Honors Opportunities for Faculty Across Campus

The Lewis Honors College is dedicated to bringing faculty and staff from across campus into the program to offer students instruction in every discipline on campus, both in and outside the traditional classroom. Campus partners and faculty from across the university often find the enthusiasm and engagement of Honors students intellectually nourishing and pedagogically freeing. Often, faculty from across campus find that their Honors course offerings can be laboratories of learning where novel approaches to instruction and engagement can flourish. We encourage faculty to try new course approaches, materials, and interdisciplinary methods (including departmental collaborations) for development and growth as a scholarly community at large.   

Teaching an Honors Course

The Lewis Honors College seeks faculty housed in academic departments outside of the Honors to teach HON courses or departmental Honors sections of courses from the faculty’s discipline. There are several options for HON courses. We have a series of four courses that also meet the requirements for UK Core – Humanities, Social Science, Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences, and Arts & Creativity. We also have HON 301, which is an interdisciplinary seminar that offers an in-depth examination into a topic chosen by the instructor, typically geared towards upperclassmen. We also have HON courses specifically for experiential learning – education abroad (HON 352), service learning (HON 399), and independent research (HON 395).

In addition, faculty are invited to teach departmental Honors sections of courses from their home department. These courses have been enhanced specifically for Honors students through increased interdisciplinary content, use of primary materials, writing and discussion intensity, incorporation of independent research, or other elements that aim to deeply develop critical and analytical skills.  

For more details about the various HON courses available, see our Honors Courses page. To propose an Honors course, see the Guidelines for Teaching an Honors Course or contact the Honors Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Eric Welch.

All faculty teaching an Honors course are considered Honors Faculty for the academic year in which they are teaching.

Course Agreements

Honors students may convert a 200+ level, non-Honors course into a course that fulfills an upper-level Honors requirement by adding an Honors supplement to the course. Participating in an Honors Course Agreement is an excellent way for a professor to gain additional mentorship opportunities with Honors students. It is also a great way to pilot project ideas if you think that you might be interested in offering an Honors departmental section of your course in the future!

Course Agreement for a Single Student, proposed by the student

In consultation with the faculty member, the student drafts a proposal for an additional Honors supplement (an additional project or enhancement) to an existing course. The nature of the supplement varies by what is appropriate for the class but should entail around 15-20 hours of effort and result in some sort of tangible deliverable. The Honors supplement is not required to affect the student’s grade in the class but, can if the professor deems it appropriate. 

The Honors course agreement form, signed by both student and professor, is due to the student’s Honors advisor by the second Friday of the semester. Once approved the student and professor will be notified. At the end of the semester, the student turns the project into the professor and Honors advisor. If any changes are necessary to the project once accepted by Honors, these must be approved by both the professor and Honors advisor on a case by case basis. Once the professor verifies to the advisor that the project was satisfactory and the student earns at least a B in the class, it will be applied to the student’s Honors requirements.    

Course Agreement for a Group of Students, proposed by the faculty member

For a group course agreement, a faculty member drafts a proposal for an additional Honors supplement (an additional project or enhancement) to an existing course. The nature of the supplement varies by what is appropriate for the class but should entail around 15-20 hours of effort and result in some sort of tangible deliverable. The Honors supplement is not required to affect the student’s grade in the class but, can if the professor deems it appropriate. 

The deadline for the Honors group course agreement form, signed by the professor, for a group of students that are already registered for the course is the second Friday of the semester. A faculty member can also submit a form for a course before registration opens for the course (March 1 or October 1), such that the Honors supplement opportunity can be advertised to the students before registration. In either case, the faculty member must submit the list of students pursuing the Honors supplement by the second Friday of the semester. At the end of the semester, the student turns the project into the professor and Honors advisor. If any changes are necessary to the project once accepted by Honors, these must be approved by both the professor and Honors advisor on a case by case basis. Once the professor verifies to the advisor that the project was satisfactory and the student earns at least a B in the class, it will be applied to the student’s Honors requirements.    

For more details and the proposal forms, check out our Honors Course Agreement page. Contact Shaun Ketterman with any questions.

Mentoring Honors Student Research

Faculty mentorship of undergraduate research is integral to the academic success of all Honors students. The Lewis Honors College relies on faculty partnerships to ensure that student work is of the highest caliber. Our goal is to prepare students to leverage their intellectual work for whatever path they pursue after leaving the University of Kentucky. 

The Honors thesis (HON 491) offers an opportunity-along with the responsibility-for a student to work with a faculty member on a research or creative project that integrates and expands on previous work. The Honors thesis will incorporate relevant, current research/previous work and demonstrate experience with design, execution, analysis, and presentation. An Honors thesis proposal must be submitted and approved by the faculty member advising the project and the Lewis Honors College. The Honors thesis can also be completed within an equivalent departmental course, which must be approved in the same way an HON 491 is approved. 

For more details, see our Honors Thesis page or contact the Honors Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Eric Welch.

Service Learning

Faculty are encouraged to integrate service-learning into their curriculum. UK defines service-learning as an “integrative experience through which learners engage in thoughtfully organized actions in response to community-identified assets and needs.” These experiences can be some of the most meaningful in a student’s time at the University. Further, service-learning courses will satisfy multiple requirements in the Honors curriculum. The UK Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement provides a multitude of resources from mini-grants, to community connections, to example syllabi, all intended to assist faculty in incorporating service into their instruction. 

Evaluation of Admission Essays

Help us shape the future of the Lewis Honors College and the University of Kentucky through the evaluation of admissions essays. Faculty are invited to serve as a reviewer during the admission cycle which usually lasts from November through January. In addition to helping shape next year’s first-year class, reviewing essays also provides a unique view into the thoughts, opinions and writing abilities of our applicant pool. To serve as a reviewer, contact the Honors Director of Recruitment, Greg Robinson.

Recommendation of Students for Upper Level Admission (ULA)

All students applying to the Lewis Honors College for Upper Level Admission must include a Statement of Endorsement with their application. This letter does not need to be a full-length letter of recommendation, but rather, it should focus on general support for the student. Lewis is looking to admit students who will have faculty/department support when they complete their Honors Thesis – we want to ensure that we do not admit more students in one department/major than the faculty in that area can advise. Ideally, a faculty writing a letter of endorsement for a student would be the one to oversee a student’s thesis work, but this letter is not binding. Any other information that you would like us to know when considering a student’s admission can be included as well. Faculty may write letters of endorsement for as many students as they wish. For more details, see our Upper Level Admission page or contact Kayla Powell with any questions.