National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Fall 2005


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 6:2, Fall/Winter 2005. Copyright © 2005 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Often missing in an overall assessment of honors is a broad, comparative analysis of what top academic students want and expect from college and more particularly from an honors experience. Limited case studies or theoretical research articles analyzing how honors students think or perform may overlook or undervalue this important voice in the honors discourse. This article, although in some respects also just a larger-scale case study, has a broader perspective than many similar studies of honors students. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the expectations of prospective and current college honors students. This study also compares the views of Central Michigan University (CMU) Honors students with honors-eligible CMU students who chose not to join the CMU Honors Programs. While many practical applications can be derived from this information, it seems clear that the aspirations of honors and of its student constituency are mutually reinforcing, making it imperative that the voices of these top students be clearly heard in the honors discourse.