we are holding ourselves back from serving our membership as best we can. Now, more than ever, we should be working together as best we can to support a strong national voice for honors education.

After over two years of study and planning, the NCHC Board of Directors at the winter meeting voted to submit to the membership a proposal for a new tiered-structure for institutional dues. This proposal is meant to create a transparent and fairer system for assessing the costs of organizational membership. This proposal will be on the ballot for the membership to vote upon immediately following the 2018 conference. If approved, it will not go into effect until 2020.

You can access the details of the proposal on the NCHC website here: To help answer questions about this proposal, we will be hosting several conference calls in the coming months. Stay tuned for details about those. And, there will be a special session at the 2018 conference in Boston dedicated to fielding questions about this proposal. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at

Steven Engel
NCHC Treasurer


Registration is Now Open

Click here for NCHC18 conference information!

Don't Miss These Add-Ons to the NCHC18 experience! Plan now to include them in your traveling schedule:

  • Pre-Conference Workshop: International Education (Workshop fee: $50)
    Wednesday, Nov. 7 :: 2:00-5:00 PM
    Interest in international study and globalization opportunities for honors students has increased in recent years, yet the prospect is daunting for program directors, particularly those with little international experience. This short course offers concrete and practical guidance for creating and sustaining international short-term experiences.

    Critical elements of pre-program and post-program planning are covered as well as strategies to make the international component of the experience truly honors worthy. Participants will workshop a possible program for individual institutions with particular attention to pre- and post-program development.
  • Beginning in Honors (BIH): No additional fee
    Wednesday, Nov. 7 :: 12:00-4:00 PM
    Beginning in Honors is a workshop designed for new honors directors and deans or those leading or creating new honors programs and colleges.

    This workshop starts off in a large group, and then is broken down to small groups, focused upon specific institutional types -- large universities; medium-sized institutions; small public, private, and faith-based colleges; and two-year schools.
  • Post-Conference Workshop: Small Teaching for High-Achieving Students (Workshop fee: $150)
    Sunday, Nov. 11 :: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Intensive post-conference seminar for honors faculty with pedagogy expert James Lang, author of the acclaimed book Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Teaching.

Participation Calls for #NCHC18

  • Developing in Honors:
    There are four ways to get involved in DIH at #NCHC18:

    1) Volunteer to serve as a facilitator during one of the Morning Workshops (we will need 80 total facilitators). We will provide you with the discussion guidelines ahead of time and you will be listed on the conference program.

    2) Suggest a topic for the afternoon discussion groups

    3) Nominate yourself to lead a discussion during the Afternoon Discussion Groups. We will ask you to write a short paragraph to give us a sense of your background on the topic.

    4) Attend DIH!

    Please use this survey to let us know how you would like to participate. We need your responses!

DIH Facilitator & Topic Survey
Deadline: April 27, 2018

  • Consultants Center:
    One of the conference's signature features, the Consultants Center will be scheduled at various times on Friday and Saturday of the conference. Our attendees appreciate veteran honors directors, faculty, and advisors who share their expertise with conference attendees. We hope that you will volunteer to serve in the Consultants Center. If you are interested, please complete the form below.

    If you have any questions about serving in the Consultants Center, please feel free to contact me at Thank you for your service to NCHC and your fellow conference attendees!

Consultants Center Signup Form
Deadline: April 20, 2018

See all NCHC18 Participation Opportunities Here!

2018 Faculty Development

Check out these great new offerings from NCHC in 2018, now posted on the NCHC Website!

Partners in the Parks Directors & Faculty Retreat at Highland Cove Lake, NC

Yellowstone Border Towns: Intersections of the Public and Private (deadline: April 25!)

Enrollment Management Institute- Orlando, Florida

Best Practices in Honors Assessment Institute - Lincoln, Nebraska

New Directors Institute - Lincoln, Nebraska

NCHC Scholarships & Awards Now Open!

NCHC has many Scholarship and Conference Award applications now available! Check out the details for the following:

Call for Papers: JNCHC

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: September 1, 2018) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme "Gifted Education and Honors." We invite essays of roughly 1000-2000 words that consider this theme in a practical and/or theoretical context.

This Forum has two lead essays, which are available for download below. The first is by Nicholas Colangelo, Director Emeritus of the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development and Dean Emeritus of the College of Education, University of Iowa. His essay, "Gifted Education to Honors Education: A Curious History, a Vibrant Future," describes the special needs of gifted high school students that are often surprising or invisible to honors professionals, and he calls for more communication between scholars and practitioners in the fields of gifted and honors education in order to serve gifted students more effectively. This communication is just now beginning in shared programs of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). The second essay, "Honors Is a Good Fit for Gifted Students—Or Maybe Not," is by Annmarie Guzy, Associate Professor of English at the University of South Alabama, NCHC Fellow, and author of Honors Composition: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Practices. Guzy contrasts the typical traits of gifted students and high-achievers (honors students), pointing out incompatibilities that often prevent gifted students from joining or being successful in an honors environment. Like Colangelo, she argues that if honors teachers and administrators want to recruit and retain gifted students, they need to understand and implement changes that welcome these students.

Contributions to the Forum may—but need not—respond to the two lead essays.

Questions that Forum contributors might consider include: A focus on one or more contrasting traits of gifted and honors students and how to interpret and accommodate them. Discussion of insights gleaned from past experiences in trying to accommodate gifted students in honors. The assets and liabilities of adjusting the honors culture to make it welcoming to gifted students. A discussion of not just how honors program can help gifted students but of how gifted students can help honors. An argument that maybe gifted students really do not belong in honors. A discussion of why honors educators have remained unconcerned or unaware of issues in gifted education for so long. Concrete suggestions for better adapting honors programs to the needs of gifted students. Suggestion of a road map for ways that NAGC and NCHC can work together in the future.

Forum essays should focus on ideas, concepts, and/or opinions related to "Gifted Education and Honors" and not just on descriptions of practices at individual institutions.

Information about JNCHC, including the editorial policy and submission guidelines, is available here on the NCHC website.

Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

NCHC journals and monographs are included in the following electronic databases: ERIC, EBSCO, Gale Cengage, and UNL Digital Commons. Both journals are listed in Cabell International's Directory of Publishing Opportunities.