News from NCHC | October 2017

In This Issue...


From the President
2018 Membership Renewal
Calls for Publication


2017 Conference News
Call for Student Poster Judges
Sponsor: DC Internships
NCHC Committees

President's Post

Dear NCHC Friends and Colleagues:

Greetings! I hope your semester is going well.


This will be my last post as NCHC president, and I'd like to spend a good part of it on the topic of advocacy, one of NCHC's three current strategic priorities.

The Board of Directors instituted advocacy as a strategic priority in the summer of 2015. While the other two strategic priorities were clear enough – research and professional development – advocacy will require time and effort to define and actualize. One step we took soon after 2015 was to hire a consultant in Washington D.C, Mr. John Chwat, President of the Chwat Group to represent us at the national level. Although Mr. Chwat is experienced and well-respected for what he does, our challenge has been to make the best use of his talents.

We also last year (2016) created a standing committee for advocacy. Its charge is:

1) Advocacy to the broader community, including government and legislative bodies, regarding what honors is (and what it is not), the varieties of honors education, what role honors programs and colleges play in the higher education landscape, etc.;

2) Advocacy to the broader community, and particularly government and legislative bodies, regarding issues in higher education that have an impact on honors students;

3) Advocacy regarding the organization to individuals, foundations and other funding entities.

What exactly does it mean to advocate for the NCHC to other people and entities? First, it means that we realize and own the role NCHC plays for honors education. This can be somewhat difficult if you don't have a national, and now an international, perspective on honors education. Fact is, the NCHC is the oldest and largest organization for honors education: we represent over 800 institutions and over 300,000 honors students, and we as an organization have the role and responsibility of speaking for honors education. When European honors educators were forming their own honors programs and honors organization (European Honors Council), they came to us; same thing now for the Chinese honors educators.

I believe the NCHC is now ready and able to advocate more strongly for honors education and honors students. Through what is a unique situation at the University of Iowa, I've come to see just what the NCHC might accomplish through advocacy. My own honors program shares a building with the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development. It's one of the few if not the only center for gifted education that's on a college campus. Through my interaction with the founder and long-time director of the Belin-Blank Center, Dr. Nick Colangelo, and then in the last several years his successor, Dr. Susan Assouline, I've come to see close parallels between gifted education and honors education in their development. For example, gifted education was one result of the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik in the late 1950's. Specifically, in order to make America more competitive in the Space Race, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) in 1958, which gave one billion dollars to the fields of science, math, and technology in public education. The NDEA had an impact on education for gifted students. It also led to the formation of many honors programs in the late 1950's and the following decade at public universities, including my own program at Iowa. Also, those in gifted education created their national organization, the National Association for Gifted Children in 1953. The NCHC came into existence in 1965.

Gifted education has faced some of the same challenges we face in honors education: the charge of elitism; the belief that high ability students didn't need additional resources because they'll do perfectly fine without them; and defining what comprises giftedness. Yet, over the decades since the passing of the NDEA those in gifted education have advocated strongly for gifted students (click here for a brief history of gifted and talented education, from which I've drawn for this post). Specifically, there have been more than a few federally generated or funded reports that have further incentivized gifted education. For example, in 1988 the Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act was passed as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). It funded such entities as the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented and currently provides millions in grant monies for gifted education research. That happened because those in gifted education advocated for gifted students.

A report issued by the federal government, National Excellence: A Case For Developing America's Talent (1993), highlighted the missed opportunities to identify and serve gifted students nationally. The issuance of national standards by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) – something akin to the NCHC's Basic Characteristics – also helped solidify the field's intent and provide school districts across the country with a set of programming criteria. Then, in 2004 the John Templeton Foundation sponsored a report titled A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students (co-edited by Colangelo, Assouline, and Gross) which highlights the disparity between the research on acceleration (which generally supports it), and the educational practices in the US that are often contrary to the conclusions of that research. As a result of that report, the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA) was established in 2006 at The Belin-Blank Center (with which I share a building here at Iowa).

Federally sponsored reports; foundations that provide grant monies; organizations and centers that set standards and provide resources: those are examples of what advocacy can bring the NCHC. At the end of my term as NCHC president in November, I'll request to become a member of the Advocacy Committee so that I can hopefully be part of making honors education better known, supported, and resourced at the national level.

All for this month and my term as president, as I'll not have a post in November because of conference. I expect my successor, Naomi Yavneh, will continue with a presidential post either in December or January.

These posts are intended to keep you informed on selected issues and decisions that your leadership is facing and making. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at I'm happy to get your feedback and respond to questions.

All best for the semester,

Art L. Spisak
President, National Collegiate Honors Council
Director, University of Iowa Honors Program

2018 Membership Renewal

Don't miss a thing in 2018 - It's time to renew your NCHC membership!

