News from NCHC | January 2021

In This Issue...

From the ED

Member Resources for 2021

NCHC21 Annual Conference

2021 Events & Institutes

Dates & Deadlines

NCHC Governance Updates

Call for Monograph Submissions

JNCHC Call for Papers

Call for Honors Syllabi Submissions

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED

Getting up to speed after any major change always feels overwhelming. Maybe it's the conversations happening as we prepare for a transition in leadership, the return after a few days away for rest and relaxation, or even just those time-intensive days when it's hard to manage all the details.

This newsletter contains all those back-to-campus kinds of things that NCHC members need for planning both a successful semester of activities and events, as well as new resources under consideration for the new year. As you catch up with the work of your organization, just know that with your help as the volunteer base, we're working to provide you with opportunities to connect with your colleagues and provide you with the honors research and information-base that you rely on for your local advocacy and classrooms.

Be sure to whitelist the NCHC email address so you get the most up-to-date information from us. The work to continue to adjust processes and traditions to new platforms continues in 2021!

Be safe & be well,

Mary Beth

Member Resources

9 Ways to Connect with Your Honors Community

If your new semester is just beginning, welcome back! Consider using some of the resources below to get 2021 off to a great start!

Stay Connected

1. Share on the SocialLink newsfeed
The SocialLink feed in your member profile is a great place to connect and share news about your program and your students!

2. Ask/answer questions on the NCHC Discussion Forum
The NCHC Discussion Board is a great place to pose questions and gather feedback - and also to contribute your expertise for others that are looking for answers! Find a thread or start your own, and enjoy watching the resources build.

3. Join NCHC Social Media
Connect your program to NCHC's social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and personally on LinkedIn, to share news and achievements! You can also share NCHC posts to get the word out to your faculty and students about projects and resources they might be interested in.

4. Check your Mailing Preferences
NCHC shares the most current content directly to your inbox, so be sure to add to your safe address list. University email filters are notorious for blocking messages, and you might be missing important info! If you aren't receiving messages from but would like to, please reach out and we'll be sure you're opted-in!

5. Set Up an Information Flow
Forward on information from NCHC to your staff and students, or encourage them to sign up for a Contact account under your institutional membership. Emails will still go to you as the director, but they will have full access to SocialLink, forums, and resources!

NCHC Resources

6. Career Center
Use the NCHC Career Center to search or list honors job openings nationwide. It's a great way to post open positions and recruit experienced honors faculty and staff!

7. Brush Up on NCHC Publications
As a member, you have access to the full library of NCHC Publications online! Watch your inbox for publication calls if you are interested in publishing your honors research – and your students can publish with UReCA as well!

8. Browse the NCHC Online Resource Center
NCHC is building a library of online resources and toolkits, both developed by NCHC committees and submitted by members as examples and templates. Browse or submit your own materials!

9. Watch for Faculty Awards & Grants in January
Several faculty recognition awards and grants open up at the end of January 2021; browse through the options and consider submitting an outstanding colleague or excellent project for recognition in 2021!

Don't forget that the grace period for 2020 Memberships expires January 31 for any unrenewed members! Invoices are available in your member profile for payment online or by check. Please contact the NCHC Office at if you have any questions about your 2021 membership. We can't wait to share what's in store for you in the upcoming year!

#NCHC21 Annual Conference

While many of our NCHC members are used to seeing conference proposals open in late January, there is an ongoing discussion regarding the status of the conference location in October 2021. It is our hope that we will have more specific details before the end of January or the first part of February.

NCHC wants to be as accommodating as possible in providing members both with a safe location to network, as well as allowing for an opportunity to present research and best practices in honors. With the ongoing concerns regarding travel, vaccinations, and next year's collegiate budgets, we are striving to make the best decision possible for all of our members.

"Reimagining Honors" is the theme set by conference chair Christina McIntyre, Virginia Tech. A committee is reviewing both the hotel contract and virtual options.

