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Bruce Thompson
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InstitutionFrederick Community College

Location: Frederick, Markyland


Institution Type: 2-year, public

Program Type:

Program Enrollment: 150+

Present Position:  Honors Coordinator, 2004-Present Frederick Community College

Previous Honors Positions:

NCHC Member Since:

Program Reviews and Consultation:

  • Des Moines Area Community College (2017)

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

  • Beginning in Honors, 2005
  • Annual Conference, presenter/attendee 2005-Present
  • Faculty Institute for Assessment, 2008
  • Two-Year College Committee, member 2009-Present
  • Program Reviewer Training, 2016

Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.: 
  • Maryland Collegiate Honors Council (MCHC)
    • Annual Conference, 2006-Present
    • Secretary-Treasurer, 2010-2016
    • Hosted Annual Conference, 2012
    • Co-host Annual Conference, 2017
  • Northeast Regional Honors Council (NRHC)
    • Annual Conference, 2006-Present
    • Student volunteer team, 2015 conference
    • Faculty Representative, 2016-Present

Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • Faculty Development
  • Honors First-Year Experience
  • Honors Space on Campus
  • Two-Year Colleges

The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor
The NCHC’s site visitor/program review process reminds me of the faculty peer review process that we used to have at my institution. Faculty collected performance data that came from student evaluations, a department chair observation, two peer observations, and a self‐evaluation. The goal was for each faculty member to take stock of his/her work (teaching, college service, and community/ professional service), reflect on strengths and areas for potential improvement, and then generate a plan for achieving your improvement goals within the college’s mission and strategic plan. This system provided me with peer mentors (inside and outside my department), accountability, professional growth, and documentation for promotion through a peer evaluation committee.
The NCHC site visitor/program review process operates much the same way. Honors directors and faculty gather data on their program/college and reflect on their findings in a self‐study using the NCHC’s “Basic Characteristics” as a benchmark. Our job as site visitors is to provide a peer observation of what we see from the outside. It is a collaborative process, not judgmental, that fosters dialogue and contemplation. As an honors peer and site visitor, I am looking at three broad themes:
  • Mission. What is the mission of the institution as well as the honors program/college and is there evidence that it is being achieved?
  • Student Learning. Does the program/college empower students to go “deeper, broader, or more complex than comparable learning experiences” (NCHC definition)?
  •  Improvement. Are there resources and a process (e.g., strategic planning) in place for sustainable growth and improvement in honors education?

The goal is to invigorate honors education, which will benefit students, empower honors programs/colleges, and bolster higher education institutions.

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