Program Assessments

Note: This page is for honors colleges and programs that might be interested in obtaining an external assessment of their honors program components. The assessment is not an internal evaluation of the personnel, funding, and administrative relationships within an honors college or program. Evaluations of this kind are done, and done very well, by the National Collegiate Honors Council. Nor do our assessments have anything to do with the accreditation of honors programs, which do not receive accreditation apart from that of the universities within which they operate. Our assessments compare the components of a given honors program with the same components of 50 other programs across the country. We have the only extensive database for these programs and others in the nation.

We now offer individual assessments to most honors colleges and programs, public or private, that are not included in our book INSIDE HONORS. The database and rating model that we have developed for the 50 rated programs in the book will be used as the standard for the assessments. Honors administrators are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire and the submit detailed course and section information. The results will be confidential as far as we are concerned, but recipients may use them as they see fit. Any future public program ratings would be based on contemporary data, not on data submitted for assessment purposes.

The size of a program is not significant; all measures related to the number of honors students are proportional.

While our model can be useful for the great majority of honors colleges and programs, it is not appropriate for those that offer a highly flexible curriculum rather than a more structured set of curricular requirements for honors completion.

The assessment includes scored comparisons across 12 categories:

  • Curriculum Requirements
  • Number of Honors Classes
  • Number of Honors Classes in 15 Key Disciplines
  • Extent of Honors Enrollment
  • Average Class Size, Honors-only Sections
  • Overall Average Class Size, All Sections
  • Honors Graduation Rate-Raw
  • Honors Graduation Rate-Adjusted for Test Scores
  • Student to Staff Ratio
  • Type and Extent of Priority Registration
  • Honors Residence Halls, Amenities
  • Honors Residence Halls, Availability

The raw data for each category is entered; then a statistician standardizes the values from each honors program across all categories in order to yield descriptive overall totals.

An additional feature of the individual assessment is that we also compare honors course offerings in seven disciplines not included among the fifteen “key” disciplines that are assessed in INSIDE HONORS. These include classics, foreign languages, linguistics, fine arts, film, religious studies, geography, and geology. The calculations are adjusted according to the number of students in good standing in each program. This result is not included in the overall rating but should be useful for comparative purposes.

The fifteen “key” disciplines are biological sciences; business (all); chemistry; communications (especially public speaking); computer science; economics; engineering (all); English; history; math (all); philosophy; physics; political science; psychology; and sociology/anthropology/gender studies combined. These are included in the overall rating.

Please contact if you are interested in obtaining an assessment. The editor will first determine whether the components of  your program are compatible with our assessment model. If so, he will provide a detailed description of the assessment model, the assessment cost, and an estimate for delivery of the completed assessment.



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