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Honda Campus All-Stars


The NCCU Honda Campus All-Stars (AKA University Honor Student Cadre) is an open, campus-wide effort with the purpose of identifying and supporting students with untapped potential and skill.  Selected students improve their skill level by learning specific content areas of knowledge. The best students represent NCCU in regional and national knowledge-based competitions.  All students benefit from the learning process by increasing their knowledge base and learning important facts that appear in the classroom.  Moreover, students learn how to be efficient and confident competitors and how to develop life-long academic skills and intellectual readiness.

  • Goal: To assist NCCU in assuring that quality academic areas are available for student development.
  • Focus Area: Academic Quality
  • LAA Category: Tutoring, counseling, and student service programs designed to improve academic success.


Several factors influence the quality of academic life during the college experience.  In addition to traditional coursework, intellectual extracurricular activities enrich student life, improve campus morale, and help increase learning capacity.  College students are encouraged to pursue and participate in such activities.  In addition, the ability of students to learn and grow socially is greatly influenced by specialized extracurricular programs that reward students for measured successes. One such program that can help to accomplish specific academic and social goals at North Carolina Central University is the NCCU/Title III activity entitled "NCCU University Honor Student Cadre."

NCCU has increased its emphasis on improving the level of intellectual discourse on campus.  Since there is now a renewed focus on student retention and graduation, the quality and caliber of students must improve.  Traditional campus programs including lyceum, honor societies, and the honors program, do their part toward these goals, but specialized academic of programs fill a niche for a select group of students.  The NCCU University Honor Student Cadre is an open, campus-wide effort to identify and target students with untapped potential and skill.  Selected students will improve their skill level by learning specific knowledge areas including, but not limited to, general science, history (with an emphasis on African and African-American history), mathematics, literature, geography, and current events.  The best students will represent NCCU in local, regional, and national knowledge-based competitions.   All students will benefit by increasing their knowledge base and learning important facts that will come up in the classroom setting.  Also, students learn how to be efficient and confident competitors and to develop skills that will no doubt be useful throughout their lives. 


NCCU has competed in 23 of the 24 previous seasons of the Honda All- Star Challenge. 200 undergraduate students have participated in the NCCU Undergraduate Honor Student Cadre's campus-wide competition, 70 have been recruited and trained for local and national knowledge-based competition, and 15 have acted as student volunteers.  It has been successful in competitions - placing high at the local and regional level and producing an NCCU first - a 2nd place finish at a national competition involving competitive Historically Black Colleges and Universities and to garner institutional awards that have brought over $100,000 to NCCU since 1990.  In 2010, the team tied for third place in the 21st Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament and earned $17,000 for the university.  In addition, students participating in the 2005-2006 year were able to help coordinate and compete in a Jeopardy-hosted ‘Brainbus' stop at NCCU.  Out of six NCCU students who qualified for College Jeopardy by passing knowledge-based tests, four were from the University Honor Student Cadre and one student was chosen to compete on Jeopardy. 

At NCCU, the Honors Cadre provides the opportunity for students to compete with their peers on campus and with other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  The campus was successful in 2008-2009 in holding a campus-wide academic competition with forty students.  This on-campus competition served as a networking and social opportunity for ambitious students who otherwise may not have interacted. 

NCCU competed in one regional and one national competition with other HBCUs.  The outcomes were two second place finishes in both regional and national competition. The regional competition was held at Morris College in Sumter, SC.  There were sixteen colleges and universities represented at this competition.  This meeting was the largest and most diverse gathering of students in the more than 100 year history of Morris College.  The second place finish in the national competition is the second such finish in school history.  The students were interviewed by local and national news outlets.  One student in the cadre has finished her undergraduate studies in three years, graduating at the top of her class, and will attend American University in the fall to pursue a Masters degree. 

Another accomplishment of the NCCU Honors Cadre is increased presence in the Durham community through volunteering. NCCU has hosted several high school academic competitions.  Several Honors Cadre students have volunteered their time by acting as officials or liaisons.  Students from the Honors Cadre also have served as mentors and coaches and field the first teams ever from NCCU's Early College High School program.  These teams have competed in the regionals of National Science Bowl.

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