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Creating and Offering Honors Courses 

Here are some things to consider as you construct your honors course. 

 

Procedure for Creating an Honors Course

  • Faculty who are interested in creating an honors course are encourage to take two preliminary steps:
    • Read the page What is an Honors Course (click here).
    • Because it is often helpful and enjoyable to talk with someone about your ideas and how to make them a reality, contact the Director of the Honors Program or your college representative to the Honors Curriculum Committee (HCC).
  • After thinking carefully about the nature of the course, complete an RIT Course Outline Form (click here), including Appendix C. Here are some things to consider:
    • What makes this an Honors course (enriched learning, interdisciplinary content, etc.)?
    • What is the enrollment cap (typically 20 students)?
    • How does this course fit into a student’s program of study?
    • Keep in mind that courses that appeal to only a few students will be difficult to fill.
  • After the course is approved at the departmental and college level, the course outline should be forwarded to the college's representative on the HCC, who will advocate for it.
  • It is not necessary, but is often beneficial for a course to be designated as a general education elective.  This requires approval by the General Education Committee (click here).
  • It is not necessary, but is often beneficial for a course to carry the writing intensive designation. This requires approval by the Institute Writing Committee (click here).


Offering an Honors Course

 

Offering an honors course is a coordinated effort among the professor, the professor's home department (and college), and the Honors Program.  Approval from all three is required in order for the course to run.

  • Stipends for teaching a course are paid by the instructor's home college, and the Honors Program reimburses the college.
  • Some courses run every semester, some once per year, and some every other year.
  • Students need to know about courses at least one semester in advance, for planning purposes.  
  • If the new course is a substitute for a required course, it should be offered during the same semester as that required course.


Improving Enrollment

  • Word of mouth is a great way to generate interest.  Talk to people.  Come to the Friday Pizza Frenzy.  Come talk to the Honors Council.  Make fancy flyers.
  • Alert your college's Honors Advocate to the course.  The Honors Advocate coordinates the college's honors-released activities, and so has a working relationship with the honors students in your college.
  • Encourage appropriately prepared non-Honors students to take the class. Non-Honors students are typically expected to have the same grade point average expected of Honors students (i.e. 3.5 or above).

 

 

Modified by Program Staff

July, 2019