Are you a full-time or adjunct faculty member interested in teaching an Honors course? We have created this resource for faculty members to find information about designing and teaching Honors courses.
- Most faculty members find that teaching an Honors course is a very challenging and rewarding experience.
- “Teaching an Honors course offers an instructor two main assets: academic rigor and intellectual diversity. With an Honors course, you have the freedom to push students with reading and writing assignments that are far more challenging than typical classes. But even more important is that students in Honors classes come from a wide variety of majors from across the university. These classes benefit from the habits of thinking that students develop in their various disciplines. It is these opportunities for cross-pollination that make teaching Honors courses so exciting.” – Dr. Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox, Professor of History
- “It was a wonderful experience, and my students exceeded all my expectations. For the creative project, one student prepared a medieval banquet; another transcribed the theme music from Monty Python and the Holy Grail into bagpipe music; another wrote a very funny short story placing Arthur, Lancelot and Guenivere in a high school romance. We had a lot of fun and learned a great deal.” – Dr. Katherine Allocco, Professor of History
Process of Developing an Honors Course:
- The process of developing your own honors course begins with you! We suggest that you start by brainstorming different ideas you want to explore with students from your preferred field of study. The best courses set out to solve a problem or tackle world issues from sustainability and climate change to how to be more innovative and artistic.
- Note: All honors courses must be interdisciplinary. Therefore, you must look at a subject or topic using at least two of the four different modes of inquiry: Artistic Creation Analysis, Science/Math Analysis, Historical/Social/Cultural Analysis, and Textual Analysis. See the FAQ page for more information. http://www.wcsu.edu/honors/faq.asp
- Once you have your course idea and ensure it incorporates at least two modes of inquiry, you have the option of attending an Honors Course Committee meeting to sound off your idea. The Honors Course Committee meets at least twice every semester and comprises a group of committed students and faculty representatives. These meetings are open to all faculty. If you would like to be added to the agenda please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After you are sure about your subject matter, you can begin researching this idea further and develop a draft syllabus using the Syllabus Frame. Also, check out the following sample syllabi from past courses for guidance.
- Your course will then be reviewed and approved by the Honors Council, the governing body of the Kathwari Honors Program, comprised of faculty and student representatives. The Council meets monthly; please email us to be included in the agenda at email@example.com.
- Upon approval by the Honors Council, you can offer your course in an upcoming semester. Please note that once the course is approved you can offer it multiple times or opt to have another course approved.
Cross-listing an existing course as an Honors Course
Instead of creating a new course, you can cross-list an existing course with the Honors Program. The course must be interdisciplinary in nature and the syllabus needs to be updated to include how the course covers at least two modes of inquiry. The Honors Council will then review the course to ensure that it can be cross-listed in the Program.
Draft guidelines for honors course design and syllabus preparation