This fall, Lane Community College’s Honors Program begins its third year. For the past two years, I’ve thought a lot about honors education while helping to build this program. My name is Ce Rosenow, and I’m a faculty coordinator for the Honors Program. Much of the time, those thoughts took the form of questions – questions I had and questions from colleagues who wanted to understand what this program would offer to the students and to the college. Sometimes I was content with my answers. Other times I was not. I’ve started this blog as a way to continue my inquiry into honors education as we move from building a program to sustaining one.
My background in honors includes six years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College (CHC). In addition to teaching upper and lower division classes, I advised students, worked on admissions, and served on more than thirty thesis committees. This experience gave me insights into what it means to provide honors education at a four-year liberal arts college that is part of a larger research university. Working on a program for Lane meant adapting that knowledge for a two-year, open enrollment college.
I found help for this rethinking of honors education from colleagues at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). Louise Bishop, the former Associate Dean of the CHC, alerted me to this organization several years ago and shared some of their materials. Their monograph series, journals, and annual conference have been valuable resources. Serving as a member of the Two-Year College Committee and the Assessment and Evaluation Committee have been especially helpful experiences.
Lane’s Honors Program was championed by former Vice President Sonya Christian as one way to fulfill the college’s strategic direction for a Liberal Education Approach for Student Learning. Its formation team consisted of faculty and staff from across the college:
The program now operates through the efforts of the Honors Core Team and the Honors Leadership Team.