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.


In May of 2016, a small cadre of scholars was called to the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, for the Honors Education Research Colloquium, a two-day meeting focusing on the future direction of research in honors education. The participants were assembled by Jerry Herron, who at the time was president of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), close on the heels of a decision by the NCHC Board of Directors in June of the previous year to make research—along with professional development and advocacy—one of three strategic priorities.

After a day of presentations, in turn, by each of the participants, the colloquium discussion turned on the second day to an enumeration of ways in which the goal of encouraging honors research might best be effected. That enumeration included such topics as bridging the gap between those scholars doing related educational research inside and outside of honors and the establishment of an infrastructure to facilitate data collection and other collaborative research across multiple NCHC member institutions. One of the concepts that emerged most forcefully from those discussions was vocal consensus about the need for more, and more robust, research evidence addressing the question of whether honors education adds value—for a society that helps to support the educational enterprise, for faculty and others who work to provide honors programming, for the institutions that house honors programs and colleges, and, especially, for the students who participate in such programs.