This conference includes honors program directors, administrators and faculty, as well as students at Jesuit colleges and universities. Each school is invited to bring several students to the conference's annual gathering to enrich the conversation. Although some threads of each conference are tailored specifically to administrators or students, most sessions are open to all conference participants.
Since 2006, the main goal of the AJCU Honors Program Conference has always been to share best practices. Meetings are centered on discussions that enable members to better deal with common challenges, to implement new ideas, and generally to work at ensuring that Jesuit honors programs are healthy and thriving.
The conference also accomplishes more specific goals. Two years ago, members put together a series of articles about honors programs for Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education. In 2009, the conference hosted a summer gathering of honors students in New Orleans.
Another major focus of the conference was continued work on a document that captures "essential features of an honors program at a Jesuit institution." After several years of work, the document was adopted by the conference in May 2012 (available here online). Although member schools are still exploring how best to employ the “essential characteristics” document at their home institutions, honors program directors believe that it could be used as a teaching tool for faculty coming into Jesuit honors programs, and as a way for Jesuit honors programs to recognize what makes them distinct from non-Jesuit honors programs.
During the 2016 AJCU Honors Conference, Gonzaga University professor Dr. Brian Henning discussed "deep sustainability." A video of his presentation is now available on YouTube.
A new article on the social justice benefits of honors programs can be found here in the journal Digital Commons, by Conference Chair Dr. Naomi Yavneh Klos and Loyola University New Orleans President Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J.