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Jack Rhodes
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Institution: The Citadel

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Phone: 843-953-3708

Institution Type: public

Program Type: institution-wide

Program Enrollment: 95

Present Position: Director, honors program, 1985-present

Previous Honors Positions:

NCHC Member Since:1985

Program Reviews and Consultation

  • Ramapo University (2018)
  • Randolph-Macon College Honors Program (2015)
  •  Butler University (2006)
  • Lenoir-Rhyne College (2003)

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

  • One of the “Core Group” of evaluators who met in 1999 to begin the process of standardizing NCHC site visitations
  • Director, Student Moderators Program at NCHC Conference (2009-present)
  • Group Leader for “Beginning in Honors” at NCHC (2005-present)
  • Consultants’ Lounge at NCHC Annual Conference (2000-present)
  • NCHC Fellow (2012)

Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.: 
  • President, Southern Regional Honors Council, 1998

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

My tenure as President of the Southern Regional Honors Council has given me a comprehensive knowledge of current best practices in Honors.

Currently, I am Director of the college-wide Honors Program at The Citadel, where I also serve half-time in the English Department as Full Professor. In the process of writing a proposal to found a college-wide Honors Program on our campus, and in the more complicated process of seeing that proposal to fruition through the labyrinth of necessary committees, subcommittees, and concerned individuals, I have learned much about the governance of an institution of higher education. And, as an Honors Director for the past thirteen years, I have gained experience in the daily operation of a program which amounts to a microcosm of the college itself. To begin with, I develop and manage the budget of the Honors Program. Many of the other essential functions of the college are replicated within the program, as well; it acts 1) as an academic department (developing a schedule of Honors courses and identifying faculty to teach them); 2) as a recruiting/admissions office (bringing high school students into the program); 3) as a scholarships office (I sit on the college Scholarships Committee, play a key part in Scholarship Weekend activities, and also work to develop candidates for the Rhodes, Fulbright, etc.); and 4) as a records office (monitoring and recording academic progress of Honors students and issuing Honors Certificates). There are few corners of the institution that I have not been involved with, from the Board of Visitors to Student Activities.

Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: assessment of the pervasive ways in which these questions can improve Honors education.
  • Curriculum: implementation of strategies to foster critical thinking and interdisciplinarity.
  • Engaged learning: assessment of research and civic engagement integration in the Honors curriculum.
  • Intercultural competence: development of study abroad, integration of cultural diversity education in the Honors foci, and pedagogical approaches to diversity in general.

The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor
 A Program Review functions as midwife to the birth, re-birth, and nurturing of Honors Programs. My role as a Program Reviewer is to assist the Honors Director as well as the host institution to develop and maintain an effective program within the range of abilities and limitations of its college or university. In a way, this process is an outgrowth of what often occurs at an NCHC conference, but more systematic, informed, and thorough.  After studying both the program and the institution, its faculty and its students, I engage the Honors Director, college administrators, and other honors stakeholders in discussions to help explore ways both to advance current strengths and to innovate towards excellence.  In the process, I listen carefully to explanations of the nature of both the institution and the Honors Program in finding ways of preserving and advancing those things which are at the heart of the learning environment of there. 
A site visit should focus campus attention on the Honors Program in a positive way.  Frequently, the simple presence of someone from off-campus elicits beneficial attitudes across the college, including the highest levels of the administration, and garners support for the goals of the Honors Program.  On many campuses, there is little understanding of the achievements and benefits of its honors program.  I try to represent the Honors Program to the various members of the college or university community in a positive way and raise awareness of its active role in increasing the level of academic commitment and activity among students of all majors. 
In short, I see my role as a Program Reviewer as a facilitator—someone who encourages and assists in enabling an Honors Program to discover and meet its needs and to explore new avenues of excellence.
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