Teaching Honors

The mission of the Honors College at Marshall University is to foster academic excellence in a community of learners whose undergraduate education is enhanced through innovative teaching and learning, an engaging interdisciplinary curriculum, creative and critical inquiry with talented faculty, and diverse leadership and service opportunities. Thus, to deliver on the overarching promise of demonstrably enhanced learning experiences, faculty who teach honors-designated courses are encouraged to challenge themselves through their pedagogy by devising their own uniquely creative approaches to teaching and within their inspirational mentorship of students. The Honors College wants to provide opportunities for our students, of course, but we also  foster professional development in our faculty. The College is centered on achieving academic excellence. We know that teaching honors can enrich not only your life but also the lives of all students with whom you work—not just those encountered in honors-designated courses. We believe the Honors College serves as an “incubator” for pedagogical exploration and innovation that enhances the quality of educational experiences across the University. We think of our relationship with those who teach for us as collaborative partnership for the common good.

The Honors College needs faculty to teach Honors Seminars and honors-designated courses that constitute the required elements of the Honors Curriculum that our students must complete in order to graduate with University Honors through the Honors College. We do not have our own cadre. Frankly, this fact helps inspire collaboration and innovation across disciplines, which is basic to our mission.

Teaching for the Honors College

Many departments at Marshall University offer Honors-designated courses that are signified by the addition of an “H” to the course number such as “ANT 201H,” which is one of a number of such courses provided for students in good standing as members in the Honors College. These courses are designed, staffed, and scheduled by the departments that offer them. The H-designated, departmental courses serve students in the Honors College well by meeting many General Education requirements. Such requirements include “Critical Thinking (Core I)” and “Social Science (Core II)” credits that a course such as ANT 201H fulfill.  These courses also provide general Honors credits beyond the core Honors Curriculum courses that include the seminars described below, for which the College continually seeks instructors from across the University to enrich the educational experience of our students. You can read more about the particulars of the Honors Curriculum.

Honors Seminars

HON 200We encourage all faculty and staff at Marshall University who are interested in contributing to our mission at the College to consider teaching the Honors Second-Year Seminar (sections of HON 200), a 3-credit hour seminar purposefully positioned, ideally, in a student’s second year of study at Marshall. The intention for this seminar is to engage with Honors students who have passed through their first-year, spotlight curricular and extra-curricular activities and are transitioning to more fully engage with their major departments. We look to enhance a sense of “cohort” among the Honors students at this point in their academic career and to help cultivate shared purpose as active members of the college who critically and self-reflectively engage with essential themes of Leadership, Ethics, and Civic Engagement through their work in this seminar. To help achieve our goals for this seminar, individual instructors are asked to design their own seminar from a foundational core set of elements and shared learning outcomes. The seminars are capped at 25 students and scheduled in Spring semesters only.

A review of prospective instructor credentials and experience is conducted by the College. Please reach out to us at honorscollege@marshall.edu with the subject “HON 200” to begin a conversation about your ideas and our expectations for this critical, transitional course in our curriculum, which helps prepare students for later work in their course of study in the College and their major(s) as well as their future lives and careers.

HON 480:  We encourage all faculty interested in contributing to our mission at the College to submit proposals for upper-level Honors Seminars (sections of HON 480), which are 3-credit hours. These seminars are purposefully interdisciplinary in design and capped at 15 students. While we have expectations regarding the pedagogical approaches and alignment of individually tailored learning outcomes in seminars with those for the Honors College curriculum as a whole (as discussed in the Design Guide below), faculty may design highly original seminars (as seen here, for example). This is a hallmark course in our curriculum.

There is a thorough review of proposed seminars by the Honors College Curriculum and Policy Committee (HCCAP) at least one semester prior to the semester an approved seminar is offered.  Below you’ll find links to the Honors Seminar (HON 480) proposal submission form (via a Cognito Forms portal) and a guide for faculty to help think about their course as an Honors Seminar and prepare their proposals.

Due dates for HON 480 proposal submissions are published on the Honors College Curriculum and Policy Committee page.

The following links are for faculty submitting a NEW or an UPDATED proposal. Updated proposals, as per the Honors College Policy Handbook, are required of faculty after teaching an approved Honors Seminar (HON 480) 3 times within 3 years. Specifically, seminars that have been approved by the HCCAP may be offered two additional times within three years, following the first approved and scheduled offering, by submitting the Application for Repeat Honors Seminar (see below). After this three-year period, faculty must re-submit a proposal (using the same submission form provide below). Such re-submissions are an opportunity for both faculty and the Committee to consider how the course/approach may have changed (or need to change) as time has past.

For faculty who apply with the intent to offer their seminar in the next available semester (following review and approval by the HCCAP), you will be expected to provide supervisorial approval with your application. So, for example, if you want to teach in Spring, you would normally apply just prior to or early in the Fall semester preceding the semester that you would offer the seminar.

If you are applying with the intent to be considered for an undefined semester and will not be pursuing approval at this time, no problem. We can review your proposal, provide feedback, and work with you to determine when you might offer the seminar. Simply use the Yes/No slider where the approval upload is located in the application to indicate that “YES” you are “applying to be considered in the future” and you will not need to provide approval at the time of submission.

For faculty who are REPEATING a course (one of two additional times within a three year period permitted by policy before a updated proposal is required), you will need to submit the following Application for Repeat of an Honors Seminar form.