News from NCHC | October 2019

In This Issue...

From the ED: Networking November

Ask Your 2020 Board Candidates

NCHC19: Student Fishbowl

NCHC19: Poster Judges Needed

NCHC19: Pub Board Reception Invite

NCHC19: Grad Hub

From the Conference Chair: Countdown to NCHC19

Dates & Deadlines

Davy Scholarship Winners

SocialLink Tip

2020 CCSSE Consortium

New NCHC Monograph Available

HIP Call for Submissions

JNCHC Call for Papers

GEICO Member Discount

From the ED: Networking November

Regardless of your personality traits, time management skills, or length of time in our organization, NCHC members are passionate about the ability to network. Ask a board member about the key member benefits, and among the first mentioned is networking.

Collaboration. Relationships. Connections.

NCHC-Networking-November* should be a thing.

  • We launched a membership-wide opportunity to grow your network via SocialLink: a new forum platform to connect with individuals and ask questions of colleagues.
    • FYI: We are transitioning from the Hermes listserv to NCHC-hosted forums, and I encourage you to ask questions and seek advice through this new opportunity. I want to express the organization's appreciation to George Washington University for hosting the honors list serve for more than two decades!
  • Conference events are in the works for first time attendees, along with a speed socializing event (be sure you register!), committee meetings (find your passion), Consultant Center (get the answers you need), and opportunities to connect with all the speakers via the online app (upload your own presentation and look for collaborative researchers).
  • Consider a role in NCHC governance:
    - Interested in a committee? Attend a meeting, reach out to the committee chair and then look for the application to open later this fall.
    - Still considering a role on the board? Nominations from the floor of the Annual Business Meeting will be considered for the ballot. Stand up and represent your network!

*All of this grew out of the 2018 Membership Survey, completed while the Board of Directors was in the middle of Strategic Planning. Respondents provided us with some key data points to consider for building additional networking opportunities. We asked about how you access honors information, best practices, and trends. The results:

  • 73.1% through networking with colleagues
  • 26.9% through social media posts

Data from that same survey indicated that 74.8% of those replying "occasionally and often" use NCHC Networking/Mentoring. While attending conference is the preferred way to connect (88.2%), we also know that sometimes schedules and finances can be barriers to those face-to-face discussions as our registration analysis shows that only about 65% of our member institutions get to experience conference annually. [42.9% indicated a preference for direct communication with a mentor, and 35.3% indicated that they'd like to get to know other members via social media communities.]

Curious to know how you network best? Try this quick survey. There's also a follow up article on how to use your personality to your networking advantage!

Looking forward to expanding our NCHC-Networking-November opportunities, and seeing you all in the mix!

Happy Fall,

Mary Beth Rathe
NCHC Executive Director

Ask Your 2020 Board Candidates

Ah, the power of the check-marked box or the fully darkened oval.

Maybe you've taken a sample ballot into the booth with you. Or maybe you've followed social media and news coverage of key elections and policy decisions. Making an informed decision is something we do when the decision is important to us.

Election for vice president, treasurer, 3 professional board seats and 3 student seats will open in December. The slate of candidates is posted on the NCHC website, and registered conference attendees will have the chance to attend a Candidate Forum on Saturday, November 9.

Here's your chance to be part of the NCHC town hall–in advance!

Do you have a question you'd like to ask the candidates? Submit it here by October 25!

We'll select three questions and ask all candidates to submit brief (25-50 word) responses that we'll share online.We'll pick one of the three questions for the candidates to answer at the forum.

And in December, look for your opportunity to cast your ballot in the NCHC election.

* * * * * *

As a reminder, all paid members of NCHC will receive an email on the first day of voting with their personal link to vote in the 2019 Election (from the Big Pulse online voting system). Voting opens at 6:00 AM CST on Monday, December 2, and closes at 12:00 PM CST on Monday, December 9th.

If you have questions concerning this vote or process, please contact the NCHC office at


Last Calls and Reminders for #NCHC19!

#NCHC19 Student Fishbowl

Dear Honors friends,

Good morning. I am Jim Ford, and I am Co-Chair (with John Zubizarreta) of the Teaching & Learning Committee. Every year we sponsor the Student Fishbowl, a signature NCHC event in which a group of students from different honors programs and colleges have an honest conversation about their experience in honors—what they love, and what they don't. It's time for me to recruit students for the Fishbowl. I want to find a diverse group of eight outstanding Honors students to participate.

The Fishbowl is a tradition, and one of my favorite sessions at the conference. A group of students sit in a circle in the center of the room, facing each other, with a larger group of faculty, staff and other students seated around them. The student "fish" have a conversation with each other about honors, answering a series of questions about their own honors experience—what they love about honors, and what they might change. It's a fascinating conversation, and one that new honors directors are often encouraged to attend.