2021 Events and Institutes

As the pandemic extends its impact into this calendar year, NCHC is working with several key committees to provide all members with opportunities to experience additional professional development webinars throughout the year. Topics include mental health, diversity and inclusion, honors and technology, honors advising, Partners in the Parks, and more!

We know you're anxious to get these events on your calendar - and we're anxious to tell you more! While the facilitators and committees finalize details on upcoming events, we encourage you to review the recorded and on-demand material from NCHC20, the Digital Honors toolkit, or the Diversity & Inclusion toolkit.

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

January 25NCHC Grants & Recognition Awards Open:
Founders Award, Fellows Award, Brandolini & Schuman Awards for Excellence, Portz Fellowship Awards, Spring Portz Grants, Consultant Grants

January 312020 Membership Benefits expire for nonrenewed members
February 15Deadline for Honors Syllabi Submissions

NCHC Governance

Constitution & Bylaws Review:

Under the leadership of George Mariz, the chairperson of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, an ad hoc committee has been reviewing and proposing revisions of the governance documents of NCHC. This task force has been in meetings since June 2020, and has been ensuring that the documents accurately reflect the work of the organization, and provide guidance for the membership, the board, and the NCHC staff.

Look for more specific details this spring. There will be opportunities for member feedback and discussion prior to any proposal for membership voting.

This work has been led by Eddie Weller and Andrew Cognard-Black.

Ad Hoc Committees Formed:

Two additional ad hoc committees were formed late in 2020, established to further study two existing honors documents/practices.

  • An ad hoc to study the work of transfer agreements has met several times, branching from some earlier work on articulation agreements and transfer pathways. This group is led by Phil Frana and Alannah Rosenberg.
  • An ad hoc to review and propose updates to the Basic Characteristics of an Honors College or Honors Program was convened. This group is co-chaired by Richard Badenhausen, James Buss and Carrie Pritchett.

Call for Submission: Honors College Monograph

Abstract Proposals Due: April 15, 2021 (400-600 words)

Essays of Accepted Abstracts Due: Nov. 15, 2021 (4,000-7,000 words)

Editor: Richard Badenhausen (Dean of the Honors College at Westminster College; Past President of NCHC)

Contact: / 801.832.2460

A dozen years have passed since the publication of Peter Sederberg's Honors College Phenomenon (NCHC, 2008), a volume that investigated the operations of 35 NCHC member institutions surveyed on their respective honors colleges. That text helped flesh out the "Basic Characteristics of a Fully Developed Honors College" (approved by the NCHC Board of Directors in 2005) and offered insight into the burgeoning honors college movement.

Today there are more than 250 honors colleges in the United States alone with more coming online each semester. No longer a mere "phenomenon," honors college are an entrenched part of the higher education landscape, often playing a key role in a university's enrollment management tactics, strategic positioning plans, and fundraising efforts. At a time when many sectors in higher education are contracting, honors colleges represent a growth industry, often one of the first features a new university president will look towards to engage donors, innovate in curriculum, and grow enrollment. In light of that context and the massive changes to higher education over the past decade, the time is ripe for a new volume exploring the role honors colleges play on campuses across the country (and abroad, if applicable).

This volume will be of use to those hoping to start or transition to an honors college and those looking to enhance an existing honors college. It will help university personnel who are not part of the honors community better understand the key role played by honors colleges and it will provide benchmark data on honors colleges to help programs budget, plan, and innovate.

The volume will be anchored by an essay written by Trisha Smith and Andrew Cognard-Black on the characteristics of the 21st-century honors college, based on national survey data. While all topics will be considered, the subjects mentioned in the chapter outline at the end of this document are of particular interest.

With the exception of the case studies, authors are encouraged to move beyond the "here's what we do at our place" orientation and instead provide well-researched essays that explore honors more broadly and acknowledge the literature on honors education, honors colleges, and higher ed. A range of perspectives are welcome, including those from faculty, staff, and administrators.

Email proposals of 400-600 words to Richard Badenhausen at before April 15, 2021 and include a current vita or resume.

