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Faculty Institute: Best Practices in Honors Assessment
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Faculty Institute: Best Practices in Honors Assessment

7/15/2018 to 7/18/2018
When: July 15-18, 2018
Where: Embassy Suites Lincoln
1040 P Street
Lincoln, Nebraska  68508
United States
Contact: NCHC Office
(402) 472-9150

Online registration is closed.
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Institute Size 22 Participants
NCHC Member Price $600 (does not include airfare)
NCHC Nonmember Price $1200 (does not include airfare)
Deadline to Register June 24, 2018











Institute Focus:

Honors programs and colleges are increasingly being asked to assess and evaluate their outcomes and effectiveness. In response to this need, the NCHC Assessment and Evaluation Committee offers the Assessment Institute for directors, deans, and other honors personnel that play a role in defining and measuring the goals and outcomes for their honors programs or colleges. This workshop will provide participants with an overview of strategic planning; discuss the benefits and limitations of academic assessment; lead participants through the process of identifying, measuring, and mapping learning outcomes for their program; introduce participants to NCHC resources that can be used for benchmarking their program; discuss how to create an effective annual report; and prepare participants for undertaking a self-study and external review. Program and curricular assessment is an integral part of continuous improvement. This workshop will focus on the use of assessment in the following areas:

·  Annual reports and honors newsletters

·  Self-studies

·  Preparing for NCHC consultations, site visits, and external reviews

·  Use of NCHC Basic Characteristics as a tool for reflection, assessment, and evaluation

·  Use of the NCHC Assessment Instrument for reflection, assessment, and evaluation

·  Measuring and archiving program data

·  Finding relevant external benchmarking data

The workshop will begin with a social event on the evening of July 15th then full day workshops on July 16th and 17th. The facilitators will also be available on the morning of July 18th to offer independent program consultations.


2018 NCHC Best Practices in Honors Assessment Agenda


Need to justify how you could benefit from attending this institute? Try downloading this letter to submit to your administration:

Best Practices in Honors Assessment Institute Justification of Attendance


Patricia Smith, University of Central Arkansas

Dr. Patricia Smith is currently serving as the Interim Dean of the Schedler Honors College. Dr. Smith has been with UCA since 2004, with the Honors College since 2005, and has served as Assistant Dean of the Honors College since 2014. She holds a faculty position in Leadership Studies and has her doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in Higher Education Administration.

Dr. Smith has published numerous articles on the growth and evolution of honors education, improving retention in honors, and assessing student learning. She made significant contributions to the instrument currently being used by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) for assessing and evaluating honors programs and colleges. Dr. Smith has delivered 20 national and international presentations within the honors community and has served on multiple occasions as a consultant to other honors programs. She is an NCHC-registered program reviewer and serves as co-chair of both the NCHC Research Committee and Assessment and Evaluation Committee.

Dr. Smith is responsible for the creation of the holistic selection and admission process that has been used in the Honors College for the past 12 years. She has had the primary responsibility for program assessment within the UCA Honors College for the last four years and recently led the faculty through a process of refining the mission of the Honors College to focus on empowering students to guide socially responsible change and developing appropriate learning outcomes to compliment the mission.


Jim Buss, Salisbury University

James Buss was recently named Founding Dean of the Honors College at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). Beginning in July 2018, the current Honors Program at NKU will transition from an Honors Program to an Honors College. This year marks the 35th year of honors education on the NKU campus.

Prior to being selected Dean at NKU, Buss served as Founding Dean of the Honors College at Salisbury University (SU) where he helped transition that university’s Honors Program into an Honors College. The current SU Honors College houses three distinct Honors Programs: Liberal Arts, Business, and STEM. Between 2013 and 2018, Salisbury University’s honors population grew from roughly 200 students to over 500 served today. Before Salisbury, Buss served as chairperson of the Department of History and director of the University Honors Program at Oklahoma City University, where he was named both Full-Time Teaching Faculty Member of the Year and Distinguished Honors Professor of the Year.

Buss is highly active in NCHC, having served on the Assessment and Evaluations and Advocacy Committees. In addition, he coordinates the BHaP sessions for the national conferences, serves as an NCHC Program Reviewer, and was recently elected to the NCHC Board of Directors. At the regional level, Buss has served as Executive Treasurer for the Northeast Regional Honors Council for the past four years. Throughout all of this experience, he has focused on using assessment, evaluation, and reporting of Honors Programs and Colleges to increase their resources, visibility, and centrality to campus populations.

