National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version


Document Type



From: The Demonstrable Value of Honors Education: New Research Evidence, edited by Andrew J. Cognard-Black, Jerry Herron, and Patricia J. Smith. (Lincoln, NE: NCHC, 2019). Copyright 2019 by National Collegiate Honors Councils.


With more than 1,500 honors programs currently in operation and hundreds of millions of dollars being spent throughout American institutions, external pressure is building for accountability in honors programs (Scott and Smith 2016). Today’s society “expects colleges and universities to graduate students who can get things done in the world and are prepared for effective and engaged citizenship” (Keeling et al. 2004:5). Doyle (2004) also has noted the increasing scrutiny of higher education:

the attention given to higher education’s success at fostering student learning has increased in recent years. The rapidly rising cost of higher education and the increased attention to accountability only add to the pressure on colleges and universities to validate their lofty claims of higher learning. (p. 375)