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The program approved by the IUP Senate in December 1992 proposed that the major differences between honors courses and other IUP courses should be:
Additionally we would emphasize that because these students are on the whole outstanding in ability, it does not follow that we can assume basic skills are already developed. For example, while the honors student may have much ability as a reader, it does not follow that we can assume he/she will already know how to identify voices in a text or be familiar with the technical jargon and paradigms of literary analysis. Skills cannot be assumed and must still be taught.
In December 1994 the University Senate adopted the following criteria for Honors Courses:
While the Honors College Committee recognizes that there are legitimate alternative pedagogies to those implied by the criteria and that there are some courses for which these criteria are not well suited (as is also the case for writing-intensive courses), we maintain that honors students will be exposed to these alternatives in the 102 credit hours of non-honors IUP courses they will take before graduation.
Honors course proposals may come from any area of the IUP curriculum except for the ENGL 101, ENGL 121, HIST 195, PHIL 120, RLST 100, or FIAR 101 which are already offered in interdisciplinary form as the Honors "Core Courses" (HNRC 101, 102, and HNRC 201).
Honors students will come from all majors. Liberal Studies courses and upper-level courses which are requirements of several majors (for example, Management 310, which all majors in the College of Business are required to take) are especially good choices for this population. Honors sections of multi-sectioned courses will often be easier for your department to schedule.
You may choose to offer it as a synthesis course. But also consider that all Honors College courses should share many of the qualities of synthesis courses and could be offered under another heading. Honors students will also be required and will want to take upper-level courses in or related to their majors. Applicants are encouraged to conceive these as interdisciplinary courses or courses with few prerequisites to facilitate enrollment by students of various majors. Remember, too, that the option exists to enroll qualified non-Honors College students in the class with approval of the Honors College Committee.
This would be the perfect situation to take a "synthesis" proposal and turn it into an interdisciplinary 300- or 400-level honors course.
Decisions about which honors courses will be scheduled in a given academic year will largely depend upon the number of Honors College students enrolled and their scheduling needs at that time. These decisions will be made by the Honors College Director in consultation with the Honors College Committee, the Provost, Academic Deans, and Department Chairpersons. This is similar to the procedure for scheduling synthesis courses.
Obviously, the Honors College Committee must assure that an adequate number of honors courses exist to meet the minimum requirements of enrolled students. It is our hope, however, that we can exceed these minimum requirements and allow Honors College students the option of taking more than 23 hours of honors work.
While there is a mechanism to replace faculty where necessary to offer honors courses, this budget is limited. Thus, you have a greater chance of offering your honors course frequently if:
Departments requiring replacement faculty because of staffing needs of the Honors College will receive replacement FTE where necessary and as the budget allows. The Provost will oversee this process in consultation with Academic Deans and Department Chairpersons. The Honors College Committee will NOT be involved in this process.
Determine if the course will be:
____ an honors section of an existing course
A proposal for an H-designation for an existing course involves primarily a change in how the instructor will teach the course; it does not involve a change of the goals, objectives, or content of the course. This procedure is similar to proposing a writing intensive section of an existing course. It is assumed that the course title and objectives remain the same as the syllabus of record, which originally went through the IUP approval process. All that is required is an application to the Honors College Committee after you have secured the approval of your department and college dean.
This procedure is designed to insure that H courses meet the definition and criteria for Honors College courses passed by the Senate in both December 1992 and December 1994.
_____ a new honors course
A proposal for a new honors course must go through the normal IUP approval process for new courses with the additional step of approval by the Honors College Committee.
The Honors College periodically offers workshops for faculty who want to propose honors courses. These are usually held just before and just after the spring semester. Contact the Honors College at x4971 for more information.
The Honors College Committee is also happy to offer you individual consultation and feedback.
No. The approval process is for the course, not the instructor. Staffing decisions are made by department chairs and deans who may consult with the Honors College Committee as they feel it is necessary.
If the proposal is for an honors section of an existing course, the process can be completed very quickly. The Honors College Committee meets 2-4 times per month during the normal academic year and will review proposals as they are received.
If the proposal is for a new honors course, the timetable is roughly the same as the approval process for any new course.
In both cases, the approval process is facilitated when the application is carefully and thoroughly written.
To help us understand the pedagogy for your syllabus, please submit your thoughtful and concrete answers to the ten questions below:
Attach letters from interested or affected departments/programs.
*e.g., 3c-0l-3cr means 3 class hours per week, no lab hours, and 3 credits; 3c-3l-4cr means 3 class hours per week, 3 lab hours per week, and 4 credits.
(View flow chart)
Part I. Form to Request Approval of an Honors College Course
Part II. Description of Curricular Change
(View flow chart)
*Within each college, the approval for honors designation of existing synthesis courses will follow the same approval mechanism used to approve synthesis courses. Proposals are then forwarded to the Honors College Committee for approval. Following Honors College Committee approval, the proposal is submitted to the UWUCC and Senate for approval.
Similarly, a department proposal for an honors section of XXXX 281 or 481 should follow the same procedures as normally required for approval of special topics courses in that college. Proposals are then forwarded to the Honors College Committee for approval. This designation will then be sent to the UWUCC and the Senate for approval as a W course.
Next: Program Proposals - New Tracks
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