Teaching in the Honors College

Honors-by-contract evaluation form (due by the last day of exam week for the current term)

Honors-by-contract guidelines                                    

You will find it both stimulating and rewarding to teach an honors course. Students in the Honors College are typically well-prepared and high-achieving; they tend to be highly motivated and they expect to be challenged. Faculty who teach honors courses are encouraged to explore innovative pedagogy. We are looking for professors who can bring their research into the classroom, and who will implement ingenious and engaging approaches to teaching.

Honors courses are expected to include the following:

  • Some form of hands-on experiential learning. This may include a laboratory or field component, service learning experience, etc. Put simply, the class must consist of more than just lecture.
  • Student engagement with primary sources and/or methodology of the course's discipline(s).
  • Synthesis of knowledge across all the material covered in the course, preferably across other coursework as well. 

You may be approached by students who wish to take an upper-division course you teach for honors credit as "honors-by-contract."  You and the student will agree on an "honors component" to be added to the course, in the form of extra work for the student over and above what's in the syllabus. Feel free to be creative in designing honors components for your courses. Some possibilities include:

  • Having students in a cross-listed undergraduate/graduate class follow the graduate syllabus.
  • Additional or different kinds of lab work.
  • Developing supplemental teaching materials for a class (this is one way in which honors contracts may be of mutual benefit for the professor and the student.
  • Collaborating with the professor to create teaching material and present it to the class.
  • Present a research project to the class and lead tutorial sessions for student needing additional help on the class topic addressed in the project.
  • Require that a research project be presented at the annual Engaged Scholar Symposium.

The National Collegiate Honors Council's guide to honors teaching

Joe Schall’s Guide to Writing Letters of Recommendation

Another article on writing letters of recommendation, from Inside Higher Ed