Honors Opportunities for Faculty Across Campus
Honors courses offer an exciting opportunity for faculty members to work with a small group (not more than 25) of excellent, motivated students.
Professors interested in proposing a seminar for the Lewis Honors College or a departmental Honors section should submit a Lewis Honors Course Proposal to Dr. Ryan Voogt, director of undergraduate studies (DUS), prior to the time when courses are submitted to the registrar for the semester in consideration. Contacting the DUS to discuss ahead of time is also recommended before beginning the proposal. All courses must be approved by the Honors College Council. Once courses have gone through the approval process, they do not need to be formally proposed again, unless they undergo substantive changes. Those wishing to teach repeat honors courses should simply notify the DUS of their desire to teach the course once the window for proposals begins. See below for more on course approvals.
Courses approved for the HON prefix have the following characteristics. They have no prerequisites and assume no prior disciplinary or methodological training, because students of all backgrounds, disciplines, and majors take the courses. They are also ideally, at least to some extent, interdisciplinary in approach. HON courses are not designed for students advanced in a major or course of study. Rather, the “honors” component of the class relates more to critical thinking, expanding perspectives, interdisciplinary inquiry, ethical and moral questions, student-choice, independent work, presentations, and the like. HON courses are only available to enrolled Lewis Honors College students.
H-courses—honors courses offered by departments, by contrast, may be made available to any student, and they may be disciplinarily-focused and require conceptual or methodological prerequisites or advanced standing within a course of study or major.
Making course conversions or contracts—where a student takes a non-honors course but makes an agreement with the professor whereby they can obtain honors—is the best course of option when the number of honors students is singular or low.
Faculty proposing education abroad courses for Honors must also submit the appropriate materials to Education Abroad to build a new program in conjunction with the Honors course proposal.
Any questions about course content can be directed to Dr. Ryan Voogt.
Prior to being submitted, all proposals should be approved by the faculty member’s department chair, and written or verbal indication of the chair’s support is required. We recommend that you or your chair remain in contact with the dean of your college about your overall teaching responsibilities, and faculty should be aware of any additional approvals necessary through their home departments.
Those proposing courses are required to first submit their proposal to the DUS, along with relevant or related course evaluations (TCEs) to verify a history of quality teaching.
The DUS will share the proposal with the Honors Council Course and Curriculum Committee, who will review it at their next meeting. The committee will share feedback to ensure it meets honors expectations, and the proposing faculty will then develop and share a syllabi for final review. Templates for HON syllabi are available on the Honors Faculty Sharepoint or upon request.
Decisions about course offerings will be made in a timely manner and in coordination with the proposing faculty member. Decisions will be based on course need, diversity of offerings, faculty availability to teach within certain resource restrictions (e.g. course meeting patterns, classroom availability, etc.), and suitability given the course and intended student audience.
Upon approval, faculty will be contacted by Honors to arrange a meeting pattern for the course if the course is to be offered under an HON heading and to collect course details for departmental honors section that are created by the faculty's department. HON sections are capped at 25 students, and the Honors College requests that departmental honors sections make every effort to keep those sections at lower capacities than the regular versions of those courses. Individual departments may opt to place controlled enrollment on departmental courses, or allow open seats to be filled by non-Honors students after the Honors registration window has closed.
Honors Faculty Expectations
By agreeing to teach an Honors course, faculty also agree to the following:
- In accordance with GR VII, all faculty teaching an honors course are automatically a part of the Honors Faculty. By accepting this teaching assignment, you are also accepting a position on the Honors Faculty. The Honors Faculty are required to meet once a year and will be asked to vote on important Honors College issues.
- All faculty teaching HON courses and departmental honors courses are expected to adhere to Title IV in the same way they would for a course in their own college.
- Honors Faculty will be encouraged to interact with honors students at various Honors programs and events.
- For courses that have Honors and non-Honors students, all students are expected to fulfill the full obligations of the Honors course; all will receive honors notation for that class on their transcript.
- All faculty teaching honors courses will provide syllabi and teaching evaluations when requested by the DUS or Associate Dean.
- HON seminars at all levels are evaluated by students electronically at the end of term, and those teaching honors seminars should find ways to encourage students to complete evaluations to verify the quality of the course.