Honors Update Feb 29, 2016

Dare we say it–we are leaping forward to the third edition of our review of honors programs and colleges. The posts during this time are few and far between because most of our efforts are focused on research and data crunching for the 2016 edition, which will have detailed ratings of 60 (versus 5o previously) public honors programs.

Here’s what we’re doing now:

–Analyzing the honors course sections in the 60 programs under review. This is the most time-consuming and the most important thing that we do. For the book, each profile will discuss the number of sections, by discipline, and list the actual class enrollment average. We also classify each program according to its type: core, blended, or department-based. In order to do the classification, we must know the number of sections that are seminars, the number that are departmental, and the number that are mixed (honors and non-honors students).

For the first edition in 2012, we did not do this sort of in-depth analysis. Since then, we have determined that this is the best way to develop a true sense of what each program or college is really like. So far, we have completed this analysis for six programs out of 60 under review.  When all is said and done, we will have reviewed about 9,000 class sections. During the review, we choose the most interesting (to us) sections and provide descriptions in the profiles featured in the book. The deadline for all programs to provide the raw material for this analysis is April 15, 2016. Stay tuned! Below is a sample of the matrix we use for this process:

Honors Critical Thinking2216
World Thought and Experience I5516
Themes in Amer Experience1124
World Thought and Experience II5513
Adventures in Data Analysis1119
Honors Precalc118
Honors Calculus I1119
Honors Calculus II1123
Honors General Psych1124
Honors Macroeconomics1119

(This is actually a simplified matrix; the full matrix also takes into account the number of credit hours for each section and the number of non-honors students enrolled.)

–Preparing a summary of the most prestigious and lucrative scholarships offered by each university and honors program. We might do a separate post on some of these before publishing the third edition in fall 2016.

–Gathering the latest stats on the number of students from each of the 60 universities who have won the following awards: Goldwater, Udall, Boren, Gilman, Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill, Gates Cambridge, Truman, NSF, and Fulbright Student scholarships. This, too, is a long and somewhat tedious project. Next up: data for latest Fulbrights and NSF grants.


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