Draft Outline

Part One: Context

  1. History of Honors Colleges
  2. Characteristics of the 21st Century Honors College (Smith & Cognard-Black)
  3. Why start an honors college?
  4. Transitioning from honors program to honors college: moving beyond changing the sign on the door
  5. Other?

Part Two: Honors College Case Studies

  1. Large R1
  2. Regional University
  3. Private 4-year
  4. Two-year college
  5. Honors College LLC
  6. Honors Colleges at HBCU
  7. Other?

Part Three: Targeted Issues

  1. Enrollment management strategies within an honors college
  2. Honors college curricular models
  3. Honors college budgeting strategies
  4. Fundraising strategies in honors colleges
  5. Honors college advisory boards (or, more broadly, the role of alums in honors colleges)
  6. Marketing and communication (internal and external) strategies for honors colleges
  7. The role of the honors college dean
  8. Honors colleges and campus politics
  9. Fellowship advising and the honors college
  10. Honors colleges as leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  11. Other?

* * * * *

Call for JNCHC Submissions

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: March 1, 2021) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

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

In his lead essay for the Forum, Christopher Keller of East Tennessee State University considers whether the boundaries of honors are or should be permeable. While the outside world impinges on honors in obvious ways that include institutional, state, and federal mandates, he questions whether honors can or should break through its traditional boundaries in order to admit and impinge on the world outside of it. In his essay, titled "‛Mad and Educated, Primitive and Loyal'": Comments on the Occupations of Honors," he notes that outside forces like "economic injustice, systemic racism, and anti-democratic movements" inevitably break through boundaries to occupy a space within honors curricula and scholarship. A more compelling question is whether honors should break out of its boundaries in order to become an active participant and interlocutor in these same forces. In an essay that primarily raises questions, Keller asks us to consider whether honors has any power outside itself, whether it has a voice or an audience to hear it, whether it has any business impinging on social movements and issues outside its domain, and whether it brings help or harm outside its own sphere of influence.

Contributors to the Forum on "The Boundaries of Honors" may, but are not obliged to, respond directly to Keller's essay. He has, however, asked a broad range of questions that should suggest approaches to the general topic. Distilled and added questions might include the following:

  • If honors has identifiable boundaries, what are they?
  • If honors does not have identifiable boundaries, is that a benefit or a deficit?
  • Is promoting direct involvement of honors students in activist movements appropriate, effective, moral, wise?
  • What does honors have to offer to movements like Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street?
  • Given a widespread and powerful contingent of American society that denounces academic outreach into social issues or activism, is moving beyond a purely academic boundary dangerous to the future of honors education?
Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—is available on the NCHC website.

Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

* * * * *

Call for Honors Syllabi Submissions

Did you know that NCHC publishes sample honors syllabi on our website? NCHC members are invited to submit syllabi from successful courses for possible inclusion on the website. Submissions are carefully screened according to the criteria outlined below. A description of the required format and a sample syllabus are also provided.

The deadline for submission is February 15, 2021.

Guidelines for Online Publication of Syllabi

Syllabus submissions are carefully reviewed before selection for publication on the website, and they must follow a standard format. The general criteria for inclusion are:

  • originality and interest of topic;
  • clarity of presentation;
  • adherence to required format; and
  • usefulness to a significant portion of HIP readers.

We assume that any course for which a syllabus has been submitted was exceptionally successful.

The general categories for which we invite submissions at the freshman, sophomore, and junior/senior levels are:

  • interdisciplinary, team-taught courses;
  • rhetoric and composition courses;
  • courses in the arts and humanities;
  • courses in the social and behavioral sciences;
  • courses in science and/or mathematics; and
  • courses in professional fields (engineering, business, education, nursing, etc.).

The absolute maximum length of any syllabus accepted for publication is 4 pages, with margins (left, right, top, and bottom) of no less than once inch and with Times New Roman font size 12.

All submissions and inquiries should be directed to Ada Long at

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