I ask you to recommend one student for the panel by Friday, October 25. These should be students that are definitely attending the conference, and that you believe would present an interesting perspective on honors. Please send me a name and email address for any potential students so that I can begin assembling the group. I hope to get a balance of majors, backgrounds, kinds of programs/colleges represented, etc. I will email the students selected to let them know you have recommended them, ask them if they are willing, and let them know everything they need to know. The Fishbowl itself will be on Friday, November 8th at 1 p.m.

I would love to have one of your students in the Fishbowl this year. Either way I hope you will join us in New Orleans, and at the Fishbowl. Thanks for your help.


* * * * * *

Call for Student Poster Judging

We still need judges in the following poster groupings at the following times:

Friday November 8, 11:00am-1:00pm

  1. Health Sciences
  2. Social & Behavioral Sciences

Friday November 8, 2:00pm-4:00pm

  1. Business, Engineering, & Computer Science
  2. Environmental Sciences
  3. Natural Sciences & Mathematics

If you are a faculty member, honors director, or dean attending the New Orleans 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. 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 providing him with your areas of expertise and judging category preferences.

Judges must be available to review posters and talk with about 8-12 student presenters during one of the two-hour sessions on Friday, November 8th at the NCHC conference in New Orleans. Before committing to a particular session, presenters should check the time(s) of their own presentation(s) to make sure they are available for the two-hour student poster period. 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.

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

Thank you for your participation!

* * * * * *

Publications Board Reception at NCHC19

Dear friends meeting up in New Orleans for the 2019 NCHC Conference!

The cast and crew of the NCHC Publications Board invite YOU to a reception/info session on Thursday, Nov 7 from 8 pm to 8:30 pm in Sheraton New Orleans Grand Chenier. COME HAVE A GLASS OF WINE WITH PUB BOARD and find out how you can be involved in the publications of the NCHC. Whether you're a potential Pub Board member, an interested monograph author/editor, or someone who just wants to know what Pub Board does, we'd love to have you join us.

The Pub Board will commence its regular business meeting at 8:30 pm, to which, of course, you are also invited. If you can't make our reception or meeting, you can always find us at the Pub Board table throughout the conference!

We will host the ever-popular Publishing in Honors session on Saturday, Nov 9, at 9 am in Edgewood B.

See you in NOLA!

* * * * * *

NCHC19 Grad Hub

Honors students: Are you looking for post-graduate opportunities? NCHC19's Digital Grad Hub is a great place to check out some of the choices available as you plan for the next phase of your education. Visit our sponsor information below, and reach out to a contact if you're interested in further details!

Plus... enter the giveaway by November 10 for a chance to win an Apple Watch or an Amazon Gift Card!

See the NCHC19 Grad Hub

From the Conference Chair

Countdown to NCHC19

Writing a newsletter article just prior to the 2019 conference is proving a bit difficult as I need to meld a couple of different tasks: exciting people about the New Orleans conference, thinking about next year's conference, and providing something of interest to those of you who cannot attend. That seems a tall order, but we all do what we must.

This year, in choosing proposals for the conference, we initiated blind reviews. First, we slightly expanded the number of specialty programs and interest group representatives who ranked proposals, being sure to include research, two—year colleges, staff issues, to name but a few. Then, the final review team, representing different geographic and types of schools plus an advising specialist, read only the proposals and types: without access to the submitters' names and institutions. Overall, at least 60 reviewers were involved in ranking proposals, with every proposal ranked by at least 6 reviewers, and rankings averaged for final decisions. We were fascinated (positively) by the results of this new experiment. In comparison with previous years, we saw:

  • A 4.3% increase in the number of institutions represented
  • A 23% decrease in the number of proposals that needed to be reviewed by a smaller team to determine whether they should be accepted or not.
  • A 48% decrease in the number of proposals reviewed by each individual on the general review team
  • We had a 72% acceptance rate.

We are excited about the possibilities this new format brings and look forward to seeing new faces and topics in the lineup. And we'll have additional data on how this impacted the conference programming coming soon.

In messages to come, Rusty Rushton from University of Alabama at Birmingham will provide some advice on producing award winning newsletters. Hope you did not think I forgot you, Rusty!

And now to something specific for those of you who cannot attend conference. Knowing that only 65% of our membership are able to attend conferences, but would be interested in and benefit from the presentations, in the near future, we will introduce our first round of videotaped sessions as part of our effort to develop member toolkits. We have convinced several of our colleagues to be the first victims, I mean volunteers, in this endeavor, though I won't disclose who or their topics just yet (for fear of Murphy and his naughty law kicking in). If this is successful, we hope to expand this opportunity going forward. So, again, more to come.

I know advising for the spring is underway at many of your campuses. I wish you well in this endeavor and please feel free to email if you have any thoughts on member benefits or ways the office staff or I can help.

