National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 81–83


Copyright © 2022 Colin Christensen


As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the author reflects on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.

As the demands of academic research galvanize disciplinary silos and market forces pressure students into increasingly specialized courses of study, honors education stands as one of the few remaining citadels of interdisciplinarity on America’s college campuses. My experience as an undergraduate honors student was characterized by a community of deep intellectual richness committed to student-driven, collaborative, integrative and critical inquiry. Honors constellates diversity in tradition and method, from chemists to historians, future doctors to future lawyers, engineers that will go on to tend inventively to society’s infrastructure and social scientists that will unsettle the familiar by deconstructing its social ones. The value of honors education is not limited to discrete professional, personal, or civic instantiations. Indeed, the value of honors education manifests in each, as the multi- and inter-disciplinary mode of inquiry it fosters informs how one discerns the world around them, orients their place within it, and conducts in concert their engagement in collective life.