National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors Programs: Development, Review, and Revitalization by C. Grey Austin (NCHC, 1991), 60pp.


Copyright 1991 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


This is a monograph on the development and review of honors programs. Both subjects are treated in a single handbook because the materials presented here are useful in each process. The section on principles and practices of honors education in the United States (the overview) is background for those who would plan an honors program; for those who are reviewing and evaluating an existing program, the overview provides the means for educating those whose experience with honors is limited to the honors program of a single institution. It may add little or much to the director's knowledge, but it is likely to broaden the perspectives of faculty and student members of an honors council, and of central administrators.

The self-study outline is based on the overview and provides an organizing pattern for the planning process as well as for the review of an existing program. When used by program planners, it should help with the assessment of the resources and readiness of the institution to host an honors program and should define the shape of the projected program; as a guide for the review of an existing program, it will suggest categories for review. When completed, the review document will furnish information for use by an outside consultant and by those within the institution who will be responsible for reshaping the program.

Since both the planning and review of honors programs often include the use of an outside consultant, a major section on making effective use of a consultant follows the self-study chapter.

Chapter four presents sample questions for the construction of survey instruments for gathering course, instructor and program evaluation from students, faculty, and alumni/ae and suggests patterns for the administration· of those instruments. The gathering and presentation of evaluative data take on special significance in times when the administrative watchword is "accountability." Periodic program review is often mandated.

A proposed schedule for a visiting consultant is presented as Appendix A.