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ERIC Number: EJ1082240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
Admissions, Retention, and Reframing the Question "Isn't It Just More Work?"
Cundall, Michael K., Jr.
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v14 n2 p31-34 Fall-Win 2013
In the lead essay of this Forum, one of the questions Jerry Herron asks in discussing honors admissions is "What are we offering?" This question relates directly to the question often posed by well-meaning parents, well-intentioned students, and inquisitive administrators who want to know if honors is just more and/or harder work and hence not worth the risk. Having gotten a B in honors calculus will do damage to a GPA when the student could have earned an A in a non-honors calculus course. Students and parents might thus perceive the cost of honors work to outweigh the possible benefits, believing that the notation of honors on a transcript or diploma will not look as important as the GPA on a future résumé. The author replies to the question with an explanation that honors education is different in approach from regular coursework and employs different methods. Typically retention and graduation rates support the contention that honors helps rather than impedes a student's college career. While this approach can allay worries of students and parents, perhaps there are more things that can be done in making the argument more convincing to upper-level administrators given the constant strain on resources in honors. The answer to the question about what honors has to offer is that it provides the kind of co-curricular support for an academically rigorous curriculum that enables students to graduate from college with a rich experiential background and to launch a successful career. Here the author argues that if strong and meaningful co-curricular activities have positive effects on graduation and retention, and if honors is a co-curricular experience writ large, then worries about the risk of honors are misplaced.
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; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A