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Acommon need in honors education is to recruit a student cohort that actively engages in educational experiences, demonstrates a motivation for academic challenge, and is likely to complete the honors program. Honors programs use varied quantitative (Green & Kimbrough) and qualitative admissions criteria to yield this desired student cohort. However, research is limited on the value of quantitative measures, i.e., SAT scores, grade point average, and/or class rank, in predicting qualities such as student engagement or outcomes such as program completion.
Attempting to recruit a more diversified student cohort and to increase student engagement, the Clarion University Honors Program initiated a collaborative recruitment model with the athletic program. In addition to the goal of student engagement, this model was designed to be mutually beneficial through coordination of recruitment scholarship incentives. From the standpoint of the athletic program, student athletes’ engagement in honors education could positively affect academic performance and consequently graduation rates. From the perspective of the honors program, admission of student athletes could create a more engaged student population within the honors community.