News from NCHC | March 2021

In This Issue...

From the ED

From the Conference Chair

NCHC Publications Survey

2021 Events & Institutes

PITP: Crater Lake Online

2022 Board Nominations

2021 Awards Closing Soon

Dates & Deadlines

Call for Monograph Submissions

JNCHC Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED

Just Talk

Of all the subscription emails and blogs in the world, which ones do you consider the most positive? Which ones might fuel a tendency to be...well...less positive?

As this generation of the human race continues to seek a peaceful conclusion to the pandemic, I was struck by the number of people I'd hidden or unfollowed on social media, the number of inspirational influencers I'd followed hoping to change my world, the number of bookmarked web pages I hoped would give me guidance through some pretty sticky situations –especially when I felt too tired to make even just one more decision.

And then I realized I'd bookmarked so many websites that there was absolutely no way to manage all that advice. The bloggers, influencers, writers, and counselors were giving me anxiety about my work-life balance, my leadership skills, my upbringing, my words, my decisions, my health, my discretionary spending.

Anyone else?

I made a conscious decision to avoid reading blogs for a week. I also decided to just call people in my network to ask them specifically about things in my head. Speaking concerns out loud to a mentor or friend was different than reading the comment sections of the internet world. Talking to a person was different than hitting send on an email that either took too little or too long to write because I was either too emotional or too analytical for accuracy.

Talking. Putting words into space, and sharing the ability to answer difficult questions without waiting for an email response felt awkward. But eventually, eliminating so many of the comparative angles of the experts and just sharing the conversations felt more human.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that these reflections are happening now that it's Women's History Month, in the year of essential workers, and our world has never been so hypersensitive to communication purpose and platforms. [Insert a smile emoji here.]

NCHC is continuing in the time-honored tradition of providing places for honors professionals to speak and be heard. Recently, the Diversity & Inclusion committee hosted a virutal roundtable discussion. We've made the decision to return to an in-person conference event in October. The #WomenInHonors campaign provides some thought-provoking conversation starters. And at all times, we encourage engagement with colleagues on the forum, where people are discussing, among other things:

  • Incorporating music into the honors curriculum
  • Common reads for honors classrooms
  • Honors publications
  • Need-based honors scholarships
  • Transfer agreements
  • Mental health needs among honors students
  • Melding honors programming into partnership programs

The honors network is a strong place –there's so much to hear, and so many individuals ready to talk! I encourage you to reach out and ask the questions.

The conversations will be stronger - and more positive - because you've made the connection.

Be well,


From the Conference Chair

Dear NCHC members,

The NCHC Board of Directors and Conference Planning committee are pleased to announce that 2021's conference will be held face-to-face at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, over our contracted dates of October 27-31, 2021!

Much conversation and many meetings were held to examine the outcomes of virtual and in-person event components, and our contractual commitments. On Friday, March 12, a special board meeting was called to make a final vote, with a unanimous decision to fulfill our contract with the Orlando property and open proposals for an in-person event this fall.

Encouraging member feedback about your willingness and ability to meet in person played a large part in the planning conversations; thank you again for voicing your thoughts and scenarios with us! The NCHC is commited to creating a safe environment this October for all who can attend, and we are so looking forward to the conversations and interactions we've all been craving since NCHC19 in New Orleans.

Because our timeline has shifted from a typical conference schedule, you can find a rough outline of important dates below. Rest assured that NCHC will keep you in the know as plans progress!

Conference Timeline
(subject to change)

  • March 17: Proposals Open
  • April 16: Proposals Close
  • Mid-April - Mid-May: Proposals are Reviewed/Selected
  • Late May: Proposal Notifications Sent to Presenters
  • June 1: Conference Registration Opens
  • July 1: Conference Hotel Block Opens
  • August 31: Early Bird & Presenter Registration Deadline
  • October 27-31: Conference Dates

Proposal Submissions & Theme

Reimagining Honors: Past – Present – Future

The global pandemic has caused us to reimagine our daily lives. In the process, we have been forced to reimagine how we do teaching, learning and community building within education, higher education, and honors education. There is no going back and while some adaptations have actually enriched honors experiences, the lack of personal connections and organic intellectual conversations has hampered the impact of honors engagement on our students' lives.

How do we take the lessons learned from this time, personally, professionally and for our honors programs and colleges, to imagine a future we could not have envisioned just a few years ago?

The Call for Proposals for NCHC21 will be launched on March 17 and will remain open until April 16.

Watch your inboxes this week for a complete Call for Proposals, with additional information to come as conference components come to life. Consider reaching out to colleagues from other member institutions to submit a proposal for a collaborative session. NCHC events rely on our members for the outstanding honors content you submit, and we cannot wait to see your imaginations at work!


Christina McIntyre
NCHC21 Conference Chair
NCHC President-Elect

NCHC Publications Survey

Dear Colleagues,

Please give us your opinion on the Monograph Series. This brief survey can be completed in under 5 minutes. We appreciate your consideration.

Take the Survey

NCHC Publications Board

2021 Events and Institutes

Our facilitators and committees are finalizing details on upcoming events, but you can save the dates for these virtual institutes! More online roundtables and faculty chats will be forthcoming, so watch your inbox for more opportunities to engage and interact with your honors colleagues!

