HON 305 Honors Enhancement and Experience Credit

HON 305 Honors Enhancement Guidelines

Honors students may take, one-time only for Honors credit, one course outside of the HON offerings. However, it is the student’s responsibility to consult with the Honors Director and arrange with their instructor a suitable plan of study.  No instructor at the University is under obligation to agree to the arrangement.

Please note that a student may successfully complete requirements for the standard course without completing the Honors Enhancement, in which case that student would still receive credit for the course but no Honors credit.

Students should contact their instructor soon after the registration period ends to determine whether the course can be taught as an Honors Enhancement.  If the instructor agrees, the student and instructor, in consultation with the Honors Director, should determine the basic plan for a formal proposal.  Students should obtain an Honors Enhancement form, available at the Honors House.  This proposal should be submitted to the Director no later than the last day to drop full semester classes (usually the end of the second week of the semester), and preferably much earlier.

The proposal should include: a copy of the original syllabus and a short (250-word) narrative detailing the enhanced requirements.

 A mid-semester report to the Honors Director is required, to be completed by the student and signed by the instructor.   The report should answer the following:

  • What are you doing for the extension; what is the topic, creative work or research question?

  • Where are you on your timeline?  Are you making adequate progress for the extension?

  • Your thoughts on how to share your work with the campus community.

Final evaluation of the Honors Enhancement is the responsibility of the course instructor, though the Honors Director will maintain a list of those students whose Honors credits are to be fulfilled after the semester term.

Course Guidelines

Because every class, discipline, and instructor will vary greatly in determining what an Honors enhancement constitutes, the Honors Program provides basic guidelines but does not prescribe specific course content:

  • Honors enhanced courses should privilege changes in depth over quantity. Simply extending the number or length of assignments would not be in the spirit of this modification.

  • Similarly, students should not think only in terms of “more”; Honors is interested in supporting creative and out-of-the-box pathways for its students as part of an existing course curriculum.

  • Successful enhancements have often involved an emphasis on pre-professional activity, including the submission of final papers and projects for publication, presentation of material at professional conferences, or the integration of coursework with community outreach.

  • Honors enhancements often require more agency of Honors students—placing more responsibility on their shoulders to determine appropriate projects/paths for research.

  • Ideally, the enhanced work a student completes will intersect with or springboard into other areas of interest in their studies, e.g. independent research in preparation for capstone work in the major.

  • It may sometimes be the case that requirements for Honors credit fall outside of the regular class term, though this may never extend beyond the end of the subsequent academic semester. In these cases, Honors credit will be awarded retroactively once the Honors enhancement has been met.

Honors Experience Guidelines 

Honors students with junior/senior standing may apply one of the following one time only towards their Honors credits.  It is the student’s responsibility to receive approval from the Honors Director for these credits prior to the experience:

  • 4 credits of global experience (study abroad/travel course)

  • 4 credits from select internships or community service

  • 4 credits from independent research (Wilson scholarships, independent study in Honors, etc.)


Students who pursue this option are required to present their experience at an Honors event or faculty sponsored Symposium presentation, and to complete any additional requirements as determined by the Honors Council. With prior permission, Honors Experience may also constitute the basis for an Honors Thesis or Creative Project.

The Honors Experience is intended to provide honors students the opportunity to be actively engaged in the process of learning, i.e. it promotes a student-centered approach to learning.  

Students move through the experiential learning cycle which can be conceptualized as a process with several components: students have an experience (Concrete Experience), reflect on observations about that experience (Reflective Observation), analyze responses and formulate new ideas (Abstract Conceptualization), and then actively test these new ideas in new situations (Active Experimentation). Students prepare a final culminating report and presentation that demonstrates how the experience altered or reinforced previous notions.

Prior to registration, students will work with a faculty member or the honors director to create a proposal for the experience.  Experiences may consist of, but are not limited to internships, volunteerism, research and special projects. Upon the conclusion of the experience, students submit a comprehensive report recording and reflecting upon the experiential learning cycle to the honors director and present on their experience at an honors event.

 Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and permission of Honors Director only.