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ERIC Number: ED558327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 284
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3032-4987-7
Priorities for Quality Honors Education: A Delphi Study on Honors Program and College Certification
Smith, Patricia Joanne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Honors education has grown exponentially across the country, and a great deal of variation currently exists among programs. The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) has adopted lists of the Basic Characteristics of Fully Developed Honors Programs (Madden, 1994) and Honors Colleges (Sederberg, 2005) to guide new and developing programs, but no real standard for honors education exists. A historical examination of honors education suggests that the field is developing as a profession, and Caplow's (1954) theory on professionalization, used as the theoretical framework for this study, suggests that the next step for honors education will be political agitation resulting in specialized titles for programs that pass a review or examination. This study was designed to examine the content validity of a set of empirically-derived instrument items and to develop an instrument that can be used for purposes of certification and assessment in honors education. This Delphi study utilized a mixed-methods research design. Seventy experts in the field of honors education were invited to participate in a two-round process. Forty experts participated in one or both rounds, representing a 57% response rate. The expert panel rated instrument items in terms of relevance and comprehensiveness of the instrument overall. Items that did not meet the CVI criterion of = 0.90 or the = 3.0 criterion for the lower-bound asymmetric score confidence interval were eliminated (Penfield & Miller, 2004). Experts' narrative comments were then used to inform the reorganization of items in the final instrument. Ninety-three items met both the CI and CVI criterion, and the CVI for the items remaining in the final instrument was 0.94. These results suggest that the final instrument has exceptional content validity and will be an appropriate tool to be used for the certification and assessment of honors programs and colleges. This study provided evidence that institutional autonomy and program diversity are independent of the guiding principles and core criteria necessary for certification, and that honors education is ready to begin offering a process of providing national certification of honors programs and colleges, thereby realizing the final stage in its evolution into a profession. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A