NCHC Conference: A Student Board of Directors Candidate Speaks Out

Planning a national conference in Boston, the birthplace of American Independence, allowed the National Collegiate Honors Council to go with their instincts and tie many conference presentations to the individual and independent character of honors programs–and honors students.

One such student is Riley Cook from the University of Iowa Honors Program, who is a candidate for the two-year term as student representative on the national board of the NCHC.  It is fitting that the NCHC would include students on its board, and the presence of 600 honors students at the annual conference attests to the interest and commitment to honors students.

We ran into Riley at the conference and realized that his outlook corresponded closely with the overall theme of the meeting: challenging structures in higher education. Other articles about the conference have addressed the commitment of the honors community to insist that a high-level college education must go far beyond the acquisition of specialized skills to include an intellectual focus on “the things that matter” the most in life: a deeper understanding of ourselves and our relation to other human beings and institutions.

Or, to use Riley Cook’s own words, honors “should not just be something to put on a resume; it should be a medium through which students explore their passions on a personal level with faculty and fellow students to their full extent. My main concern is what honors can do intrinsically for students to enrich their academics rather than just be a series of requirements to fulfill.”

Now if you look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, you will see the following: “Intrinsic value has traditionally been thought to lie at the heart of ethics. Philosophers use a number of terms to refer to such value. The intrinsic value of something is said to be the value that that thing has ‘in itself,’ or ‘for its own sake,’ or ‘as such,’ or ‘in its own right.'”

Intrinsic values are what we discover; instrumental knowledge is what we receive.  Honors education is about discovery.

Riley expressed concern to us that many institutions lack the commitment to honors education that would allow faculty to teach the smaller discussion courses that promote this kind of discovery.  The reason: faculty “productivity”is a metric used by administrators–and legislators–to assess how efficient departments are, productivity typically reflects only the quantity of students taught, and not the content or individual character of courses.

“Unfortunately,” Riley said, “the quantity of students in the classroom is considered more financially worthwhile than investing in the quality of personalized honors discussion.”

Riley sees this as shortsighted.   “I spoke with a business student in honors at [another] university who informed me that an honors program did not always exist there. The lack of honors directly affected enrollment, significantly enough to necessitate the establishment of such a program.” In other words, honors attracts more students, and these students, in turn, raise the overall quality and perception of the university.

Riley also sees the importance of honors programs in generating support from honors alumni who can become mentors and, in some cases, donors to the institution.

“Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from honors opportunities,” he said. “By offering research opportunities, professors are able to work with valuable research assistants. Even collaborating on a student’s independent research project could influence their research or at least deepen their knowledge of a certain topic in their field. In a university setting, professors are learners, too, and the students they collaborate with may become valuable partners in their field in the years to come.”

After hearing what Riley has had to say, it should be no surprise that honors faculty frequently find themselves in the role of partners or facilitators, and less as the intellectual masters who deliver wisdom from on high.  They, too, engage in the process of discovery.








NCHC Conference: The ‘Revolution’ in Learning Is about ‘Things that Matter’

Taking inspiration from the prominent role of Boston in the America Revolution, faculty from the University of Maine who made presentations at the National Collegiate Honors Council annual conference in Boston sought to define what makes honors education “revolutionary” in contrast to many college courses that have a more instrumental focus.

One answer: the revolution occurs within bright students who are seriously evaluating their beliefs in light of great texts and new experiences, and who share their thoughts, concerns, and criticisms with faculty and with other students who are going through the same process.

Most of what they discuss is the result of a process one professor referred to as “thinking hard about things that matter.”  Ironically, classes that explore and challenge religious beliefs or explore humanity’s relationship with nature or reflect on previous cultural and political revolutions are often dismissed by those who believe that instrumental, or vocational, learning is the thing that matters.

What, more specifically, can honors learning mean for a student.  One young woman in the Maine honors college said that she had come to the university as a “diehard relativist” who was convinced that there was no such thing as objective truth.  Now at the end of her honors career—but not her intellectual commitment—her vocational interests may not have changed, but her basic attitude toward the world—her values—have been dramatically affected; she has discovered, if not absolute truth, then true conviction.  To what extent would this have occurred in a business management class, or a calculus class?

