Honors Contract Courses
Although honors education means much more than simply completing additional or more difficult work, the experienced honors teacher and the exceptionally motivated student may contractually agree to supplement an existing catalog course in creative and substantive ways that allow the student to count the course as honors. The Honors Contract Course compromises the community of an honors course, but it permits both students and faculty to pursue the creativity, uniqueness, independence, and academically enhanced standards of honors in a special setting.
- Students are limited to one Honors Contract Course selection of no more than four credit hours out of the four honors courses needed to complete the requirements for the lower division honors program. The number of Honors Contract Courses that may be included as part of the upper division honors program is determined on a department by department basis.
- Students must initiate the petition in writing by consulting with the advisor and faculty member, proposing a course of study, identifying appropriate outcomes or experiences, and specifying criteria for evaluation. A form is provided to help students and instructors formalize the Honors Contract Course. The petition for Honors Contract Course should be submitted at the time of pre-registration, with final proposal due prior to the end of the semester before the term in which the Honors Contract Course will be taken.
- The faculty member must be a qualified honors teacher.
- The advisor, instructor, and director of honors must approve the Honors Contract Course.
- Upon completion of the student's Honors Contract Course, the faculty member will notify the director in writing that the student has successfully met the particular challenges of honors in the course and that the student's record may reflect honors credit for the course.
An Honors Contract Course is used to allow an honors student to receive honors credit for a non-honors course. It generally involves replacing a learning activity in the non-honors course with one that represents the challenge of the Honors Program but can also involve additional work of an independent nature.
The Honors Contract Course contract is written by the student and the faculty member. It should provide answers to questions such as the following:
- How does the honors part of the course extend or deepen the honors student's learning experience in the non-honors course?
- What outcomes are expected in the course? How will the outcomes enrich the student's honors learning?
- How will the honors work be assessed?
The student and the faculty member should collaboratively complete and sign the Honors Contract Course form. On the form, the student and faculty member should agree on the issues described in the questions listed above.
This three-part scheme is meant to be a set of guidelines, not a rigid formula, so anyone writing an Honors Contract Course should feel free to adjust them as appropriate.