National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Honors in Practice, volume 1. Copyright 2005 National Collegiate Honors Council.


When I assumed the position of Honors Program Director along with my other responsibilities, I was handed the Honors Program Review from the previous five years. Nestled among the goals and objectives—alongside of recruiting, marketing and identifying faculty to teach honors courses—was the most pressing problem: serious declining enrollment. Students were being recruited for the honors program by the department of admissions, but only a very small number were continuing into their junior and senior years. With this problem of disappearing numbers came the possibility of a disappearing honors program. Apparently most of these students were dropping out of the honors program during either the second semester of their freshman year or the first semester of their sophomore year. Once they achieved junior status, the attrition rate dropped and the prospect of completing the program became slightly more promising. Still, only a handful of students were leaving the university with “Honors Program Completed” prominently displayed on their transcripts.