Is this a risk, not only to students, but to parents who send their young men and women to college?  Yes, but honors education embraces an element of risk, subscribing to the idea that young people grow by putting themselves “out there” in the company of peers who are part of the same process of internal and mutual discovery.

Successful honors instructors, therefore, have to extend themselves, to join in the effort to “push the envelope beyond the instrumental.”

One Maine economics professor took on the challenge of teaching an honors course on how we define nature, in the process leaving the “dismal science” behind him along with some of his accustomed hard logic.  Before he was done, he and his class had followed Thoreau’s path in the Maine woods, subjected themselves to an orienteering challenge, and emerged from both the literal and figurative forest of humanity’s relationship with nature filled with new questions, new insights, and deeper understanding.

A professor who taught a course about the Sixties’ revolution found that his students experienced the hope and optimism of “the movement,” saw its impact (especially on white Americans), recognized the “I have a dream” speech of Martin Luther King as one of the most eloquent expressions of the times—but then had to come to terms with the disillusionment that followed that particular revolution.

What does this teach students who are thinking hard about things that matter?  They may come to believe that each generation needs to dream its own dreams, let them emerge, learn from them, and accept a due portion of disappointment themselves.  It may not be calculus, but it really matters.


NCHC Annual Conference: High-Impact Programming for Honors Residence Facilities

Dr. Lynne Goodstein has a wealth of experience in honors education, having directed the program at the University of Connecticut for many years.  The UConn program has more than 1,600 students, and about half of them live in honors residence halls; another quarter live elsewhere on campus.

Even though Dr. Goodstein is leaving honors to return to the classroom, she shared her insights into developing effective, high-impact programs for honors residences and facilities during a session at the National College Honors Council annual conference in Boston.

Below please see her “top ten” recommendations.  Parents and prospective students should find these useful as they visit honors colleges and programs across the country.

  1. The programming for residence halls should have clear goals and learning objectives.
  2. Variety is extremely important; the “menu” should include community service, along with social, academic, and professional development and opportunities to meet with faculty.
  3. The programs should be tailored to match the changing needs of students across four years.  This means offering a wide variety of activities in the first two years, including many social programs to develop a sense of community.  During the last two years, programming becomes more closely-related to specific professional and academic interests.
  4. Programming benefits from partnerships with cultural centers on and off campus, with academic departments, and with the university office of residential life.
  5. Residential assistants (RA’s) should be well-trained and understand the connections between their programs and honors goals.
  6. Incentives to students are important, but should not be excessive.  Students should not be required to attend too many programs—about five in the first two years is recommended.
  7. Honors staff need to focus on online and other means of communicating meeting the topics, dates, and times of program events..
  8. Honors staff should solicit and read student response forms for use in future planning.

At UConn, one of the most successful programs is the “Lunch Bunch,” a series of luncheon meetings during which honors students have informal discussions with faculty, whom they get to know on a more personal basis.

The Honors in the Arts programming allows students to develop or expand an interest in the arts and meet new people in small groups.  Book clubs are another way to expand student interest and promote positive associations.

Leadership programs and alumni presentations tailored to specific majors and professions are also
successful and help to sustain ties between generations of students.

NCHC Annual Conference: The ‘Ecology’ of Honors Teaching

The theme of the 2012 conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) being held in Boston is “challenging structures” in higher education, and at the center of that challenge is the honors focus on the “ecology” of undergraduate instruction: the critical and sometimes difficult balance among faculty, students, and the pursuit of knowledge that brings them together.

In a session devoted to honors instruction, a thoughtful and expressive panel of honors professionals emphasized that learning at the highest level requires challenging themselves and their students to see the acquisition of knowledge as a dynamic, adventurous process that goes far beyond the ingestion of basic facts.

The goal, according to Michael Doran, director of the honors program at the University of South Alabama, is to work with students so that they can gain confidence, accept risks, and become passionate about “inquiry and the creation of new knowledge…students rise to higher expectations, and that message is transferred to other students on campus.”

The words “creativity” and “reflection” and “inquiry” were prominent in the discussion.  John Zubizarreta of Columbia College in South Carolina noted that the “importance of reflection…is important for all students, but for honors students it’s indispensable.”

