Contracts provide students with the opportunity to earn Honors credit in non-Honors courses. Credit is based on the fulfillment of a written contract between the student and his or her professor. Before approaching an instructor, the student should speak with the Honors Director about guidelines and procedures for Honors Contracts.
An Honors Contract should outline a plan to create a learning experience above and beyond normal course requirements. The student is responsible for completing the contract in consultation with his or her professor. The project or experience described in the contract should include the kind of educational enrichment that characterizes Honors courses. Ideally, the contract should include opportunities for student/faculty interaction. The emphasis should be placed on the quality of the experience rather than the quantity of work completed; this option should not merely cause a student to do additional work in order to earn Honors credit. A student designing an Honors Contract should consider what type of project would improve his or her overall learning experience in the course. After both student and faculty sign the contract, it must be sent to the Honors Director for approval.
The following are possible examples of contract work:
- Give class presentation(s) based on research undertaken for the contract
- Prepare a lecture or facilitate a class period or two under the supervision of faculty
- Review additional readings or materials to enhance or expand understanding of course content
- Create an original piece of music, work of art, or design portfolio
- Undertake challenging lab experiments and report results
- Complete research paper
Grading will be based on regular course requirements and an Honors Contract will not affect the student's overall grade in the course. The faculty member will rate the completed contract work on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. At the end of the semester the student should provide the faculty member with an evaluation form to be submitted to the Honors office. If the contract work is considered satisfactory and a course grade of B or higher is earned, the course credits will count toward overall Honors requirements. The registrar will be notified that the course should receive an "H" designation.
The following are additional guidelines for Honors Contracts:
- Honors Contracts are not available to first-year students.
- Students must have a minimum of 6 hours of pre-existing Honors credit before utilizing the contract option.
- Students may complete a maximum of 3 Honors Contract courses, contracting no more than 2 courses in a semester.
- Honors Contracts cannot be used for Liberal Arts Core courses or other courses normally offered by the Honors Program.
- In order to qualify for contract credit, a completed Honors Contract must be submitted to the Honors office for approval no later than the 2nd Friday of the semester in which the course is taken or the 1st Friday of a summer school session.
- The deadline for completing contract work is the end of the semester in which the course is taken. An incomplete contract is only permitted if an "I" is given for the course. The contract must be completed by the time the "I" is removed.
- A copy of the student's final product must be submitted to the Honors office by the last day of the semester in which the course is taken. This copy will be permanently housed in the Honors office. (Students can make special requests to have submissions returned to them in the case of an original design portfolio, work of art, etc.)