Honors students can earn Honors credit in non-Honors courses by going beyond the regular class requirements. The Honors Option increases the scope and depth of learning in a non-Honors course to provide a more enriching student experience.
Guidelines for Honors Options
The purpose of Honors Program is to serve the needs of students who tend to be strongly motivated and who are capable of responding to intellectual and creative opportunities. The Honors Option is intended to increase the scope and depth of learning in a non-honors class section.
Projects need to involve more than just compiling information from sources. They need to clearly demonstrate that the student has engaged in independent creative and/or critical thinking, or instance, evaluation, analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, theory production and imaginative thinking. If research is involved, the project must include a correct Works Cited page or Reference List. The project should also demonstrate sufficient commitment and effort to warrant Honors credit.
Honors Option projects could be a more in-depth version of an existing course project or a completely new project. Often students have a clear idea of their Honors Option goals; sometimes students and instructors use their creativity to devise a unique option.
Honors Options examples
- A Sociology student produced a six page paper on the relationship between religion and marriage/divorce in contemporary society. Her instructor guided her to move beyond personal concerns to a social and historical interpretation.
- A British Literature student wrote a seven page paper focusing on the evolving spiritual dimensions of the literature from Milton to Blake to Eliot.
- An organic chemistry student developed a laboratory method to modify a textbook experiment; he kept a lab journal as he did the experiments, and produced a final six page paper.
- A biology student conducted a genetic experiment using computer simulations and a sophisticated statistical analysis. She wrote a six page paper describing her activities, her results, and the relevance of both to the field.
- An accounting student experimented with a software program that was due to be integrated into the curriculum. She worked on tax returns and wrote a six page report to explain the program, its benefits and drawbacks, and its relevance to the field.
As these example projects demonstrate, a wide variety of substitute or side-by-side work is possible, such as field or lab experience, reading from primary sources, thoughtful writing, conducting surveys, presenting to or mentoring fellow students and more. Regardless of the Project, the Honors Option student should be engaged in using higher level skills – analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating and thinking creatively and critically.
Goals of the program
- Continuous progress in academic learning at a pace and depth commensurate with the student's abilities to learn.
- Varied enrichment opportunities that will broaden horizons, promote leadership abilities, and provide for self-directed learning.
- Opportunities for interaction with peers/mentors for the purpose of sharing expertise and combining knowledge.
- Promote understanding of varied cultures.
- Learning theory as well as research and applications.
- Assist students in identifying and achieving personal goals and standards.
Honors Option Project (HOP) contract
For a Honors student to be eligible to complete an Honors Option and receive Honors credit for the course, the student will meet with you to develop the project. The HOP must exhibit higher level thinking skills, based on the guidelines for Honors Option projects listed above.
We recommend that you meet early in the semester to ensure enough time to for the student to complete the Honors Option project. Once the HOP proposal is completed by both the student and the instructor, it will be sent to the Honors Program for review by the Honors Director.
Accepted HOP proposal
Once your HOP proposal is accepted, you and your student will receive an email notification, sent to your Delta email. Honors Option proposals must be submitted and approved early in the semester to meet the deadline for students to qualify for priority registration. You will need to work closely with your student throughout the semester to complete the project.
Rejected HOP proposal
If your HOP proposal is rejected, you and your student will receive an email notification, sent to your Delta email. The email notification will indicate the reason for the rejection and provide recommendations for improvements to the project.
If the recommended changes are made, your student may initiate a new HOP proposal form. When you complete the instructor section, the proposal will be reviewed by the Honors Director.
Completion of a Honors Option Project
If your student completes the project, you must submit the Honors Option Instructor Verification Form indicating completion of the project and explaining how the project met Honors level, higher thinking skills. The Honors Director will evaluate the information submitted on the form. If the completed project is approved, you and your student will receive an email notification. If the student earns a C or higher grade in the course, Honors Credit, indicated by a "+" symbol, will be posted for this course on the student's transcript.
If the student does not complete the Honors Option, you must still submit the Honors Option Instructor Verification form to indicate that the project was not completed. The student will not receive Honors credits for the course.