News from NCHC | July 2018

In This Issue...

From the President
#NCHC18 Workshops
2018 Story Slam

CAT: Boston Master Class
NSSE Honors Consortium Project
UReCA Editors Bootcamp

Summer Registration Giveaway
NCHC Conference Scholarships
Call for Papers: JNCHC

From the President:

As someone who enjoys just about all things honors, June was especially exciting for me. In addition to greeting Loyola's new honors students at summer orientation, I travelled to the European Honors Conference in Leeuwarden, and then remained in the Netherlands for an additional week, as guest faculty in an honors institute on the Holocaust and Memory, jointly sponsored by Hanze Honours College, in Groningen, and Windesheim Honours College, in Zwolle.

The Dutch model of honors education is always intriguing both because of its emphasis on motivation, curiosity and creativity, and the absence of a focus on prestige. Perhaps because honors is not linked to specific scholarships or test scores, it is not viewed by students (or their parents) as an important line on a resume, nor by administrators as a pathway to higher institutional rankings, but rather as a locus of excellence and community.

I found myself again thinking about this model a few days after I returned home, as we explored questions of diversity and inclusion at the NCHC board meeting. What might a model of inclusive excellence look like for honors admissions? As our parliamentarian George Mariz pointed out, while "a holistic approach is good, ... too often holistic reviews continue to be based on the most common criteria, i.e., GPA, test scores, and recommendations, and juggling those appropriately---my historian colleagues call that method "putting old wine in new bottles."

So, to extend the metaphor, what might a new oenology look like in honors? How might (and do) we identify a more diverse set of strengths, like leadership, motivation, creativity and passion? What might that look like? What might be lost? What will be gained?

Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.
President, NCHC


Registration is Now Open

Click here for NCHC18 conference information!

Go Green and Download the Conference Schedule Draft for free... (mobile app coming soon)

Remember, printed programs are $10 with your registration!

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.

See all NCHC18 Participation Opportunities Here!

2018 Story Slam

Share Your Story at NCHC18!

We know the NCHC community is FILLED with stories, and now it's your turn to take the stage and tell us yours.

On Friday night at NCHC18 in Boston, we'll gather for the first ever NCHC Story Slam and celebrate the great storytellers among us! Inspired by The Moth, this event will bring selected NCHC'ers up on the main stage to compete for a special prize and, more importantly, bragging rights as the first-ever NCHC Slam winner!

The Slam Theme is "Teaching & Learning in Honors"... so tell us all about those classroom disasters, student hijinks, inspirational moments, or heroic achievements!

Start practicing your story now - Submissions will open August 3! Six to eight storytellers will be selected to deliver their 4-5 minute story to the conference audience on Friday night. Slammers will also meet with our emcee, author and storyteller Andre Dubus III, during the NCHC18 Conference for a special practice session to rehearse their story and hone their skills!

See the conference website for full guidelines, details on what makes a great story, example videos, and how to submit this August!

NCHC18 Story Slam Details

"Stories Make the World Go Round
The greatest thing ever in the history of the world and all of human endeavor from time immemorial is stories. Think about it. Where would we be without them? From shamans dancing around a fire to the Bible. From Norse myths to Greek drama, from West African griots to ghost stories, from fairy tales to Star Wars. Stories not only entertain us but tell us who and why we are, and what we believe collectively and individually. ...Children from every culture and era on Earth have listened with rapt attention to stories. All you need is a hero; a beginning, middle, and end; some kind of surprising twist, and you've got a story. You've just read mine. What's yours?"

--Rainn Wilson, The Bassoon King

CAT: Boston Master Class

Uncovering Boston: A City as Text™ Master Class

An opportunity for faculty with prior City as Text™ experience (through a CAT Institute) to engage in an intensive exploration of Boston prior to the 2018 National Conference. Home to some of the oldest public spaces in the country, Boston offers participants the opportunity to explore urban and coastal sites that have been re-purposed for contemporary use. Attendees will engage in site-based experiential learning and take home a deeper understanding of City as Text™ principles, strategies, and writing assignments, as well as developed ideas for course and program applications.

Participants will engage in direct observation, discussions, interviews, writing assignments, and mapping exercises. The Master Class will culminate with an opportunity for participants to design assignments to be used during the City as Text™ session at the National Conference on Thursday, including the chance to facilitate and debrief a group heading to that destination.

Program fee is $550. This fee covers Master Class reading materials, instructional fees, final dinner, and incidental charges. It does not include travel to and from Boston, accommodations, or most meals. The Sheraton in Boston will provide overnight accommodations for Master Class participants as part of the NCHC Conference Hotel room block. The cost is $259 per night for single occupancy. If you wish to share a room with a fellow participant, the facilitators will assist. The room reservation link will be shared directly with program registrants.

