Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(2): xi–xvii
This issue of the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (JNCHC) includes a Forum on “Honors Beyond the Liberal Arts.” The focus of the Forum, as established in the title as well as in its lead essay by K. Patrick Fazioli, is the desirability of outreach to professional schools by the NCHC and by honors educators generally. Although the essays reveal a shared and unambiguous consensus about what is meant by “professional schools,” they display considerable differences in what people mean by “the liberal arts.” While the standard dictionary definition of the liberal arts includes the sciences and social sciences as well as the arts and humanities, many of the essays in the Forum reveal conflation of the term with the humanities. Perhaps this foregrounding of the humanities has occurred as humanities scholars have needed to defend their disciplines in the face of declining enrollments and increasing public disparagement, perhaps leading faculty in other fields to jump ship. Fazioli addresses this trend as one of the reasons that the NCHC and honors programs generally need to reach beyond the liberal arts, often meaning the humanities, to include the more popular, less controversial, and more heavily enrolled professional majors. While the conflation of the humanities and the liberal arts leads to some ambiguity in the focus of the Forum, no such ambiguity arises in the arguments that honors needs to reach out to the professions and include them in the NCHC.