Designing an honors or honors contract course should not just mean adding more work to an existing syllabus. Rather, it should mean a qualitative change in the student’s experience, deepening their understanding of the material involved and offering them opportunities to do things of which a non-honors student might not yet be capable. This might mean, for example, challenging the student to analyze more complex material, to do original research, to engage in hands-on activities, to explore theory in addition to applications, or to present the results of their work (in class presentations, posters, conference participation, etc.) What would make an appropriate honors requirement will depend on the nature of the material being taught and on the needs of the student seeking to achieve honors distinction.
The materials on this page are intended to assist instructors interested in developing new Honors courses or working on contract courses with individual students. You will find here examples of well-designed contract courses from previous semesters, a document developed by Prof. Susan Rakow (COEHS) on the meaning of “depth, complexity and challenge” as these terms apply to Honors courses, and a power point presentation on creating Honors courses that Prof. Rakow developed for the Center for Teaching Excellence.
If you would like to see syllabi for existing Honors general education courses or talk to the Director of the Honors Program about honors education, you can email Dr. Meiksins at firstname.lastname@example.org.