University-wide General Education Structure: Expected Outcomes for Accommodating the Honors Student
All Tier One and Tier Two General Education courses must include an Honors component. Academic work that carries Honors credit is qualitatively different from work assigned to non-Honors students. An Honors component is meant to be an enriched experience, not just an increase in the number of assignments. Honors assignments that involve substantially more work should substitute for other assignments. The Honors College is very interested in encouraging more Honors course options given that one in four incoming students applies for Honors. Courses that meet requirements in students' academic plans are particularly needed. The College views Honors courses as essential to the program, which is built upon offering strong academic offerings to talented students. One of the College’s goals is to increase the number of students taking Honors courses, thus enabling them to receive Honors on their first two years of academic work (First-level Honors) and to graduate with Honors.
The following are some formats in which Honors experiences can be incorporated into General Education courses:
- create an independent Honors section
- in large lecture courses, offer an Honors discussion section
- reserve a lab section for Honors students
- create an Honors experience through a contract negotiated with individual Honors students
Note that the format preferred by Honors students and The Honors College is small, independent Honors sections where students actively can engage the material and interact intensely with the professor(s) and other students. The Honors College recommends a size of 20 to facilitate discussion and interaction.
The content of Honors academic work can include:
- introduction to research methodologies and theories in the field
- exploration of primary sources such as major monographs, treatises, journals
- discussion of the nature and scope of current and past controversies among scholars
- experience using critical, analytic skills unique to the subject matter
- introduction to major contributors to the historical and current development of the field
- hands-on experience in the creative, scholarly process appropriate to the field
- practice and critique of written and oral communication skills
Information about Honors contracts can be obtained from The Honors College, 621-6901.