Diversity Opportunities for Higher Education and Honors Programs: A View from Nebraska

By Longo, Peter J.; Falconer, John | Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring-Summer 2003 | Go to article overview

Diversity Opportunities for Higher Education and Honors Programs: A View from Nebraska


Longo, Peter J., Falconer, John, Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council


INTRODUCTION

While honors programs were developed in part to actively engage top students in undergraduate education, they also have demonstrated a capacity for leading innovation in post-secondary institutions. Innovations come in the form of curricular development, service learning programs, and independent scholarship. As institutions strive to find effective approaches to improving access to and diversity in higher education, honors programs, in a most general sense, offer a link between diversity and improved access. This paper explores the role of honors programs in expanding access and diversity-an area traditionally focused on broader student populations. Demographic changes in Nebraska, marked by increased ethnic diversity, offer an intriguing example of how honors programs might better embrace diversity.

The importance of higher education in society centers on the notion of equitable opportunity for all. Inclusionary participation provides an essential element in the mythical hope that America offers to people here and abroad. Since the presidency of Andrew Jackson, American society has embraced the belief that people with skills and ambition can rise from the most humble beginnings to the pinnacle of success. This fundamental principle underlies our public education system, which was founded to provide the basic educational foundation necessary for participation in society and the economy. Trow (1989) observed that "...the expansion and democratization of higher education may also work to legitimate the political and social order by rewarding talent and effort rather than serving merely as a cultural apparatus of the ruling classes by ensuring the passage of power and privilege across generations" (p. 19). Half a century ago, a series of presidential commissions considered this issue:

   American society is a democracy: that is, its folkways and
   institutions, its arts and sciences and religions are based on the
   principle of equal freedom and equal rights for all its members,
   regardless of race, faith, sex, occupation, or economic status. The
   law of the land, providing equal justice for the poor as well as the
   rich, for the weak as well as the strong, is one instrument by which
   a democratic society establishes, maintains, and protects this
   equality among different persons and groups. The other instrument is
   education, which, as all the leaders in the making of democracy have
   pointed out again and again, is necessary to give effect to the
   equality prescribed by law. (Report of the President's Commission
   on Higher Education, 1947, p. 759)

The message of 1947 still retains its importance at the beginning of the twenty-first century even as the nation absorbs people from other lands. The legal and political systems are challenged to develop and apply just laws to a changing cultural landscape, and colleges and universities continue the decades-long struggle to expand access to post-secondary education. In the latter case, most attention has been focused on recruiting students from various social and ethnic backgrounds into college through affirmative action programs and flexible admissions criteria. While such methods have had some success at drawing students into colleges, they have not been an effective measure for so-called performance-driven honors programs. In other words, honors programs typically rely on the quantitative evaluative indicators of class rank, grade point average, and ACT or SAT scores. Moving beyond traditional indicators, however, expands the potential for diversity and better fulfills the social contract.

Further, it should not be assumed that honors programs are separate from the social contract equation. James Hearn (1991) underscored the importance of looking beyond simple access to higher education:

   ... because attending a more selective, resource-rich institution
   has been associated with measurable positive impacts on educational
   attainment, income attainment, status attainment, and socially
   valued aspects of citizenship, the issues of who attends such
   institutions and how attendance patterns at such institutions
   change over time are of both policy and theoretical importance. … 

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Diversity Opportunities for Higher Education and Honors Programs: A View from Nebraska
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.