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John Woell
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Institution: Albion College

Location: Albion, Michigan

Phone: 517-629-0776

Institution Type: 4-year private, undergraduate

Program Type: institution-wide

Program Enrollment:220

Present Position: Associate Provost

Previous Honors Positions:

  • Assistant Dean, Lloyd International Honors College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2011-2012
  •  Director, George Center for Honors Studies, Greensboro College, 2008-2011

NCHC Member Since: 2006

Program Reviews and Consultation

  • Consultation, University of Mount Union (April, 2017)
  • Program Review, Baldwin Wallace University, 2014
  • Site visit, Greensboro College, 2012

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

Activities in other areas or organizations related to assessment or site visits, workshops, etc.: 
  • HLC Assessment Academy, 2014
  • HLC Assurance Officer
  • HLC Re-Affirmation Steering Committee
  • Presentations
    • “Utilizing an NCHC Consultant to Improve Your Program or College,” with Amy Story, NCHC Meeting 2015
    • “How I learned to stop worrying and love Excel: Data and the Small College Honors Program,” NCHC Meeting 2011

Self-Identified Areas of Special Interest and Experience

  • curriculum development
  • program management
  • facilities
  • resource allocation
  • program assessment
  • grant writing, grant management

The Role of an NCHC-Qualified Site Visitor 

Although those of us in the NCHC like to say that each honors program or college is unique, it seems that the struggle for institutionalization and resources plagues us all.  I believe that the role of the NCHC site visitor is to help facilitate a conversation among the institutional partners regarding the full recognition of the honors program or college by the college or university.  This can entail any number of things, but my own way of crafting such conversations is by looking at the assembly of admissions, retention, and budget data for an honors program and enabling the director or dean to make comparisons to roughly comparable areas of the college or university.  At my previous institution, I assembled just such data in order to make the argument that the honors program, which attracted the students the president and director of admissions claimed to want, cost far less to the institution than either the budget analyst or director of financial had argued.  My point in doing so was to look at the relative dollar value of each student in the program over the course of her four years at the college.  Although this was difficult information to assess completely, it proved persuasive, and the president created a new class of scholarships for honors students, increased funding for honors-specific scholarships, and actually increased the budget for the honors program in a time of financial stress.

Successes lead to increased student satisfaction and retention.  The site visitor needs to focus as well on the ways in which the program or college engages its students beyond the classroom and helps them identify as honors students.  This builds a necessary cohort, which is beneficial to both the program or college and the institution as a whole.  Often, the site visitor is well positioned to make this sort of assessment.

In the end, the site visitor is there to assist the program within its context.  I do not think that most honors programs compete directly with each other because our programs are unique.  However, we do all benefit by raising the profile of honors nationally and regionally, which can only help all our programs.

more Calendar

12/27/2018 » 1/2/2019
Partners in the Parks: Big Bend National Park

1/18/2019 » 1/21/2019
Partners in the Parks: Cedar Breaks National Monument

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