Designation of an Honors Course

The Honors Program at the University of Mary Washington will enhance students’ intellectual growth by engaging them in rigorous honors designated coursework, interdisciplinary seminars, strong internship experiences, extended research and creative projects, and community service that develop a community of learners.  Coursework in the program should not involve simply adding extra work but rather should offer differentiated learning opportunities that challenge a student to grow intellectually.   Quality rather than quantity is the goal of an honors course.

To propose a course use the following form honors_sec_course_2018_19

All courses offered as honors designation (HN) must be approved by the Honors Program committee.  Existing courses can be submitted directly to the Honors Committee for HN designation.  New courses need to be first approved by the appropriate curriculum committees.  Faculty wishing to offer courses in the Honors Program may submit a proposal for approval by completing the attached form.  The deadline for courses to be offered in Spring 2019 semester is September 10, 2018, Summer 2019 is November 12, 2018 and for Fall 2019 is January 18, 2019. Submit (electronically) the completed proposal with supplemental materials to the director of the Honors Program, Kelli Slunt, kslunt@umw.edu.

Faculty are encouraged to develop courses or sections of courses that are geared to meet the objectives of the honors program.  Honor program courses feature small class sizes (limited to 20-25 students, except Honors First-year Seminar which is limited to 15 students) with highly motivated, achieving students.  (Note – faculty proposing topics for the Honors First-year seminar need to use a separate course proposal form.)  The committee encourages you to develop the intellectual potential of your students through activities that:

  • develop communication skills
  • incorporate an interdisciplinary focus
  • include innovative pedagogy
  • enhance research skills
  • apply critical reading, writing, speaking, problem-solving, and thinking skills that incorporate information literacy, and an appreciation of audience
  • include greater breadth than non-honors course sections
  • incorporate enrichment opportunities to students and faculty
  • utilize flexible approaches that accommodate different learning styles
  • analyze their own and others’ assumptions

Each honors designated course must clearly articulate learning outcomes for the course.  The course should change one or more aspects of the course to show how the student(s) can independently meet the following objectives:

  • formulate an academic argument with appropriate research documentation.
  • articulate the value of the goals of the honors program as it relates to the liberal arts as a multidisciplinary, systematic approach to knowledge.
  • apply specific academic solutions to broader, interdisciplinary fields of study.
  • integrate multiple viewpoints involving different cultures and/or perspectives.

In addition, the following learning outcomes have been established for Honors First-Year Courses:

 All FSEM100 courses at UMW must meet the following goals:

  • Students will engage in several writing assignments and become better writers
  • Students will engage in numerous discussions, speaking assignments, and become better public speakers
  • Students will make use of primary sources of information and be able to draw conclusions from the materials
  • Students will utilize research techniques and conduct research relevant to the subject

In addition, upon completion of the Honors First-year Seminar, students will be able to:

  • formulate an academic argument with appropriate research documentation
  • articulate the value of the goals of the honors program as it relates to the liberal arts as a multidisciplinary, systematic approach to knowledge
  • apply specific academic solutions to broader, interdisciplinary fields of study
  • integrate multiple viewpoints involving different cultures and/or perspectives
  • As this is proposed to be a group contract, the instructor and the students should consider activities or projects that involve group work or foster collaboration between members of the honors program.