National Collegiate Honors Council



Swan Song

Date of this Version

Summer 2020


Journal of The National Collegiate Honors Council, vol. 21, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2020)


Copyright 2020 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


Patricia J . Smith’s argument for professionalism based on Caplow’s outdated model is inappropriate for honors administration. The steps outlined are misleading, and the use of the perennially controversial Basic Characteristics as a prescription for professionalizing honors is historically inaccurate and has no place in framing the future of honors education, which needs to remain individual and idiosyncratic to institutions. Professionalization would move honors toward a business model that is antithetical to the spirit of honors.