Skip to main content

About

TYpes of Honors Classes

Honors courses are presented in different configurations, often depending on enrollment numbers. All configurations count as H courses.

  • Straight - where all students are in the Honors College
  • Dual-Roster - where several Honors College students take a regular course but do special assignments and activities.
  • Customized - where one Honors College student who has completed the Honors Seminar or his or her Honors Capstone Course contracts with an instructor to do special assignments and activities as part of a regular course.

The enhanced syllabi for existing dual-roster and customized courses will be vetted and reviewed by the Honors College and Provost’s Office using “Characteristics of an Honors Course.” New Honors Course will be approved using the same University procedures as for regular courses.

 

Characteristics of an Honors Course

Honors courses generally require students to read and write more and to do more extensive research than in regular classes. Students are often asked to read “core texts,” i.e. ancient or contemporary classics in the discipline in question. The extra writing is generally 15 pages (double-spaced) more than in regular classes, but it may be distributed in short or long assignments. The faculty member determines the length and/or time intervals of all reading, writing and research assignments.

Faculty designers of Honors syllabi should strive to give their courses the following common characteristics:

  • Reading Pretinent Core Text: We suggest at least three readings of pertinent core texts (to be determined by the department and instructor) beyond the usual textbook or other regular course readings. A text can be any length and any genre, and it can originate from any time period (including the present). Texts might also include films, paintings, seminal articles from journals, classic experiments, important case studies, great musical compositions, etc. 
  • Reading Assignments: We suggest at least one additional reading assignment (beyond the three core texts above) in the history of the discipline or history of ideas.
  • Assignments: We suggest at least four assignments (with a written or oral deliverable) that require students to R.E.A.S.O.N. (see below) per the QEP.

Research

We suggest students do and present (as appropriate) research in the pertinent discipline(s). Students should be literate in information technology, i.e., the proper methodology for doing advanced library and internet-based research.

Service Learning or Civic Engagement

We suggest an experiential, relevant, co-curricular component that is academically significant and coordinated with Honors College (including DNIMAS) programming. This may include service learning or civic engagement activities.

Technology

We suggest the infusion of technology that is appropriate, state-of-the-art and well understood by faculty and students into Honors courses across the disciplines.


Science

We suggest that discussion of the scientific method, paradigm shifts, and the role of science in public life be incorporated into Honors courses across the disciplines.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

We suggest that Honors courses emphasize interdisciplinary perspectives whenever possible.

Academia

We suggest that Honors courses be attractive to students and academically rigorous.

Assignments

We suggest at least four assignments (with a written or oral deliverable) that require students to R.E.A.S.O.N. (see below) per the QEP.

  • Reflect

    Reflect on information presented in diverse media and diverse frames of reference to identify main ideas, themes, and assumptions and make comparative judgments from data.

  • Evaluate

    Evaluate the validity and limitations of assumptions in relation to evidence and identify limitations and contradictions in an event.

  • Argue

    Argue to effectively advocate ideas and alternative solutions; identify, develop, and evaluate arguments and issues. Solve - problems in creative, efficient, and effective ways to demonstrate creative problem-solving skills.

  • Solve

    Solve problems in creative, efficient, and effective ways to demonstrate creative problem-solving skills.

  • Obtain

    Obtain desired goals or outcomes by assessing potential deviations from such outcomes; evaluate and implement a plan to work towards a goal or conclusion. Network - to communicate ideas, alternative solutions, and desired outcomes in a variety of media and in diverse frames of reference; communicate the results, findings, and recommendations in a variety of media. 

  • Network

    Network to communicate ideas, alternative solutions, and desired outcomes in a variety of media and in diverse frames of reference; communicate the results, findings, and recommendations in a variety of media.