One reason: honors portfolios, when they are in fact used in honors programs, collect the most important elements of a student’s experience–major papers, significant projects, notes, lists of books and their significance–all of which connect the student to accomplishments and aspirations, and clarify goals.

At Texas A&M, according to Jon Kolinek, associate director of the honors program, students in living/learning communities meet to discuss what they have learned, especially in first-year courses and experiences, and then reflect on how the first year has reinforced their initial goals or caused them to consider different options.

The use of portfolios, discussions, and focused reflection is not unique to students.  At Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University, a formal mentoring program involving current honors faculty with prospective honors instructors has been in place for several years.

According to Jacquie Scott,  director of the Barrett Faculty Mentoring Program for Teaching Excellence and an honors faculty fellow at Barrett, the program requires two years of classroom visits and feedback, all geared toward making Barrett faculty as focused as they can be on effective, high-level student instruction.  The program has also increased overall faculty cooperation and reduced territorial conflicts among disciplines.  This is yet another way that honors education can be a positive influence for the university as a whole.

One part of the honors “ecology” that is requiring more attention is the recognition that the traditional honors predilection toward confident, extroverted young scholars who can comfortably participate in what are typically small honors seminars can mean that quieter, introverted students of great ability might be overlooked or misunderstood if they do participate in honors.  An audience member from the University of Southern Maine pointed out that faculty need to be aware of such students and not equate their relative reticence with a lack of ability or the passion for learning

Jon Kotinek of Texas A&M sees honors instruction is a process of “layering” honors experiences in the most effective manner.  This layering, the ecology of honors instruction, means that the watchwords of creativity, inquiry, reflection, and even risk should inform the pedagogy of faculty and the attitudes of students, to the end that the knowledge they all seek is not merely transmitted but also transformed by their exciting work.



Updated Study-Abroad Data–Part One

The College of William & Mary, and the universities of Delaware, Vermont, and Virginia are the major public university leaders in the percentage of undergraduate students who study abroad, while Michigan State, Minnesota, UCLA, UT Austin, and Indiana are the top five public schools with the most students studying abroad, in absolute numbers.

Given the generally larger size of undergrad enrollments in public universities, it is difficult for public universities to make the top 40 list in the percentage of students studying abroad, and William & Mary, Delaware, Vermont, and Virginia are among the smaller high-profile public institutions in the nation.

The percentages of undergrads studying abroad at those four schools are as follows:

–William & Mary, 38.1 percent

–Delaware, 34.7 percent

–Vermont, 32 percent

–Virginia, 30.4 percent

The major public universities with the highest number of students studying abroad as these:

–Michigan State, 2,577

–Minnesota, 2,562

–UCLA, 2,451

–UT Austin, 2,350

–Indiana, 2,203

–Wisconsin, 2,159

–Washington, 2,152

–Penn State, 2,087

–Georgia, 2,079

–Florida, 2,075

Future posts will discuss the latest trends in student travel, such as favorite locations and duration of study abroad.

University of Maine-Orono: Carefully Blended Honors Curriculum

The Honors College at the University of Maine-Orono is highly-respected among honors professionals, and one reason is that the college curriculum is a well-balanced blend of a liberal arts core curriculum augmented by a carefully coordinated department focus in the junior and senior years.

The core is typically made up of four courses:

“The four courses constituting Civilizations: Past, Present, and Future follow a chronological trajectory from earliest recorded times through the present, examining philosophy, history, literature, the arts, and natural, physical, and social sciences. In particular, by incorporating primary sources, small group discussions, and multiple perspectives, these courses explore the way in which civilizations and cultures have been developed and have interacted with others.”

In the third year, students take honors tutorials and seminars, most of which satisfy the university’s general education requirements.  Through careful reading, honors students can select “from among eight texts nominated by the University community, the ‘Honors Read’ for incoming students in the Honors College a year hence.”

Honors students in a tutorial also select a visiting scholar in ethics for the succeeding year, a process that requires students to analyze writings and other “evidence presented about the candidates, deliberate using those criteria, and correspond and negotiate with viable candidates to determine availability and suitability.”  This exercise combines extensive research with a real-world decision-making problem.

In the senior year, honors students must take an honors directed study course, which prepares them for their senior honors thesis.  The directed study course and thesis count for three credit hours each.  Honors graduation requires at least 27 credit hours in honors courses, and AP credits are not applied to honors credit.

