News from NCHC | January 2020

In This Issue...

From the ED

NCHC20 Proposals

2020 Upcoming Events

EHC Conference Update

NCHC Affiliated Events

Dates & Deadlines

UReCA Call for Editors

JNCHC Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED

Putting Vision to Work

The national office of the NCHC opened its doors in 2005. Fifteen years later and a new decade stretches in front of the staff and membership.

I've just returned from three days of intensive conversations with our Board President, Elaine Torda, Honors Program Coordinator at Orange County Community College. Our time together was spent reviewing the work of last year's board, the challenges facing honors in higher education, and the successes of the organization due to the determination and relentless work of the members and leadership.

Our conversation covered the gamut: technology, culture, donations, templates, programming, annual reports, succession plans, partnerships, volunteers, data, and committees.

And assumptions. And expectations.

"An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage." - Jack Welch

The staff had already had several meetings to define our goals for 2020.

We started with selecting a word for 2020: VALUE.

And from that staff laid out a number of internal plans to build processes that will hopefully make our office staff more efficient, and provide more accountability for the work of the organization. As a staff we set out our goals as:

  • Increased membership value, measured through development of online content
  • Increased attention to methodical membership data, through data-driven decisions and transparent communication
  • Broader recognition of NCHC among members and sister academic associations, utilizing comprehensive honors information

The NCHC board will meet in February to do similar work in setting goals and priorities. We'll review the benchmarks of the existing strategic plan. We'll look at current events and discussions held in other organizations. We'll compare budget requests to activities.

We'll set goals.

"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work." - Peter Drucker

Let the work begin for this year, with a vision for the honors students who will enter each of your program and college doors in the upcoming decade!

Mary Beth Rathe
NCHC Executive Director

NCHC20 Proposals

Proposals for the the 55th Annual NCHC Conference will be accepted February 3 - 27, 2020. Proposal guideline changes and instructions will be posted soon, and a Call for Proposals will be emailed to all members. For information on the 2020 Conference Theme and preliminary conference details, visit the NCHC20 Conference Page here.

As a reminder, proposals will only be accepted from members with current 2020 memberships. If you still need to renew for 2020, log in to your NCHC profile page to view your invoice.

2020 Upcoming Events

The year ahead is full of training opportunities and professional events for NCHC members!

Professional Development

  • Keep your eyes open for details coming soon about several exciting Summer Institute trainings, led by honors experts across the nation.

Experiential Learning

Affiliated Events


Proposal submission deadline extended for European Honors Council Conference

There's still time to submit a proposal to the International Conference on Talent Development and Honors Education 2020: the deadline for proposals has been extended to January 20, 2020. The committee welcomes both research and practice perspectives in four main tracks.

The European Honors Council and the Academic Committee of the conference invite all NCHC professionals to consider a submission for consideration.

Held at Zernike Campus, Groningen, the conference is hosted by Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

For more information on the conference, proposal tracks, and practical information, visit the website at

NCHC Affiliated Events

See the calendar below for events hosted by NCHC member institutions that may be of interest to the honors community.

June 15-17, 2020 5th Honors International Faculty Institute
August 20 -December 7, 2020 Grand Canyon Semester @ Northern Arizona University

NCHC members are invited to submit their faculty and student honors events for inclusion in the Affiliated Events calendar. Submitted events will be reviewed monthly.

Submit Your Event

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

January 24 NCHC Grants & Recognition Awards Open:
Founders Award, Fellows Award, Brandolini & Schuman Awards for Excellence,
Portz Fellowship Awards, Spring Portz Grants, Consultant Grants
January 31 Place as Text: Charleston Registration Closes
January 31 2019 Membership Benefits expire for nonrenewed members
February 3-27 Proposals Accepted for NCHC20

UReCA Call for Editors

The NCHC Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (UReCA) is actively seeking submissions from students at NCHC institutions to join the team as Associate Editors. Students of all academic backgrounds are needed, including an individual with particular experience in design and website development to fill a role as Brand Manager. Applications will be accepted until February 1, 2020. Click here to access the application portal:

JNCHC Call for Papers

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: March 1, 2020) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

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

The lead essay for the Forum is by Patricia J. Smith. In her essay, "The Professionalization of Honors Education," she cites the theory of how an occupation becomes a profession advanced by sociologist Theodore Caplow in 1954: "Caplow identifies four stages whereby a developing profession transitions to a professional association: organizing membership, changing the name of occupation from its previous status, developing a code of ethics, and after a period of political agitation, beginning a process by which to enforce occupational barriers." Synchronizing the evolution of the NCHC with the Caplow's stages of professionalization, Smith argues that the issue of certification, which has been controversial and disruptive in NCHC's past, is likely to arise again as a matter for serious attention.

Questions for Forum contributors to consider might include the following:

  • Is certification—the establishment and enforcement of "occupational barriers" (Caplow) or the use of "a nationally accepted instrument to be used in a process of certifying honors colleges" (Smith)—a necessary next step in the professionalization of honors?
  • Is the professionalization of honors inevitable? Is it necessary? Is it desirable?
  • Is standardization a necessary consequence of professionalization?
  • What values does certification add to or subtract from honors education?
  • If the NCHC were to "establish and sustain its jurisdictional authority" over honors education, what might be the responses of various interest groups such as two-year colleges and research universities? Would they accept this authority or withdraw from it? What would be the effect on the internationalization of honors, given the different structures and values of honors education in other countries?
  • What characteristics of honors education might (or might not) distinguish the NCHC from the kind of professional organizations that Caplow describes?
  • If honors develops as a discipline rather than a profession, is Caplow's argument for the inevitability of "occupational barriers" or certification irrelevant to honors?

Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—are attached and are also available on the NCHC website.

Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

NCHC journals (JNCHC and HIP) 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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