HONORS ENHANCEMENT GUIDELINES
Honors students may take, one-time only for Honors credit, one course outside of the HON offerings. However, it is the student’s responsibility to consult with the Honors director and arrange with their instructor a suitable plan of study. No instructor at the university is under obligation to agree to the arrangement.
Please note that a student may successfully complete requirements for the standard course without completing the Honors Enhancement, in which case that student would still receive credit for the course but no Honors credit.
Students should contact their instructor soon after the registration period ends to determine whether the course can be taught as an Honors Enhancement. If the instructor agrees, the student and instructor, in consultation with the Honors Director, should determine the basic plan for a formal proposal. Students should obtain an Honors Enhancement form, available at the Honors House. This proposal should be submitted to the Director no later than the last day to drop full semester classes (usually the end of the second week of the semester), and preferably much earlier.
The proposal should include: a copy of the original syllabus and a short (250-word) narrative detailing the enhanced requirements.
A mid-semester report to the Honors Director is required, to be completed by the student and signed by the instructor. The report should answer the following:
- What are you doing for the extension; what is the topic, creative work or research question?
- Where are you on your timeline? Are you making adequate progress for the extension?
- Your thoughts on how to share your work with the campus community.
Final evaluation of the Honors Enhancement is the responsibility of the course instructor, though the Honors Director will maintain a list of those students whose Honors credits are to be fulfilled after the semester term.
Because every class, discipline, and instructor will vary greatly in determining what an Honors enhancement constitutes, the Honors program provides basic guidelines but does not prescribe specific course content:
- Honors enhanced courses should privilege changes in depth over quantity. Simply extending the number or length of assignments would not be in the spirit of this modification.
- Similarly, students should not think only in terms of “more”; Honors is interested in supporting creative and out-of-the-box pathways for its students as part of an existing course curriculum
- Successful enhancements have often involved an emphasis on pre-professional activity, including the submission of final papers and projects for publication, presentation of material at professional conferences, or the integration of coursework with community outreach.
- Honors enhancements often require more agency of Honors students—placing more responsibility on their shoulders to determine appropriate projects/paths for research.
- Ideally, the enhanced work a student completes will intersect with or springboard into other areas of interest in their studies, e.g. independent research in preparation for capstone work in the major.
- It may sometimes be the case that requirements for Honors credit fall outside of the regular class term, though this may never extend beyond the end of the subsequent academic semester. In these cases, Honors credit will be awarded retroactively once the Honors enhancement has been met.