The university as a whole is increasing its focus on prestigious scholarship competition.  In recent years, Maine students have won four Goldwater scholarships in the last six years along with four Udall awards, all of which are earned by undergraduates.  Also in the last two years Maine students have won four National Science Foundation Graduate Research Grants.  In 2012, a Maine student was awarded the school’s fourth Truman Scholarship.

The best academic departments at Maine are earth sciences, social work, clinical psychology, education, and history.

The college does not publish average admission statistics, but we estimate the the minimum SAT score for the honors college is around 1200 to 1250, with a high school graduate place in the top 10-12 percent.  Again, this is only an estimate based on some comparable programs.

Honors students benefit from program advisors who are former honors students at Maine, and also have the support of honors preceptors/instructors in many academic departments.  About 120 freshmen honors students out of approximately 750 on campus choose to live in honors housing in Colvin and Balentine Halls.

Colvin remodeling was finished in 2008, and the facility also houses the Thomson Honors Center, home of the college.  Colvin is the smallest residence hall on campus, home to 36 students in 8 quads, one triple, plus the RA’s quarters.  “The floors are hardwood, the bathrooms are brand new, and Colvin is the only residence hall with wireless throughout.”

“Balentine Hall, arguably one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, was first occupied in 1914….Balentine Hall was an all-women’s residence hall until the fall of 2003; today it is part of Honor’s College housing, with room for 78 students in the residential areas.”

It may still be the case that a few honors students also live in Penobscot Hall.  All honors residence halls have both freshmen and upperclassmen.

Are Florida’s Leaders Inviting Another Catastrophe–This Time in Higher Ed?

Florida, in the news once again for its election woes, is also joining Texas and Virginia in the race to see how much havoc meddling university board members can create in the name of “reform.”

In Florida, the most controversial issue is “differentiated tuition,” a business-speak term to describe a plan to reduce tuition for STEM majors and others in Legislature-designated priority fields, while allowing tuition for students in the arts, humanities, and social sciences to increase.

(See discussion and links related to Differentiated Tuition, below.)

Florida Governor Rick Scott has expressed his admiration for the conservative push by Rick Perry in Texas to transform that state’s flagship schools into productivity machines aligned with the perceived economic needs of the state and business community. Like the recent fiasco in Virginia, these efforts stem, so to speak, from the brains of libertarian and entrepreneurial types who are all agog over the latest management trends. What they claim as their goal is “value” for the state and, occasionally, for students; what they desire is instrumental education on the cheap, paid for in part by gutting those pesky academic disciplines that examine values beyond the bottom line.

Florida Higher Ed Task Force Plan is not only poorly written in its current draft form but also ill-advised. It also has a confrontational, we-know-best tone, especially in its references to “academics.”

“A chasm…exists between the system’s colleges and universities and those who must make the difficult decisions in appropriating scare resources,” the plan says. “Many in the academy deny or outright reject the expectations for increased efficiencies and productivity as precursors to demonstrating value that is presumed, to the detriment of the institutions and systems, as self-evident.”

Despite the inelegance of the last sentence, it is more or less clear that the task force is upset with the academy. Furthermore, the task force wants the academy to know that the state’s Board of Governors does indeed have the final word in higher education: The Board is authorized “to operate, regulate, control, and be fully responsive for the management of the whole university system.”

The plan even slips in a criticism of health care as being one of the villains in causing college costs to rise, along with “the perceived demands by students for making ‘college a life-style, not just people getting an education.’”  And the state of North Carolina also receives a gratuitous slap as an allegedly spendthrift state “widely held as a paragon for [sic] higher education systems” yet “it leads Florida by only two percentage points in…the proportion of its citizens who hold associate degrees or higher.”

The lifestyle quote also appeared in a New York Times story that correctly pointed out that support jobs in all colleges, public and private, have been growing. But not all of that growth is directed at pampering students.

“The growth in support staff included some jobs that did not exist 20 years ago, like environmental sustainability officers and a broad array of information technology workers,” the Times reported. “The support staff category includes many different jobs, like residential-life staff, admissions and recruitment officers, fund-raisers, loan counselors and all the back-office staff positions responsible for complying with the new regulations and reporting requirements colleges face.” And not a few of those requirements have to do with documenting the metric-driven results dictated by governors and legislatures.

