Honors Program

Frequently Asked Questions


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Frequently Asked Questions when Developing an Honors Contract Proposal

Congratulations on considering an honors contract. Here are the answers to some commonly posed questions from prior participants:

How does the committee decide if my contract proposal will need to be revised?

The committee decision will be based upon your description of each of the following components - which are included on the honor proposal/contract. A complete answer to each of these components creates a very positive outcome.

  1. The research focus, process, and level of critical analysis;
  2. How the project is different from traditional classroom expectations; 
  3. The faculty mentoring component;
  4. The learning objectives;
  5. The type and length of project and how/if the results are shared with others (paper, presentation, publication, community involvement/service, etc.)
  6. The # and type of resources to be used; 

Initially the committee will use a rubric to determine how effectively you have described the components (Click here to download a copy of the Honors Contract Proposal Rubric).  An item receiving a score of "Does Not Meet " or "Approaches" Standard will generate a request for you to revise your proposal.

Do I need to type my proposal?

Typing your proposal/contract is not required but VERY much appreciated.

How many Honors Contracts can I attempt in one term?

Honors projects are, by nature, rigorous and require substantial time commitments which exceed the normal expectations of regular course work.  In the spirit of cultivating and supporting well-rounded honor students, each honor participant is limited to no more than nine hours per semester worth of honors projects during fall and spring semesters.

Can I complete an Honors Contracts during the summer?

Honors projects are, by nature, rigorous and require substantial time commitments.  As a result, Honors contracts may only be completed in the Fall and Spring terms.

Is there a guideline for the length of my project?

As a guideline, most honors projects are 8-12 pages, including a minimum of 5 resources.  This can vary based on your topic, so be sure to consult with your faculty advisor on the details.

Can I include different outcomes/components to my proposal?  (A paper and a project for example?)

If you have multiple outcomes stated in your contract proposal, (a paper and a presentation or project, for example) ALL components must be successfully submitted before honors credit will be awarded. If it is included in the approved contract, a partial submission will not equal honors credit. So, be sure and ask yourself if the outcome is reasonable.

My proposal includes a presentation – are there things I should think about ahead of time?

If your proposal/contract is a presentation, you may want to work with your faculty mentor to specify a “rehearsal” or run through where your mentor can pre-approve the presentation before you present it to your class. 

How specific do we need to be about the faculty mentoring component of the proposal?

The best contract proposals “name” the faculty mentoring piece. Be sure to include things like:

  • How often will you meet with with your mentor?  
  • How can your faculty mentor support you in the process?
  • What other resources on campus (LAC, Library etc.) could be helpful in the process?
  • What will be the deadline date of the project?

My proposal includes interacting with other students or members of the community – are there things I should think about ahead of time?

An added layer of approval through the IRB committee will be necessary if the honor proposal/contract includes a survey/questionnaire.  Be sure to attach the survey/questionnaire and the populations/classes which will be included in the research to your proposal.

What if I do not agree with the outcome of my Honors Project?

In the event where a student wishes to appeal an unsatisfactory honors project outcome, the student must appeal the decision to the Dean of Learning Support within three weeks of learning the honors project was not awarded credit. Upon notification to the Dean, the honors appeals committee will convene to review the appeal.

Completing my Honors Project will require me to purchase supplies.  Can I be reimbursed?

 Limited funding is available to assist you with necessary expenses.  Click here to access a copy of the materials and supply request.