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Betsy Yarrison
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Institution: University of Baltimore

Location: Baltimore, MD

Phone: 410-837-6044

Institution Type: Four-Year,Public Comprehensive University (3,000 enrollment)

Program Type: The Helen P. Denit Honors Program is institution-wide. It offers honors in general education and in the major both for native students and for transfer students, who comprise the majority of our undergraduate population. Transfer students from honors programs at community college honors programs in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware receive automatic admission.

Program Enrollment:100

Present Position:

  • Assistant Professor of English, 1975-9
  • Faculty, Helen P. Denit Honors Program, 1988 to date

  • Previous Honors Positions

  • Founding Director, Helen P. Denit Honors Program, University of Baltimore, 1994-2000; Interim director, 2008-2010
  • Director, Yale Gordon College Honors Program, University of Baltimore, 1992-94
  • Honors Council, Helen P. Denit Honors Program, University of Baltimore, 2004-8; 2010-13
  • University representative: National Collegiate Honors Council, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, NCHC--Northeast Region (1992 to date)
  • Secretary and Webmaster, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, 2016 to date
  • Faculty Representative, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, 2012-16
  • Immediate Past President, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, 2006-12
  • President, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, 1999-2006
  • Secretary, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, 1998-1999
  • Treasurer, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council, 1995-1998
  • Local Arrangements Chair, 1994/2000/2005 annual conferences, Maryland Collegiate Honors Council
  • Chair, Education of the Gifted Committee/Special Interest Group, National Collegiate Honors Council, 2003 to date
  • Awards and Grants Committee, National Collegiate Honors Council, 2004 to date; 1998-2001

  • NCHC Member Since
    : 1992

    Program Reviews and Consultation:

    NCHC Activities Related to Honors Program/College Assessment & Evaluation:

    I have attended presentations by the Assessment and Evaluation Committee over a number of years and prepared several self-studies for my two stints in program reviewer training. I have been asked by our new UB honors director to assist in our first program evaluation beginning this year.

    Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.:

    I have served as a consultant to new and emerging honors programs in the state of Maryland since 1994, particularly in my capacities as President and then as Immediate Past President of the Maryland Collegiate Honors Council over a thirteen-year period. I have made informal advisory site visits to community colleges in the state and conducted many assessment-related workshops at the MCHC annual conference.

    Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • Honors for nontraditional students;
  • Honors for marginalized populations;
  • Honors for the gifted, including gifted children
  • Curriculum
  • Best practices in honors teaching
  • Honors general education
  • Honors and the IB program
  • Other activities relevant to those seeking honors program/college site visitors: 

  • I have been a frequent participant over the last twenty years in the Consultants' Center at the NCHC conference and in Developing in Honors, speaking on a variety of topics in honors education and having problem-solving discussions with a number of honors directors over the years.

    The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor
    I think that the primary goal of a program reviewer is to help an honors program understand itself more completely so that it can improve and grow. Any honors program can benefit from the collective wisdom that NCHC has gained through thoughtful self-study and institutional study over the last fifty years. That wisdom provides context into which all honors directors, either new or experienced, can place themselves and their programs. NCHC consultants can help programs see themselves in relation to their peer programs/colleges and to programs/colleges that should be aspirational for them. They can help honors directors see what strategies will best suit their students, their faculty, and their budget in ways that can enhance their chances for success and reduce the risk of burnout. A secondary goal is to advocate for the program with its home institution in ways in which an honors director cannot, bringing to local administrators the special viewpoint of how the program fits in a well-established architecture of best practices for honors education nationwide.
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    5/31/2018 » 6/5/2018
    Faculty Institute: Yellowstone Border Towns

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