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 a recent essay, M. Roy Wilson (2015), President of Wayne State University, and Jerry Herron, Dean of the Honors College, discuss the value added of honors programs in terms that should be familiar to numerous constituencies associated with honors education. Wilson and Herron write about honors education largely in terms of the experiences it provides students:

the [honors] college is not tied to any particular academic discipline; instead, it represents the virtues of a liberal education that reaches across departments, schools, and colleges. For our students, the aim is to integrate the specialized—and essential—knowledge of the disciplines into a broader understanding of themselves, our community, and the world. With understanding comes engagement. The honors experience at Wayne State is based on four pillars—community, service, research, career— which define the curricular and co-curricular elements of our program and also highlight the distinctive strengths of this university, at the same time making real the value added, high-impact practices that define the very best of undergraduate education. (pp. 172–73)