National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2016).


Copyright © 2016 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Recent research describing the landscape of honors education has demonstrated that honors programs and colleges have become an important and expanding component of American higher education. Since its inception nearly a century ago, collegiate honors education offering campus-wide curricula has spread to more than 1,500 non-profit colleges and universities (Scott and Smith, “Demography”). NCHC has served as the umbrella organization for the collegiate honors community during a fifty-year period in which the number of known programs delivering honors education has experienced a more than four-fold increase (Rinehart; Scott and Smith, “Demography”).

In 2012, NCHC undertook systematic research of its member institutions’ structural and operational features, but we revealed in a previous article that the NCHC membership does not include 43% of institutions offering honors education (Scott and Smith, “Demography”). Since the 2012 NCHC study described only a fraction of the honors landscape, we seek to extend that vantage point to include non-members, examining structural features, engagement with regional honors councils, and reasons that non-member institutions’ administrators give for not joining NCHC. Additionally, we seek to explore information about the location of each campus offering honors education in order to observe how it is distributed throughout the United States.