Our current publication, A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs,
is going to be updated, possibly as soon as the latter part of 2014 if all goes according to plan.
That plan is for the second edition to include evaluations of 100 public honors colleges and programs, although we will use a two-tiered approach for the new edition. One tier will likely include most of the 50 institutions that we reviewed in the 2012 edition. (A few might not be included, while some new ones are likely to be added. The selection process for this tier will be one reason for the minor changes.)
The other tier will cover regional public university honors colleges and programs. A few of these have already been profiled on this site (please see, for example, Western Kentucky Honors College: Regional Excellence, International Impact and East Tenn State Univ: Exemplary Honors Coordination).
For regional universities to be competitive, the honors curriculum should be strong and comprehensive. Although the examples above signal their regional nature by their very names, there are certainly other, similar schools that do not have similar “regional” names.
We have several of these institutions in mind already, but we are open to suggestions, preferably from the senior staff of a prospective honors college or program, on a confidential basis. One important element in our consideration of universities for both tiers will be the extent to which a college or program is inclined to be reasonably cooperative and forthcoming with data that meet our category requirements.
(Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make inquiries or to suggest an honors college or program for inclusion.)
In particular, we need accurate data for six-year graduation rates, freshman honors entrants only (not honors completers), and data showing the percentage of honors students who study abroad for at least one full summer term or longer.
Although we will look very closely at curricula and honors housing ourselves, these are two categories that can be clarified through dialogue. As we did for the 2012 edition, all universities will receive advance copies of both their narrative profiles and statistical data prior to publication. This was a very effective means of obtaining the best information in 2012, at least from the programs that participated in the dialogue.
One critical improvement over 2012 is that there will be a firm, detailed, and uniform questionnaire sent to selected programs–none of that “evolving” stuff that characterized our first, tentative effort. We are open to suggestions for ways of making the questionnaire as effective as possible.
We hope to hear from you soon!
John Willingham, Editor