National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Spring 2021


Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2021, 22(1):13–20


Copyright © 2021 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Honors has long been a space for pushing boundaries and promoting culturally responsive teaching, yet students from underserved and marginalized populations rarely see themselves reflected in the designated intelligentsia of most universities. This essay considers several aspects of boundaries in, and barriers to, the honors experience. Implicit in marketing honors as “value-added” is the boundary between the honors curriculum and the “regular” curriculum from which other boundaries extend. From outmoded enrollment management and admissions policies to curricular and instructional strategies that hold to a pedagogy of whiteness, the author urges honors educators to create paths to student academic success by cutting through barriers of privilege and power that threaten the continued participation of traditionally marginalized populations in honors.