Elaine Torda
NCHC President Elect
NCHC19 Conference Chair

Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

October 25Student Fishbowl submission
November 6-10NCHC19 Annual Conference
November 10CCSSE Data Sharing Agreement Deadline
November 11-18NCHC Office Closed
November 15Committee Leadership Surveys Due
November 18Student Nominees from Floor - Letters of Support Due

Davy Scholarship Winners

The NCHC Diversity committee is pleased to offer the Freddye T. Davy Student Scholarship to help students attend the NCHC Annual Conference.

Congratulations to our 2019 recipients of the Freddye T. Davy Scholarship!

Gabrielle Altenor, Newman University

Alana Castillo-Medina, Hillsborough Community College

Jireh Deng, University of Calfornia, Long Beach

Vanessa Giramata, Washington State University

SocialLink Tip

Have you checked out your brand new SocialLink profile yet? Simply log in to NCHC's member portal to get started!

It's simple to set your user preferences:

  1. After logging in, click on your name in the top right banner, and choose Account + Settings
  2. As you complete your profile and account information, you can click the small red icons to make your information either visible to Members Only, or private to just you and NCHC administrators. "Save Changes "when complete.
  3. If you choose Information and Settings in the left menu, you can select your preferred notifications and emails, set your time zone, choose daily or weekly digests for SocialLink updates, and more!

If you have any questions or issues with your new SocialLink profile access, please reach out to the NCHC Office for assistance!

2020 CCSSE Honors Consortium

There is still time for interested parties at two-year degree institutions to signal their interest to join the Honors Consortium for the spring 2020 administration of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE). Interested parties with questions about the project or those wishing to signal their intention to join the CCSSE Honors Consortium may send direct correspondence to consortium coordinator, Dr. Jane Honeycutt, chair of the NCHC CCSSE Honors Consortium Working Group (email: ). Consortium members should be current institutional members of the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Deadline to participate is November 10.

New NCHC Monograph


NCHC's newest monograph, The Demonstrable Value of Honors Education: New Research Evidence, is hot off the presses!

If you receive your publications from NCHC in print, watch your mailbox for your copy coming soon. If you prefer digital access to your publications, watch NCHC's Digital Commons page for the upload in the next few days!

As always, print copies of the new monograph and much more will be available for cash & carry at the NCHC19 Publications Board table in New Orleans - so stop by to say hello and add to your honors library.

About The Demonstrable Value of Honors Education:

"We all know—instinctively, experientially—that what we as honors teachers and administrators do for our students adds value to their college education and general college experience. Providing hard, demonstrable evidence for that which we know in our bodies as it were... turns out not to be so easy, a fact anyone who has had to make the case for additional, or even simply continued, honors funding to a new dean or college president has likely encountered. The results presented in this volume provide, in a diversity of ways via a diversity of research approaches, the sorts of evidence honors teachers and administrators have long needed. Will that evidence be enough to convince every dean or college president of the need for continued honors sustenance? The answer may have to depend on the particular dean or president in question. I believe the essays in this monograph provide the strongest case for the added value of honors that has been made to date." —Dr. Rusty Rushton, University of Alabama at Birmingham

HIP Call for Submissions


We are adding a new feature to Honors in Practice called "Brief Ideas about What Works in Honors." Please see below for details.

Call for Submissions

Honors in Practice is accepting submissions for Volume 15 (2020). The deadline is January 1, 2020. 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, instructions for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet for NCHC journals can be found on the NCHC website.

Editorial Policy for Honors in Practice

Honors in Practice (HIP) is a refereed journal of applied research publishing articles about innovative honors practices and integrative, interdisciplinary, and pedagogical issues of interest to honors educators. HIP employs a double-blind peer review process. Authors should include discussion of how central ideas and practices may be applied in campus settings other than their own, and the thesis should be located within a larger context such as theoretical perspectives, trends in higher education, or historical background. Essays should demonstrate awareness of previous discussions of the topic in honors publications and other relevant sources; bibliographies of JNCHC, HIP, and the NCHC Monograph Series are available on the NCHC website.

Brief Ideas about What Works in Honors

These short descriptions of a successful course, project, idea, or assignment should be 500-750 words long, and the abstract should be one sentence.

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.), employing internal citation to a list of references (bibliography).

All essay submissions to the journals must include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a list of no more than five keywords. For a submission to "Brief Ideas about What Works in Honors," the abstract should be one sentence.

Only the "Brief Ideas" have 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

Abstracting and indexing services providing coverage of HIP are Academic OneFile; Cabell's Directory of Publishing Opportunities in Educational Curriculum & Methods and Educational Psychology & Administration; Current Abstracts; Education Abstracts; Education Index; Education Research Complete; Education Source; Educator's Reference Complete; ERIC; InfoTrac; and OmniFile Full Text Mega. Current and back issues of HIP are available in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Digital Commons repository: and for purchase on the NCHC website.

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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