Virtual Summer Institutes

June 8-10Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Honors Programs and Colleges: Approaches to Anti-Racism in Honors

June 23-25 Gateway City as Text Institute: Reading the Local in the New Now

July 12-13New Directors Institute

July 14Admissions & Recruitment Institute

July 28-30The Future of Honors

Partners in the Parks

Calling all student adventurers!

Starting in March, Partners in the Parks is bringing you an all new online opportunity, FREE for NCHC members! Every Third Thursday at 3, you can join in the conversation to learn more about our national parks and interact with trip leaders and National Park Service personnel.

March 18: Crater Lake National Park

Join us on Thursday, March 18 for a free Virtual Adventure with Partners in the Parks! We'll be exploring Crater Lake National Park, and speaking with a National Park Service representative about this beautiful location: the deepest lake in the United States.


2022 Board Nominations

The NCHC Nominating Committee invites you to consider nominating a colleague or student to run for our Board of Directors. All you need to know about running for the Board is contained at this link, which includes the online board nomination form. You may nominate others or self-nominate for the positions of vice-president, secretary, professional at-large member, or student at-large member. Please read the qualifications for running, as well as the board member expectations document, both of which appear on the website.

Deadlines for self-nomination are June 1, 2021; if you plan to nominate a colleague, you only have until May 1, 2021. The Nominating Committee will consider those whose names have been put forward and then shape a slate that fills the current needs of the board in terms of expertise, personal identities and experiences, institutional characteristics, and geographic distribution.

The strongest boards are the most diverse boards because that diversity of perspectives represented around the table helps the board make better decisions. As a result, we are committed to ensuring our board reflects the wonderful diversity of our organization. We hope you will consider serving NCHC in these very exciting times!

For questions about board service, please contact the Nominating Committee Chair, Elaine Torda.

NCHC Awards Closing Soon

NCHC Award for Administrative Excellence closes March 31:
NCHC wants to celebrate the outstanding professionals that keep your honors program or college running like clockwork, with a special award in their honor. The Award for Administrative Excellence recipient will receive an award at the NCHC Annual Conference this October, and recognition in the conference program to thank them for their service and commitment to honors education.

NCHC Consultant Grants close March 31:
NCHC is pleased to provide grants which support program review and campus consultation visits by NCHC-recommended program reviewers. These grants will help fund the costs for those NCHC member honors programs and colleges that would like to bring seasoned NCHC professionals to their campus to assist with honors program review or honors educational development. New honors programs or colleges, or those programs or colleges that have undergone recent leadership changes, are especially encouraged to apply. Grant recipients submit a brief report to the Assessment & Evaluation Committee following the program review.

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

March 17NCHC21 Proposals Open
March 18PITP: Third Thursday @ 3 - Crater Lake Adventure
March 31NCHC Award for Administrative Excellence Closes
Consultant Grants Close
April 1Student Awards Open:
Newsletter Competition
NCHC Portz Scholars Awards
Freddye T. Davy Scholarship
John J. Hanigan Scholarship
NCHC Student of the Year Awards
Community Engagement Award
April 16NCHC21 Proposals Close
April 21NCHC Award for Administrative Excellence Announced

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: September 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 "Honors after COVID," in which we invite honors educators to look beyond the urgencies of the moment and imagine the pandemic's impact on the future of honors in higher education. 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 François G. Amar of the University of Maine. In his essay, "Honors in the Post-Pandemic World: Situation Perilous," Amar provides a wide-ranging yet succinct description of the changes wrought by COVID and speculation about how these changes, though perilous, can lead to significant future benefits. He stresses the moral and educational imperative of making our way through the current crisis by adhering to "the core values of honors, such as diversity, community, student agency, and inclusive excellence," which will help honors weather the coming financial contractions. At the same time, the pandemic has taught us lessons and offered future pathways that can advance the value of honors through benefits, like interinstitutional collaboration, that have become a necessity during the crisis. The synchronicity between the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement has also highlighted inequities that require renewed attention and new action that can transform honors, infusing it with deeper introspection of past and current inadequacies in addressing issues of racial and social justice.

Contributors to the Forum on "Honors after COVID" may, but are not obliged to, respond directly to Amar's essay. Questions that Forum contributors might consider include:

  • Will the technologies that have been thrust upon all educators and students be a threat to future learning or a doorway into enriched educational options?
  • Will the "core values of honors, such as diversity, community, student agency, and inclusive excellence" gain strength from the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement?
  • Will these "core values" elicit skepticism among those who see honors as elitist?
  • Will the access made possible through Zoom and other internet connections make honors more feasible and attractive to previously skeptical or excluded students?
  • Will the financial gains of relying increasingly on distance learning disrupt the sense of community that honors fosters?
  • Will privileges for honors students—such as small class sizes, close relationships to instructors, and opportunities for research, study abroad, and service leaning—come under fire as unaffordable luxuries?
  • What specific forms of intra- and inter-institutional cooperation might benefit honors both nationally and in individual programs and colleges?
  • Are national test scores likely now to become less influential in admissions to institutions and to honors, and to what effect?

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

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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