National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version


Document Type



Chapter 19, pages 477-493

In: Honors Colleges in the 21st Century, Richard Badenhausen, editor

National Collegiate Honors Council, Lincoln, Nebraska, United States, 2023


Copyright 2023, National Collegiate Honors Council. Used by permission


Honors colleges at two-year institutions play a uniquely important role in twenty-first century higher education by providing additional opportunities, services, and programming that support greater outcomes for the community, especially for those members of underrepresented and underserved populations. Two-year institutions may wonder how the honors college structure could be valuable, particularly when honors programs are already well established, recognized, and understood among the faculty and staff as providing opportunities for students and supported by administration. Honors colleges can give honors a seat at the table in deans councils, budgetary discussions, campus planning, and curriculum development processes, which in turn allows for better advocacy for the needs of its students and faculty. Having honors in these higher-level discussions also allows campus partners to learn from successes in honors instruction, advising, and recruiting. This chapter examines three honors colleges that serve varying geographic locations and uniquely different two-year student populations, including large numbers of minority, first-generation, and low-income students, while exploring how honors can fulfill unmet needs and solidify its place as a cornerstone of opportunity and success in the community. The essay hopes to engage various readers rather than offer a one-size-fits-all analysis of how honors colleges at two-year institutions serve their students, faculty, campus, and larger communities.