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ERIC Number: EJ1104386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 38
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
Honors Teachers and Academic Identity: What to Look for When Recruiting Honors Faculty
Dailey, Rocky
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v17 n1 p151-188 Spr-Sum 2016
To be a collegiate honors student implies a higher level of academic achievement than other students as well as the more challenging academic experience that comes with smaller class sizes. Collegiate honors teachers have a distinction of their own. Being an honors teacher implies a high level of teaching achievement, and it requires special traits that honors directors need to look for in recruiting faculty. Guidance in determining what traits best characterize excellence in honors teaching is a useful tool for honors administrators who are trying to create an identity for their honors faculty. The purpose of this study is to help honors administrators recruit faculty by identifying traits they should look for. A convenience sample of honors teachers was gathered using contact data (phone and email) provided by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). The NCHC provided contact information for 738 honors directors and faculty from 841 institutions belonging to the NCHC. A snowball sample approach was also taken, as participants were contacted via email and asked to pass the survey link along to other current honors faculty within their institution. The number of completed surveys was 269. An online survey was created using the QuestionPro; it consisted of general demographic information plus Likert-scaled and open-ended questions asking participants to rate aspects of their academic identity. The survey questions addressed the broad areas of individual self-understanding, professional role and expectations, and the influence of situational factors, both internal and external, within these areas, coordinating descriptive statistical information and qualitative and quantitative (years of experience) variables. Based on the results of this study, some shared aspects of an academic identity appear to characterize collegiate honors faculty, including overall job satisfaction, high self-efficacy, a good work and life balance, and dedication to professional development of teaching. The relationship between teacher and student appears to be at the heart of academic identity among honors teachers; they have a strong connection to their discipline, believe teaching is more than just an occupation, and welcome the challenge of working with the best and brightest students. While honors teachers are mostly satisfied with their work, three possible areas of concern for honors directors appear to be faculty governance, involvement of lower-ranking honors teachers, and compensation. While participants in this study stated that they were unlikely to look for employment outside of their current position, satisfaction with pay was an issue--a common complaint among college educators but nonetheless important to retaining current honors teachers and recruiting new ones.
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
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A