National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Spring 2021


Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Vol. 22, No. 1 (Spring/Summer 2021), pp. 81-114


Copyright © 2021 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Despite a long tradition of social science research on educational access and barriers to inclusion for underrepresented minorities and the poor, until recently such issues have gotten relatively little attention in quantitative investigations of honors education. Public interest in educational access has grown in recent years, however, energizing discussions about the need to confront the exclusionary features of honors. The authors use data from the 2018 Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Survey to examine the degree and variability of underrepresentation in honors at a sample of major universities in the United States. They then identify a set of relatively diverse honors programs for a case study exploring the features and strategies employed among such programs. The authors find that honors programs vary widely in the degree of diverse representation and that more diverse programs engage in robust efforts both to recruit and to retain underrepresented minorities.