National Collegiate Honors Council



Value Added

Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Fall/Winter 2015, Volume 16, Number 2.


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


With more than a thousand honors programs or colleges in the United States and that number growing every year, defining the value of honors is a significant undertaking. Honors seems to have become an obligatory upgrade that no college or university president can afford to be without, but there is more than institutional trending to be considered, or at least there should be, so the real issue is defining the value that honors adds—for students, for faculty, for staff, and for the larger community we serve. When it comes to budgets and governing boards and all the constituencies the university is responsible to, the way that each of us determines the value added is going to be different. Some best practices are consistent across the whole range of colleges and universities where honors education goes forward, but the real value added is in how we apply those best practices to make the most of each institution’s distinctive character and strengths, and how we turn good ideas into conscious practice.