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Angela Salas
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Institution: Indiana University Southeast

Location: New Albany, IN

Phone: 812-941-2196

Institution Type: 4-year public

Program Type: institution-wide

Program Enrollment: 80

Present Position:

  • Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs (2016)
  • Director, Honors Program (2006-Present)

Previous Honors Positions:

  • Honors Program Chair, Adrian College, Adrian, MI (1995-2000)
  •  Honors Program Faculty, Clarke College, Dubuque, IA (2005-2006)

NCHC Member Since: 2006

Program Reviews and Consultation

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

  • Site Visits in 2011 and 2016
  •  Member, Assessment and Evaluation Committee (2009-2014)

Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.: 
  • Alverno College Assessment Workshop (2009)

Other activities relevant to those seeking honors program/college site visitors:

Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • Curriculum development
  • Undergraduate research

The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor

In July, 2008, I spent 4 days in Portland, Oregon, attending institutes on assessment and evaluation hosted by the National Collegiate Honors Council. My hope was to learn more about assessment and program evaluation, and to fit myself to apply to the NCHC for permission to be an approved site visitor.

The National Collegiate Honors Council has a comprehensive and interesting list of the characteristics of fully developed Honors Program and Honors Colleges. As befits an organization dedicated to serving a vast and varied constituency of people who probably rankle at the thought of having rules dictate their policies and procedures, but who still wish to be able to have firm ground to stand on as they seek the resources they need to serve their students, these guidelines are less a laundry list of requirements than a series of suggestions couched tactful reminders about being careful and intentional in all deliberations related to building and maintaining Honors programs and colleges. 

One underlying assumption of these Basic Characteristics seems to be that context is important, and that no large organization can presume to understand or to subsume the importance of the context in which an Honors program or college exists, or the reasons it was founded and is thriving, struggling, or experiencing transformation. That’s not to be excessively postmodern and suggest that, since outsiders cannot fully understand the context in which an Honors Program was founded, they cannot presume to judge the effectiveness of that program; rather, it seems to me that the relative flexibility and thoughtfulness of the Basic Characteristics allows for the possibility of fruitful conversation between site visitors and the people at the institutions they are visiting. Such conversation can be transformative for all involved, and, one hopes, will have long-lasting and positive effects at both the visited site and other NCHC campuses. 

As a site visitor, it is my goal to listen, to watch, to learn, and, when appropriate, to offer commentary, suggestions, or resources to my hosts. I should think that my job would be to learn about the program being visited and evaluated, to hear from students, faculty members and administrators about their hopes and goals and to engage in a sustained conversation about the ways the program and college are engaged in meeting those goals and helping people fulfill their hopes and dreams. In short, I believe that my responsibility is to learn in order to assist each program and its participants in following (or redrawing) the map they have drawn for themselves, rather than imposing another, different, map upon them. It hope I accomplished this in my visit to Bemidji State University in March, 2011. 

Site visitors have a wonderful opportunity to help others as they engage in the ongoing process of reflection about the place of honors education in their institution and in higher education in general. They also have the opportunity to learn more about their own work, and to enrich their institutions, colleagues, and students. It’s in this spirit – the desire to serve, and to learn in order to serve – that I wish to be a site visitor for the NCHC.

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