NCHC is your source for information on all things honors. As you finish your 2017 membership year strong with annual conference, voting in the 2018 elections, and perhaps considering a year-end donation to support NCHC and its mission, don't forget to set up your 2018 membership renewal! Memberships expire December 31, 2017 - so don't lose access to your NCHC benefits! Renew today to avoid any lapse in your membership.

Generating your renewal notice is easy - just click here to access your NCHC member profile (Your username is your e-mail address, unless you have edited your account.)

After you log in to your member profile, you'll see a banner at the top of the page reading

Call for Submissions

Honors in Practice is accepting submissions for Volume 14 (2018). The deadline is January 1, 2018. Submissions and inquiries should be directed to Ada Long at

Below you will find the editorial policy and submissions guidelines. The list of Editorial Board members and a style sheet for NCHC journals are listed on the Publications page of the NCHC website.

Editorial Policy for Honors in Practice

Honors in Practice (HIP) publishes articles about innovative practices in individual honors programs and nuts-and-bolts issues of concern to the members of the National Collegiate Honors Council. HIP employs a double-blind peer review system. Essays should present ideas and/or practices that will be useful to other honors administrators and faculty, not just descriptions of "what we do at our institution." Essays should advance a thesis located within a larger context such as theoretical perspectives, trends in higher education, or historical background. Essays should also demonstrate an awareness of previous honors discussions of the topic.

The complete bibliography of NCHC publications— —will be helpful in guiding you toward previous work on your topic.

Submission Guidelines

We accept material by e-mail attachment in Word (not pdf). We do not accept material by fax or hard copy.

If documentation is used, the documentation style can be whatever is appropriate to the author's primary discipline or approach (MLA, APA, etc.), but please avoid footnotes. Internal citation to a list of references (bibliography) is strongly preferred, and the editor will revise all internal citations in accordance with MLA guidelines.

There are no minimum or maximum length requirements; the length should be dictated by the topic and its most effective presentation.

Accepted essays are edited for grammatical and typographical errors and for infelicities of style or presentation. Authors have ample opportunity to review and approve edited manuscripts before publication.

All submissions and inquiries should be directed to Ada Long at or, if necessary, 850.927.3776.

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Call for Proposals: Internationalizing Honors

Purpose: Since the publication of our first honors international education monograph, Preparing Tomorrow's Global Leaders: Honors International Education, in 2013, interest in internationalizing honors programs and colleges has continued to expand. This expansion is evident in the increasing number of presentations on international topics at NCHC conferences during the past five years. Honors administrators and faculty recognize that global competency is a vital component of preparing our students to compete and lead in our increasingly complex and interdependent world. Internationalization of honors programs and colleges enriches students' undergraduate education and expands their post-graduate options, opening doors to a new world of experiences and opportunities.

Honors internationalization efforts have traditionally focused on creating and promoting short-term and semester-long study abroad experiences, and honors administrators and faculty have developed an impressive array of highly innovative and enticing international study options for their students. Yet deterred by financial, academic, and personal issues, only 10% of all U.S. undergraduates study abroad (Open Doors 2016 Executive Summary, Institute of International Education). Given this shortfall, many honors programs and colleges have recognized that they must broaden the scope of their internationalization efforts if they are to help all of their students achieve the intercultural competencies that are critical to their future success.

Therefore, while Preparing Tomorrow's Global Leaders focused on the design and implementation of short-term study abroad programs for honors students, the proposed second monograph, Internationalizing Honors, will take a more holistic approach. The monograph will highlight how honors programs and colleges have gone beyond providing often one-time, short-term international experiences for their students and made global issues and experiences central features of their Honors curricular and co-curricular programming. It will present case studies that can serve as models for honors programs and colleges seeking to initiate and further their internationalization efforts and will highlight the latest research on the impact of internationalization on our students, campuses, and communities.

Overall Design: The monograph will be an edited collection of essays focused around three important themes:

1. Internationalizing Honors at Home: This section will include chapters on internationalizing our campus communities, including the honors student body, faculty, curriculum, and co-curricular programming.

2. Internationalizing Honors through International Partnerships: The chapters in this section will focus on successful sustained collaborations between U.S. and overseas institutions, including universities, governments, and non-profit and for-profit agencies.

3. Assessing Internationalization Initiatives: The chapters in this section will focus on the assessment of student learning outcomes and program outcomes, including the impact of international initiatives on our programs/colleges, campuses, and communities.

Length: We anticipate that the completed monograph will include 17-20 chapters and be approximately 350 pages. Individual chapters will be 15-25 pages in length (double-spaced, 12-point font).

Submission Guidelines: If you are interested in contributing to the monograph, please submit a 250-500 word chapter proposal and CV to Kim Klein at by February 1, 2018.