Buss is the author of “Winning the West with Words: Language and Conquest in the Lower Great Lakes” (2011) and co-editor of “Beyond Two Worlds: Critical Conversations on Language and Power in Native North America” (November 2014), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. His scholarly interests center on the intersections of settler memory, Native American history and public commemoration.


April Dove, Greenville Technical College

April L. Dove is Director of the Greenville Technical College Honors Program and an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences. The GTC Honors Program is the oldest, largest, and most fully developed Honors Program among the sixteen two-year institutions in the state of South Carolina. At GTC, Dove serves on the college-wide Assessment Committee, the International Education Committee, the Instructional Leadership Council, and serves as Chair of the Honors Program Advisory Council. Dove is also the recipient of the 2018 GTC Professor of the Year Award.

Active in NCHC, Dove is an approved program reviewer, serves on the small college and the two-year college committee, has attended numerous summer workshops, and presents at annual meetings on the topics of annual reporting, data collection, admissions and retention, first-year experiences, budgeting, and other honors issues related to two-year institutions. She is co-author of “Institutional Variability in Honors Admissions Standards, Student Body Characteristics, Program Support Structures, and Honors Student Persistence and Program Completion” written with Andrew Cognard-Black and Patricia Smith and recently published in the 2017 winter volume of the Journal of the NCHC.

Dove is also active in SRHC and travels with students each year to participate at annual meetings across the southeast region. She has experience organizing and coordinating an annual meeting as the GTC Honors Program served as the host institution for the 2015 SRHC annual meeting in Greenville, South Carolina.

Dove’s area of research in sociology includes collective behavior and social movements, political protest, immigration, and Middle East studies. She has published work in Southern Studies, The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social and Political Movements, and Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change. She has also served as peer reviewer for refereed sociological journal publications including Mobilization, Journal of Historical Sociology, Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change, and Sociological Perspectives.


Andrew Cognard-Black, St. Mary's College of Maryland

Dr. Andrew J. Cognard-Black teaches on the faculty at St. Mary’s College, Maryland’s public honors college named in honor of Maryland’s first colonial capital at St. Mary’s City.  In addition to teaching, Cognard-Black also has had significant involvement at St. Mary’s in the development of honors first year seminars, as well as honors faculty development and teaching and learning programs, honors advising, and supervising undergraduate research.  In 2012, Cognard-Black traveled as a Fulbright Scholar to teach at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Cognard-Black serves on the NCHC Finance Committee, the NCHC Publications Board, and the JNCHC Editorial Board.  Since 2013, he also has worked closely with the NCHC Research Committee and the NCHC national office to develop a series of surveys that explore institutional characteristics of honors programs and colleges in the United Sates.

Cognard-Black’s research interests include the sociologies of work, inequality, and education, with a particular focus on higher education and the unique labor of the professoriat.  His published work has appeared in The Sociological Quarterly, Teorija in Praksa, and the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council.  With Jerry Herron and Patricia Smith, he currently is editing an NCHC monograph collection of new research demonstrating the value added of the honors experience.




The institute will take place at the Embassy Suites Lincoln.

The reservation period using the negotiated hotel block rate for this institute has passed. NCHC will not provide any other lodging opportunity for this institute.

Here are some suggested hotels in the downtown Lincoln area:

·         Embassy Suites Downtown Lincoln (Where Institute will take place)

·         The Graduate Lincoln

·         Hilton Garden Inn Lincoln Downtown

·         Courtyard Lincoln Downtown

All of these hotels provide a complimentary shuttle from the Lincoln Municipal Airport (LNK), as well as other amenities.



Important Registration Information:
If you are not the director of your program, or you do not hold a current NCHC Professional Membership, you may not be in our new software system yet! You must sign up as a "Contact" prior to registering for any NCHC Faculty Institute. 

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*Members receive a 50% discount on NCHC Faculty Institute Registration pricing!


All requests for refunds MUST be submitted in writing to the national office and RECEIVED no later than seven days in advance of the NCHC Faculty Institute.

  • Received prior to 7 days before Institute:          Full refund, less a $50 per person administrative fee
  • Received within 7 days before Institute:            No refunds granted

Questions? Contact the NCHC office at (402) 472-9150 or

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