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Submitting to the NCHC Convention

Westminster College is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), which sponsors an annual convention attended by about 2,000 undergraduates, professors, and administrators from Honors programs around the country. Representatives from Westminster College attend the convention each year to participate in workshops, attend sessions, and enjoy the many entertaining diversions of the host city. Students who are interested in attending should consult the director of Honors and read the following guidelines about making a proposal. This year's meeting will be on Oct. 12-16, 2016 in Seattle (note: this is right before fall break).  Our Honors program typically sends anywhere from 4-8 students to this meeting.

1. It costs about $1,000-$1,300 per student and we will do our best to underwrite much of that cost for students whose papers are accepted. Certainly we will pay the $450 registration fee for everybody and offset as much as possible the flight and hotel costs, depending on how many proposals are accepted.

2. Submitting is easy! There are three primary ways for students to participate:

  • a poster session on your own research (i.e. "Biodiversity in the Great Salt Lake")

  • a student panel discussing some aspect of Honors education or administration (i.e. "The New Honors Orientation Program at Westminster College" or "Using Vulnerability in the Honors classroom")

  • an interdisciplinary student research panel, on which you summarize for 15-minute a high-level research paper (i.e. "Gender and Desire in T. S. Eliot").

Other alternative ways to participate include diversity panels, idea exchanges, roundtables, and master classes.  All you need is an idea and a way to describe it clearly. The various types of sessions are described at the conference website which also explains how to submit. You will need to describe your idea for the conference booklet in 500 characters or less.  (You will have to create an on-line account before making a proposal--to open and account and submit a proposal go here.)

To brainstorm about ideas for paper proposals, download an electronic pdf version of the 2015 meeting in Chicago, talk to Honors students who have attended previous conferences (see old copies of Honorable Mention), or swing by my office to chat.  Warning: Don't print the conference program, as it's 200+ pages long, though you can search "Westminster" to see the many students who participated.

3. The final deadline for online submission is March 28, 2016. Professor Badenhausen must sign off on your project by sending NCHC an email certifying your project, so let him know what you are up to--otherwise, NCHC will not accept the submission. Don't wait until the final deadline to do it.

4. The NCHC runs hundreds of sessions, so be as creative as you want. You can propose a session consisting of just yourself; a session with one, two, or three other students interested in the same topic; or a session with a professor (and other students) from a class.

5. If you have an idea for a session and are looking for fellow panelists for your proposal (e.g. students who might be interested in the same topic), run your idea by other Westminster College Honors students by sending an email message to the Honors students email distribution list.

6. Email Richard if you want to talk about your idea or need help writing your 500-character description and 1500-character abstract. Submission of a proposal is your acknowledgment that you will attend NCHC if your application is accepted.

7. The deadline for proposals is March 28, 2016, so start early!