National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council Vol. 12, No.2 (Fall/Winter 2011). ISSN 1559-0151


Copyright © 2011 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


In the lead essay of this issue’s Forum, Scott Carnicom poses a multifaceted question: Do the approaches taken by honors programs and colleges focus on innovation or preservation? The following essay takes a philosophical look at honors education within the present context of American culture and argues, similarly to the lead essay, that a traditional approach is best suited for honors students because it focuses on the education of the entire human being and is grounded in disciplines that seek perpetual innovation and flourishing. Although the essay underlines a number of Carnicom’s arguments about the importance of preserving tradition in the delivery of honors education, it also examines other problematic trends such as anti-intellectualism, entitlement, and the false expectations created by many pre-professional, for-profit colleges.