Notes from the Honors College: seminar proposals and honors option requests

The proposal deadline for seminars to be scheduled for Fall 2020 or later is Wednesday 29 January 2020. Seminar proposals are submitted online through forms found on the Teaching Honors page of the Honors College website at The Honors College provides faculty from across the university the opportunity to design and teach seminars on subjects that inspire them and that they may not have the opportunity to teach within their regular teaching duties. Faculty in our seminars will work with outstanding, highly-motivated students to actively explore a subject through an interdisciplinary approach. We believe the Honors College serves as an incubator for pedagogical exploration and innovation that enhances the quality of educational experiences across the university. Our relationship with those who teach for us is a collaborative partnership for a common good. As agreed to by Academic Affairs and the Provost, all teaching credits for our seminars, SCHs and FTEs, are credited to the faculty’s academic department.

Accepted seminar proposals are scheduled as Special Topics sections of HON 480, which serves as the core course of the Honors Curriculum. Proposals undergo review by the Honors College Curriculum and Policy Committee at least one semester prior to the semester in which an approved seminar will be offered. For faculty who have previously taught an approved section of HON 480, repeat applications and updated proposals are due the same day as new proposals. Updated proposals are required for seminars first taught three years ago or taught three times, whichever comes first. Details can be found on our website. Due dates are published each academic year on the Honors College Curriculum and Policy Committee page at

Faculty may receive requests from Honors students to complete an “Honors Option” in Spring 2020 courses that are not honors-designated. H-options are intended to be used in limited instances where they may be necessary for a particular honors student to complete their general honors credit requirements. These students should be advised by the Honors College as to any need for them to complete an h-option. Honors students who need to complete an h-option are expected to propose a detailed plan (referred to as a “contract”) in consultation with a faculty mentor (the instructor of the course). Ideally, this consultation begins before the start of the semester in which a student plans to complete an h-option. The contract for an h-option is one made between the student, the faculty mentor, and the college. We have an online form for student-submitted contract proposals as well as instructions for both students and their faculty mentors. The form and instructions can be found on the Honors College website at H-option contract proposals are always due on the second Friday of the semester. Complete h-option contract proposals for Spring 2020 are due from students via the online submission form no later than Friday 24 January.