Sponsored by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
Sheraton, New Orleans, Grand Ballroom, 8-9am
Participants: Jessica Roark, Oklahoma State University (moderator); Ellen Buckner, University of South Alabama; Michael Cundall, North Carolina A&T State University; Naomi Yavneh Klos, Loyola University New Orleans; Rosalie Saltzman, University of Nebraska Omaha
- Key challenge: Doing honors education well is expensive, but budgets at many institutions are stagnating if not declining. How to justify and grow honors programs and colleges under these conditions?
- One of the biggest current challenges in higher education is retention. Retention efforts tend to focus on ‘at risk’ students. In what ways can honors retention be a model for retention more generally?
- How can you entrench honors education more deeply at your institution so as to make it more immune to cuts and even elimination, to make it ‘indispensable’?
- How to use technology more effectively? (MOOCs, badges, certificates; see debate on ‘credentialism’)
- Raise the achievement level of honors students
- Serve as an exemplar to the rest of the institution
- Improve retention plans and efforts: Engage students in experiential learning; personalize advising, including peer & faculty mentoring (‘personal touch’); take care of students as whole persons (cura personalis, Jesuit educational tradition) [see research on improving retention the more students are engaged and thriving: academically, psychologically, and socially)
- Create conversations about the value and potential of honors education across campus
- Develop signature programs
- Develop service learning programs
- Engage in philanthropy and democracy
- Better address mental health challenges, especially stress, anxiety, and depression