John F. Reed Honors Program

Defining an Honors Program

Fort Lewis College is a founding member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC). As such, the college embraces the mission, values, and best practices governing the 125 institutional members of NCHC. Unifying hundreds of programs and initiatives is accomplished by sharing common definitions of (1) Honors Programs and (2) Honors Colleges. Regularly updated by the NCHC Board of Directors, these are defined as follows:

The National Collegiate Honors Council recognizes an honors college, program, institute, or equivalent descriptor, as the academic unit on a collegiate campus responsible for devising and delivering in-class and extracurricular academic experiences that provide a distinctive learning environment for selected students. The honors college or program provides opportunities for measurably broader, deeper, and more complex learning-centered and learner-directed experiences for its students than are available elsewhere in the institution; these opportunities are appropriately tailored to fit the institution’s culture and mission and frequently occur within a close community of students and faculty. In most cases, the honors community is composed of carefully selected teachers and students who form a cross- or multi-disciplinary cohort dedicated to achieving exceptional learning and personal standards. The National Collegiate Honors Council recognizes "departmental honors" as educational experiences that are similar but restricted to cohorts of students pursuing the same field of academic study. (6 November 2013)

Key Terms and Phrases

The NCHC definition yields several terms and phrases critical to growing healthy Honors Programs:

  • in-class and extracurricular academic experiences
  • distinctive learning environments for selective students
  • measurably broader, deeper, and more complex
  • learning-centered and learner-directed
  • tailored to fit the institution's culture and mission
  • close community of students and faculty
  • carefully selected teachers
  • achieving exceptional learning and personal standards

As you consider the John F. Reed Honors Program, keep these values in mind. Hold us accountable.

  • Insist we provide curricular and extracurricular experiences that enrich and shape your mind.
  • Insist we are both "learning-centered and learner-directed."
  • Insist we build community between Honors Scholars and Honors Faculty.

This definition, these values, inform the vision and the mission of the John F. Reed Honors Program. If this kind of distinctive and challenging education appeals to you, we invite you to join us.

Don't wait . . . Apply now!