The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) is the professional association of undergraduate Honors programs and collegse. NCHC provides support for institutions developing, implementing and expanding Honors education through curriculum development, program assessment, teaching innovation, international study opportunities, internships, leadership development and mentored research.
Thorndike presented his research on “First Year Seminar, Curriculum Development and Retention in Honors” at NCHC in New Orleans, Nov. 6-10. The session examined the First Year Seminar at Belmont and analyzed retention rates for the last five years university-wide and in Honors. The data showed a correlation between retention and proactive community-building through academic and social initiatives associated with the World Traditions course in Honors. The Honors retention initiative includes several features:
- Building First-Year student cohort relationships
- Mentoring teams with Upperclassmen assigned entering Honors students
- Welcome to Belmont Honors Pizza Night in the Honors House
- Orientation Teams with Honors student leaders
- First-Year Student Retreat at Deer Run
- Student profiles, admissions essays, surveys, academic performance reviews
- Focus on student learning goals and alignment with curriculum
The National Collegiate Honors Council promotes academic opportunity and challenge for Honors students and faculty. Within this intellectual environment, members of Honors communities demonstrate integrity, respect and excellence. Through the Belmont Honors experience, participants realize enhanced personal, social and intellectual development. Belmont and the NCHC recognize the importance of life-long learning and social responsibility in preparing individuals for an increasingly complex world.