News from NCHC | May 2021

In This Issue...

2022 Board Nominations


2021 Events & Institutes

PITP: Appalachian Trail Online

Virtual Roundtable: Off-Season

2021 Awards Closing Soon

Dates & Deadlines

JNCHC Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the Nominations Committee

2022 Board Nominations

"The times they are a-changin'..." and higher education is no different. NCHC seeks leaders with vision and a strong work ethic to join the NCHC Board of Directors to meet the challenges of moving the organization to the forefront of national and international discussions.

The NCHC Nominating Committee is seeking self-nominations for the positions of vice-president, secretary, professional at-large members (3 in total), and student at-large members.

Below is the link to information about the qualifications needed to run as well as the board member expectations and nomination requirements.

Board Nominations Packet

How does this work? If you meet the qualifications and the expectations, submit a nomination packet by 1 June 2021. The Nominating Committee examines the completed packets and shapes a slate that fills the organization's myriad needs in terms of diversity in expertise, skills and experiences, personal identities, institutional characteristics, and geographic distribution. We want as representative a group as possible to build a strong board capable of leading the wonderfully diverse organization that is NCHC.

Still have questions? Please contact the Nominating Committee Chair, Elaine Torda, for more information.

We look forward to seeing YOUR nomination packet in June!


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?

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

Watch for details on registration, featured speakers, and scheduled events coming soon to your inbox!

2021 Events and Institutes

Registration is now open for our series of Summer Institutes! Join in these online opportunities to engage and interact with your honors colleagues.

Limited spaces available!

Virtual Summer Institutes

June 8-10 Diversity, 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

City as Text (CAT) has become a standard part of many honors programs, from "campus as text" orientation sessions to full-semester CAT-based courses. Re-Reading Local Spaces reimagines CAT in a flexible, hybrid, and even virtual space. Participants will develop their understanding of CAT strategies - Mapping, Observing, Listening, Reflecting - while they design ways to make CAT work regardless of context or setting. A new emphasis on multimedia platforms will be central to the Institute, providing participants with interdisciplinary experiences they may employ in documenting student learning in a variety of contexts.

July 12-13 New Directors Institute

The NCHC New Directors Institute provides new honors directors and deans with best practices in curricular management and research, based on shared experiences from NCHC colleagues. Participants will take part in virtual nuts-and-bolts sessions, that will:

  • Articulate points of alignment between their own honors program's/college's mission and their broader institutional contexts
  • Identify challenges and develop strategies regarding administrative responsibilities, including budgeting, program management, and student and faculty recruitment
  • Assess their programs'/colleges' existing curricular and co-curricular models, and formulate plans for strengthening their offerings
  • Create an action plan for their continued work

July 14 Admissions & Recruitment Institute

Among the Basic Characteristics of a Fully Developed Honors Program or College is "a clearly articulated set of admission criteria [that] identifies the targeted student population served by the honors program." This Institute will cover topics from developing to assessing/evaluating recruitment and admissions strategies for two-year and four-year honors programs.

Participants will:

  • Develop an honors recruitment and admissions strategy
  • Develop a marketing strategy for recruitment
  • Implement an honors recruitment and admissions strategy
  • Assess and evaluate honors recruitment and admissions strategy

July 28-30 The Future of Honors

Honors has thrived in the social and economic conditions of higher ed since the 1990's, but those conditions are changing. We do not yet know the combined impact that the global pandemic and increased awareness of systemic racism will have on higher education, but added to the already existing trends of ubiquitous digital technology, disinvestment by state legislatures, demographic shifts, and the college debt crisis we can be certain that little will remain unchanged.

Whatever happened, 2020 was a critical year for higher education. Will honors thrive in the new landscape of higher education, or merely survive? What will honors education look like in 10 years? Join us as we discuss future directions in honors education, and how our programs and colleges can prepare for the uncertainty.

Participants will:

  • Become familiar with trend forecasting and scenario envisioning as methodologies
  • Recognize and analyze major trends in honors and higher education
  • Identify and explore innovations in honors education

Partners in the Parks

Calling all student adventurers!

Throughout 2021, 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.

May 20: Appalachian Trail

What began in 1921 as the vision of one man, Benton MacKaye, has become the largest collaborative conservation effort in the nation. Known as the A.T., the Appalachian National Scenic Trail stretches along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains through 14 states, six national parks, eight national forests, two national wildlife refuges, and more than 80 state or municipally owned areas. Its approximately 2,180-mile length makes the A.T. one of the longest units in the National Park System.

The Appalachian Trail is cooperatively managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, several other federal and state agencies, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy—a non-governmental organization with more than 40,000 members.

Join us for an afternoon hearing tails from the trail by former NCHC Partners in the Parks Committee Co-Chair and current NCHC President-Elect, Christina McIntyre.


Professional Development

Does honors ever truly have an 'off' season? We like to think every day is for honors, but the summer seems to fly by each year. Join us for a virtual roundtable discussion on making the most of the space between semesters. This event will be hosted by two members of the NCHC Professional Development Committee, Chair-elect Becky Bott-Knutson and Committee Secretary Scott Brueninger.

The roundtable discussion will focus on strategies for maximizing the summer so that you get the most of yourself, your team, and your program. Our holistic approach to summer planning will get you set for your greatest year in honors!

Key Takeaways:

  • Strategic visioning for a brighter future for honors
  • Engaging stakeholders to build relationships
  • Tinkering and fine tuning your plans for the honors academic calendar


NCHC Awards Closing Soon

NCHC Ron Brandolini Award for Excellence at a Two-Year Institution closes June 15

This award, presented by NCHC and the Valencia College Foundation, recognizes a two-year college honors director or faculty member for their outstanding contributions to the honors community. The selected winner will receive an engraved plaque, along with $500 for the honors program to be used at the discretion of the director. The winner will be announced prior to NCHC's Annual Conference and awarded at the event.

NCHC Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution closes June 15

NCHC is pleased to present the Sam Schuman Award for Excellence at a Four-Year Institution. Presented to an honors program director or faculty member at the NCHC Annual Conference, this award serves to recognize those who are making outstanding contributions to the honors community at four-year institutions. Schuman Award winners will receive an engraved plaque along with $500 for the honors program to be used at the discretion of the director. The winner will be announced prior to NCHC's Annual Conference and awarded at the event.

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

May 17 NCHC21 Facilitator Deadline for DIH / SIH / BHAP
May 20 PITP: Third Thursday @ 3 - Appalachian Trail
May 21 Virtual Roundtable: Honors in the Off-Season
June 1 NCHC21 Registration Opens
June 8 Portz Scholars Applications Close
June 8-10 Summer Institute: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Honors (SOLD OUT)
June 15 Brandolini and Schuman Award Nominations Close
June 17-18 NCHC Summer Board Meeting

* * * * *

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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