Differentiated Tuition

But what about the merits of differentiated tuition? The task force wants to lower tuition for “high-wage, high-demand (market determined demand) degree programs, as identified by the Legislature.” This phrase appears repeatedly, verbatim, throughout the draft report. The success of the plan will be measured by the following:

1. More degrees in “strategic areas of importance”;
2. Higher percentage of grads who become employed or who continue their education;
3. More grads who attain employment at a higher salary rate; and
4. More “efficiencies” that lower the cost for institutions and students.

The draft somewhat vaguely identifies the “important” degree programs: 111 in STEM subjects; 28 in Globalization (whatever that may be); 21 in health professions; 19 in education (but only in Math and Sciences); and 9 in security and emergency services.

For perspective on these ideas, we recommend Should Science Majors Pay Less for College Than Art Majors? , an article in the Atlantic by Jordan Weissmann; More STEM Majors Won’t Solve Higher Education’s Problems, an article by Elizabeth Popp Berman that appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education; and Why STEM Is Not Enough (and why we still need the humanities) in the Washington Post, by Cathy N. Davidson, Paula Barker Duffy, Martha Wagner Weinberg, and Valerie Strauss.

“First, you need to take it on faith that the government is capable of divining which majors are going to be the most marketable year after year,” Weissmann writes.  “Second, you need to believe that there are a large number of talented undergrads who could hack it in these subjects, but are choosing easier majors instead.”

“Meanwhile,” Weissmann adds, “it’s not clear that hoards of potential engineers and computer scientists are shunning the campus lab in order to go read Baudelaire instead. Though I haven’t seen state-level data, the vast majority of bachelor’s degrees awarded in this country go to students who study business, science, engineering, and health. The kids today already approach college with a fairly pre-professional mindset.”

Berman notes that “there’s no reason to think this would help Florida economically. If the state wants to align higher education with the needs of business, it should take a look at surveys of employers, who indicate, year after year, that what they most want from college grads is “the ability to effectively communicate” and “critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills”—classic hallmarks of a liberal arts education. And studies like Academically Adrift show that it’s the humanities and social sciences, as well as the natural sciences, that lead to measurable improvements in critical thinking.”

The Washington Post article cites Hunter Rawlings III, president of the Association of American Universities and the former president of both Cornell and the University of Iowa, as believing that the humanities and arts actually help contribute to alleviating our national STEM teacher and research crisis.

“Whereas a high percentage of students who come to college wanting to major in science and engineering drop out and go into business-related social sciences, this is not nearly so much the case at liberal arts colleges,” the Post says.

According to the Post, in the “nation’s most selective liberal arts colleges, a higher percentage of students go on to graduate and professional degrees in STEM fields than is the case at the nation’s major research universities. Integrated liberal arts knowledge, where STEM is a vital component of a larger curriculum that includes a range of literacies, creative expression, and the arts, seems to be ideal for developing future STEM teachers, practitioners, and researchers.”

The same can be said of honors colleges and programs in larger institutions, where the curriculum and “lifestyle” reflect the best in liberal arts education. Honors education does not imitate a factory operation designed to meet an instrumental, external demand but instead embraces the words of a renowned Greek philosopher, whose own method has become a model of effective pedagogy: “Education is the kindling of a flame,” Socrates said,” not the filling of a vessel.”

John Willingham, Editor

Honors Conference to Champion Undergraduate Instruction

Note: This is the first in a series of posts about the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) annual conference next week in Boston.  We will be there, interviewing and reporting on the most interesting sessions and presentations, including those by students.

Almost 2,000 faculty members and students will be in Boston next week to attend the annual conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), where in hundreds of sessions and presentations the value of honors education in our nation’s colleges will be on display.

At least 560 institutions, public and private, will be represented at the conference, which is being held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.  Honors colleges and programs are transforming American higher education by offering talented students genuine alternatives to the most expensive elite universities.

By emphasizing small classes, honors residence communities, and innovative curricula that are often proving grounds for the best in undergraduate teaching, honors colleges and programs are challenging the higher education system to remain committed to excellence despite demands from those who would emphasize quantity over quality.

