About Honors Contracts
An honors contract gives both students and faculty in a non-honors section the exciting opportunity to do honors-level work. In principle, a contract could be designed for almost any college course, whether for vocational enhancement or for transfer. It is an agreement between the student and instructor that specifies the honors-level objectives and tasks to be completed by the student in addition to those of the normal class. Contracts are made at the discretion of the instructor and with the assistance of the Honors Program Co-Coordinators. Honors contract requirements may include additional readings, writing, as well as special projects. The biggest advantage of honors contracts is that they allow students to explore their favorite subjects in greater depth while compiling honors credits within the boundaries of their own personal schedule.
How do I turn my non-honors class into an Honors Contract?
Simply approach your instructor early in the semester to ask if he or she is willing to do an honors contract. If the instructor agrees, the next step is for you and the instructor to fill out and submit the online contract. It is necessary for both of you to submit the online forms in order for the contract to be considered for approval by the Honors Program Co-Coordinator. Approval will be based upon whether or not the contract adequately reflects the attributes detailed in the honors contract application.
As a general guideline, students may anticipate an investment of one-quarter to one-third more effort in earning honors credit. This typically requires the completion of an honors project. Important: By the last day of finals, the instructor is responsible for advising the Honors Program Co-Coordinators that the student received a B+ or higher in the course and that the project was satisfactorially completed. Without such a note from the instructor, the student will NOT receive honors credit for the course. Once a student completes all of his or her honors course requirements and receives a grade, the transcript will reflect a completed honors-level course.
What if a professor is unwilling to offer an Honors contract?
While this is a fairly rare occurrence, instructors are sometimes unwilling to offer honors contracts when first approached. Often, this is due to an unfamiliarity with the Honors Program and the honors contract process. While offering honors contracts is voluntary, most instructors who are unfamiliar with this program elect to participate once they are fully informed about the process and the benefits to students. However, the student must keep in mind that the instructor has the last say on whether or not the course can be taken for honors credit.