Registration & Payment Deadline: September 21, 2018

Download Event Flyer

Register Here

NSSE Honors Consortium Project

Has your institution considered joining NCHC's Honors Consortium Project with NSSE for Spring 2019? The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is one of the most widely used surveys of undergraduate student experience in the United States, asking questions on high impact practices and dozens of other items of interest to honors educators.

This project opens up to participating four-year degree** institutions the possibility of comparing honors to non-honors students on every item in the standard NSSE survey as well as small set of additional questions written by a special working group of the NCHC Research Committee.

While spring 2019 may seem like a long way off right now, registration for NSSE opens this summer and will close in early fall. Honors leaders interested in pursuing this possibility should initiate conversations with campus leadership soon in order to find out whether their institutions will be participating in the Spring 2019 NSSE and whether they meet other eligibility criteria.

Honors program leaders who are interested in this project should work with their campus stakeholders to secure commitments and submit a signed NSSE data sharing agreement by August 21, 2018, in order to be considered for NCHC grant funds to help institutions offset a portion of the consortium fee added to the standard NSSE charges.

For more detail, please read the project overview and complete Call for Participation here!

** For those who are at two-year degree institutions, we are in conversations with the Center for Community College Student Engagement about assembling a similar consortium for a future administration of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). Stay tuned to honors channels for any future developments regarding the potential for such a consortium.

UReCA Editors Gather in Bryce Canyon Utah, June 7-10, 2018

by Russell Helms, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

UReCA editors at work

For a third year, UReCA editors (18) and faculty advisers (3) met in Bryce Canyon, Utah, for a three-day workshop, also referred to as the UReCA Bootcamp. The retreat is a valuable part of the UReCA experience, solidifying the team and setting up the success of the next issue. The team tent-camped, hiked, and spent long hours reviewing and fine tuning UReCA to maintain momentum and improve systems such as soliciting, marketing, Web site design, selection rubrics, and the editorial process.

UReCA is a national undergraduate journal of research and creative activity, sponsored by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). The journal is unique, publishing research as well as creative works, and is 100 percent student-led, from submissions to Web publishing. The editors are selected via a competitive process with representation from all NCHC regions. The journal is physically produced at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Editors attending the Bootcamp included:

Amanda Hawkins of Friends University
Claire Johnson of John Brown University
Tyler Danielson of Oklahoma State University
Jackson Schultz of Ashland University
Maggie Sutton of Ball State University
Madison Werner of Binghamton University
Meghan Sadler of McDaniel College
Victoria Sanseverino of Iona College
Garrett Sager of the University of Alabama at Birmingham
Thyme Hawkins of Loyola University New Orleans
Elizabeth Sheridan of the University of Iowa
Renju Pun of Northwestern College
Kimberly of Wilson College of DuPage
Alexa Paleka of St. Norbert College
Mujtaba Hameed of Wayne State University
Grace McPherson of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Joshua Freeman of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Billy Clouse of Southern Utah University

UReCA advisers attending the Bootcamp included:

Brian White of Graceland University
Johnny Maclean of Southern Utah University
Russell Helms of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Students arrived at the Bootcamp full of questions and on the first day, after getting to know one another, dove right in for their first meeting to discover exactly what UReCA is and to establish a general plan of how to produce the next issue. Students bonded through lively exchanges and excellent camp meals cooked by adviser Johnny Maclean. In addition to camping and brainstorming, students took advantage of beautiful Bruce Canyon, taking a scenic hike on the second day. Each day ended with a group reflection held at the Canyon's edge.

The students will gather again at NCHC's national conference in Boston (November 7–11) to celebrate the new issue of UReCA, which will go live November 1, and to spread the word for submissions and recruitment of next year's group. To view the journal visit Submissions are welcome from all currently enrolled undergraduate students. To submit work to the journal, follow the submissions link on the Web site.

NCHC's Summer Registration Giveaway is Back!

NCHC is Boston Bound this November! We are giving away THREE FREE REGISTRATIONS to #NCHC18, and all you have to do to enter is register! On July 30th, one name will be drawn from all registered attendees to receive a free conference registration. Registrations must be received by 11:59pm CST on July 29th to be eligible to win. All registrations received by NCHC prior to July 30th are included as eligible for the drawing.

Additional winners will be drawn on August 30 and September 24; the earlier you register, the more chances you have to win!

Register Today!

NCHC Scholarships & Awards Now Open!

In addition to the Summer Registration Giveaway, NCHC has several Scholarship and Conference Award applications currently open! Both the Freddye T. Davy and the John J. Hanigan memorial scholarships provide funds toward student conference registration and travel.

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.

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