The conference theme is “Challenging Structures,” especially those that militate against excellence in undergraduate education.  “We maintain that honors education represents a challenge to the structure of undergraduate instruction,” said Rick Scott, incoming president of the NCHC. “Our gathering in Boston will celebrate teaching, learning, and the honors community.” Dr. Scott is Dean of the Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas.

The featured speaker will be Harvard Professor Michael Sandel, whose famous “Justice” course has long been a favorite among undergraduates.   His thoughts on morality and justice in political life are often contrasted with those of the eminent philosopher John Rawls.

In a world where parents and prospective students are searching for ways to add value to their increasingly expensive college choices, honors programs are the most powerful engine for providing the highest level of undergraduate education within institutions whose overall reputation may not rise to the level of the most elite private schools—and almost always at a much lower cost.

Honors colleges and programs have been a part of the higher education world for decades, but only in the last 20 years or so have public and private institutions turned to honors programs in order to attract and serve the nation’s most talented students.

The NCHC alone has approximately 875 member institutions, ranging from two-year community colleges to leading public universities such as Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Colorado State, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Iowa State, LSU, Massachusetts Amherst, Miami of Ohio, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC State, Ohio University, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UC Irvine, UCLA, U.S. Air Force Academy,  Vermont, Virginia Tech, Washington, and Washington State.

Private universities include American, Baylor, Denver, DePaul, Drake, Drexel, Elon, Embry-Riddle, Fordham, George Washington, Ithaca, LaSalle, Marquette, Miami, Northeastern, Rochester Institute, Seton Hall, Siena, SMU, TCU, Tulsa, Union College, and Villanova.

University of Houston Honors College: High Value Added

While some national rankings overlook the University of Houston, the Honors College is a strong value-added component in a city that has lots of jobs to offer in business, engineering, and law.

The average honors student has a 1300 SAT and is in the top 10 percent of his or her class, but the college does not consider these qualifications as an absolute minimum.

The curriculum is substantial, requiring as much as 36 hours of honors work, including a thesis.  One of the most attractive features of the college is its close involvement with the Bauer College of Business.  Business majors admitted to the honors college are automatically a part of the Bauer Honors Program.  At least 18 of the 36 hours in honors are in small classes in all business specialty areas.  The classes emphasize discussion, writing, and case studies.  A thesis is required.

“This kind of thesis might resemble a long research paper in form, but it is different than a class paper. It approaches an existing business topic from a new angle, or tackles a newly developing business problem that others have not yet addressed adequately.  Often, the topic for a Senior Honors Thesis arises from close collaboration with a faculty member on an existing research project. You may choose to identify a significant aspect of a faculty member’s research to investigate in more detail or expand upon a case study completed as part of a previous course or business competition.”  Business theses average 50-75 pages in length.

The business program is ranked in the top 53 or so among those at public universities, and in the top 25 in entrepreneurship among all schools.  The U of H also has the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management and it, too, has an honors track.

For engineering majors there is another honors track, also requiring a thesis.  The engineering school ranks  77th nationwide.  “A Senior Honors Thesis in engineering typically arises from close collaboration with a faculty member on an existing research project. Ideally, you will identify a significant aspect of that research and craft a smaller project representing your own work. The thesis should include an introduction explaining the relevance of your work to the broader field of study, a brief literature review, pertinent explanations of all technical innovations and processes, and an appropriate representation of results achieved. On average, the thesis will be between 30-60 pages.”  It is important to note that Houston and the surrounding area are home to a large number of companies that employ engineers.

Other honors tracks are available to students in the social sciences, humanities, and performing arts, including creative writing–a nationally-recognized strength of the university.

Honors housing is available in Cougar Village, a complex that opened in 2010.  The Village features two-bedroom suites, with two students in each bedroom and all four students sharing a sizable bath with two lavatories.  There is a skyway to the new Cougar dining hall.  Cougar Village is especially convenient to Melcher Hall, the home of the Bauer College of Business.

  • December 1 — Priority consideration application date for fall semester admission to both the Honors College and the University of Houston.
  • April 1 — Honors College application deadline and supporting documents deadline for admission for the fall semester.
  • April 1University of Houston application and supporting documents deadline for admission for the fall semester. Visit the University of Houston Admissions website for additional information about UH admissions.