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David Coleman
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Institution: Eastern Kentucky University

Location: Richmond, KY

Phone: 859-622-1403

Institution Type: Four-Year, Public Comprehensive (15,000 enrollment)

Program Type: Institution-wide

Program Enrollment: 504

Present Position: Honors Program Director (since August 2013)

Previous Honors Positions:

  • EKU Honors Program Advisory Committee, 2000-2005
  • Chair of Search Committee for EKU Honors Program Director, 2008 (while I was Chair of EKU History Department)


    NCHC Member Since:  2013

    Program Reviews and Consultation: 

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

    Although I am only in my fifth year as an institutional member (i.e. since I took over the position of Honors Director in 2013), I have been a regular participant in NCHC activities much longer, having attended the annual NCHC meeting ten times since my first NCHC in Chicago in 2001.

    Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.:
    I served in 2003 as external evaluator for the B.A. Program in History at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA.

    Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

    • Honors Curriculum
    • Honors Program-to-College Transitions
    • Thesis/Capstone/Undergraduate Research
    • Diversity Issues and Recruiting
    • Program Involvement in National and Regional Honors Organizations
    • Budgeting
    • Development/Fundraising

    The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor
    The role of a program reviewer is above all to help advance honors education on the campus that requested the review. This purpose requires that the reviewer possess broad experience, knowledge and training in the world of honors education. Equally important, however, are the skills of effective listening and discernment. Applying this expertise with care and attention to a review process can and should produce transformative insight that proves beneficial both to institution under review and to the reviewer herself or himself.

    My view of effective program review is grounded solidly in personal experience. My first involvement in an Honors Program review came when I was a junior faculty member serving on the EKU Honors Program Advisory Committee back in 2002.  In that role, I helped prepare the self-study and campus visit for our external reviewer Dr. Ada Long. Dr. Long’s report for us proved transformational in shaping the rapid growth of our Honors Program over the following decade. In 2015—two years after I took on the duties of Director of the EKU Honors Program—I was in charge of the preparations for our program review, for which we invited two NCHC past Presidents (Dr. Kate Bruce and Dr. Jim Ruebel) to serve as external reviewers. Their input has helped considerably as we have planned our transition from Honors Program to Honors College status, and I was grateful to learn from each of them a great deal about what is required to serve as a mentor.  The same can be said of my experiences working as a trainee under Dr. Greg Lanier and Dr. Richard Badenhausen—my instructors at the 2017 NCHC Program Reviewer Workshop in Chicago.

    For effective campus visits, I believe that it is vital for external reviewers to bring a wide range of experience to bear upon the task of seeing an Honors Program or Honors College within the contexts of both the institution as a whole and the national honors education landscape. My twenty-two years in higher education have included five years as a Department Chair and four-plus years as an Honors Director. I have been a regular faculty contributor to our Honors Program since 1999, and have attended NCHC a total of ten times since my first NCHC in Chicago back in 2001. The role of an external evaluator includes applying the breadth and depth of knowledge provided by such experience to the review process, but doing so in a way that fosters creative and innovative thinking in seeing the unique opportunities and possibilities of each institution under review.
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