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ERIC Number: EJ1081105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0143
Community Building at Honors Programs in Continental Europe
Brinkel, Nico; van Rees, Floris; Ruis, Margit; Sloots, Florian
Honors in Practice, v11 p93-109 2015
Many universities in the United States and Europe offer honors programs to meet the demands of gifted and intelligent students. One of the standard goals of these programs is to build an intellectual learning community. Establishing a community can be difficult because it requires that students show an active attitude and initiative. Many different and conflicting strategies have been proposed for establishing a community, and honors coordinators can have difficulty deciding what strategy to use. This study identifies not only elements that stimulate community building in honors programs but also specific examples of each element in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, using interviews with key persons in each program. The study focuses on the question "What elements foster successful community building within honors programs?" The answer to this question expands on current knowledge of the factors that foster community building in honors and highlights specific examples of success in accomplishing each factor. In investigating the connection between different factors in organizational structure and community building, the authors focused on qualitative studies of nine honors programs. They interviewed key people to find out which factors had an important influence on community building. Of the six elements extracted from semi-structured interviews, social contact had the strongest influence on community building. Responsibility and ownership were also mentioned most often by the respondents as fostering commitment to the program. The third major element was personal profit, which was an incentive to enter the program in the first place and made the students want to behave actively and take initiative. The respondents also mentioned the role of the coordinator as important in creating the program and being an informant for students.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria; Belgium; Denmark; Germany; Netherlands