Prospective authors will be notified of the status of their proposals by March 15, 2018. Completed chapters will be due by July 1, 2018.

For More Information: If you have any questions, please contact the monograph editors, Kim Klein ( and Mary Kay Mulvaney ( We encourage potential contributors to attend the International Education Committee meeting at the upcoming NCHC conference. The meeting will be held on Friday, November 10, 2017 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. in Chastain B. We are also available to meet at other times during the conference.

Atlanta Awaits Summer Giveaway Contest - Atlanta Skyline

Registration is still open for #NCHC17 - if you haven't gotten your registration completed, there's still time to join us in Atlanta this November. With a plenary like Bryan Stevenson and a conference schedule packed with information about all things honors, you will not want to miss out on the 52nd Annual Conference!

Register Today!

GREAT NEWS for our conference attendees...

As a NCHC17 attendee, you now have access to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights throughout the entire conference, instead of one night only! Explore the museum at your own pace, when it fits in your schedule, and be inspired by this engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to the Global RIghts Movements of today. Simply show your conference name badge at the museum entrance for free admittance. Museum hours are as follows:

Thursday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4 PM)

Friday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (Last entry at 5 PM)

Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Last entry at 4 PM)

Sunday: 12:00 PM - 5 :00 PM (Last entry at 4 PM)

Volunteer for NCHC17

We need your assistance!

  • NCHC 2017 Student Poster Competition - Call for Judges
    If you are a faculty member, honors director, or dean attending the Atlanta conference please consider devoting two hours of your time to serving as a judge for the student poster competition in one of the categories listed below. The Student Poster session is the main mechanism through which students participate in our annual conference and judging posters is a wonderful way in which to interact with students and give them feedback. Please contact Mike Sloane at
    Judges must be available to review posters and talk with about 8-12 student presenters during one of the two-hour sessions on Saturday, November 11th at the NCHC conference in Atlanta. Exact judging times will depend on your discipline and are indicated below. Judges interact with students and submit ratings and some written feedback which the presenters will receive back. We need judges in the following poster groupings at the following times:

    Saturday November 11, 11:30 am-1:30 pm
    1. Business, Engineering, Computer Science;
    2. Environmental Sciences

    Saturday November 11, 2:00 pm-4:00 pm
    1. Health Sciences;
    2. Natural Sciences & Mathematics

    Please contact Mike Sloane at for more information, and indicate: a) your first and second category preference; b) your academic discipline and areas of expertise

Thank you to our 2017 Conference Sponsor, DC Internships!

How to Maximize Your Internship Experience


Most educators and students know that an internship is essential for post graduation employment prospects. Yes, employers want students with good grades, and who were active and engaged while in school. But nothing counts more than the professional experience a student receives with an internship. But simply completing an internship is of course no guarantee that a job offer will be forthcoming. There are things that students can do during their internship that will make them more marketable to future employers.

Knock it out of the park!
Students should begin their internship with the mindset that they are going to be the best intern that ever walked through the doors of where they are interning. A positive "can do" attitude will make a lasting impression. Each task or assignment –no matter how small-should be done with the utmost enthusiasm.

Become an expert!
One of the goals of every intern should be to walk away with a body of knowledge that they did not have at the beginning of their internship. If a student interns with an energy company they should learn everything possible about that field. A student interning on Capitol Hill should learn about the legislative process, constituent services, public relations and more. Conveying this knowledge during the interview process is critical. This will demonstrate that the intern took full advantage of the opportunities afforded them.

Show me something!
If at all possible, interns should have some work product that they can show to future employers. This could be a report, writing samples, a project summary, something demonstrable and concrete.

Stay in touch!
After completing an internship you want to stay in touch with people you worked with. Thank you notes are a must. Holiday or birthday cards always make a good impression. Even short emails with a purpose will do the trick: "I ran across this article and thought it might be helpful" or "I see from the company website that you've been promoted-congratulations!" Try and arrange for a quick visit during a holiday or vacation break if possible.

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Joe Starrs is the Director of U.S. Programs for the DCInternships programs. The DCinternships programs take place each summer and semester and are based in Washington, DC. Each program includes academic credit through George Mason University, an internship placement, furnished housing, guest lectures and site briefings as well as professional development and networking events. For more information please visit

NCHC 2018 Committees

If you're interested in joining an NCHC Committee, be sure to attend one of the many committee meetings taking place in Atlanta at the Annual Conference! You can learn what the committee has been working on this year, and find out what projects are on their agenda for 2018. Get involved in a topic that interests you - NCHC needs your voice!

You can check out the meeting schedule here on our digital conference schedule, or by downloading the NCHC17 Mobile App! (Download "Grenadine Event Guide" from your app store, and use code:NCHC17 to download the schedule!)