Honors Option Contracts
Honors Option Contracts are agreements between students and faculty that allow honors credit to be awarded to a student enrolled in a regular section of a course upon completion of a significant honors experience or project.
H-Option requests originate with the student who should bring you the Certification of H-Option Completion Form as you discuss the terms of the honors contract. Once the form is completed, you and the student each sign and the student delivers the form to the Honors Program offices. Forms are due by the 14th day of the course semester (7th class day for term and summer classes).
Honors will contact faculty via email in the last two weeks of class to certify (or deny) completion of the terms of the contract and awarding of honors credit. Certification must take place prior to the last day of class.
FAQs for H-Options
Is my course eligible for an H-Option?
Do I have to agree to oversee a student’s H-Option?
What kinds of assignments are appropriate for the honors component in the course?
The nature of the work will vary from course to course, but all honors contracts should provide students with additional experience, insight, and/or academic rigor. The connection to you as a faculty mentor is also an important aspect of the honors component.
Contracts frequently include these kinds of elements:
- Out-of-class meetings with you at several points during the semester
- Additional and/or higher-level readings, labs, or work
- An interdisciplinary, service, or community engagement element
- Intentional reflection on the experience
- Creation of some kind of final output (presentation, paper, podcast, video, report, slideshow)
- Submission of a work from the course for competition, presentation, or publication
- conducting literature reviews on recent publications
- meeting the challenge of planning and leading a class session
- researching and producing electronic content for use in future classes
- participating in research for submission to an academic conference or journal
- creating promotional material on academic and professional issues related to the course topic
- participating in grant-seeking by searching for promising grants, compiling topic histories, and contributing to budget drafts
- engaging local communities through service-learning projects.
Can a student earn H-Option credit in a course for work on the senior thesis?
May I see some sample H-Option contracts?
Can I have multiple students work together on an H-Option?
When should I make the project due?
Is there a minimum grade a student must earn to receive honors credit in my course?
The minimum level grade for awarding honors credit should be spelled out in the H-Option contract.
Some departments insist on ‘A’ level work from Honors Program students to entertain awarding honors credits. Other departments feel that the rigor of honors work is such that a ‘C’ grade in an honors course reflects average level work on above-average level rigor. While honors students typically do excellent work, deciding this issue in advance with the student can save a lot of anguish later.
What happens to the student’s grade if they do not complete the H-Option work?
How is the honors credit indicated on the student’s transcript?
Will I receive extra compensation for overseeing H-Option contracts?