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Honors Courses Information

To inquire about this program:
Dr. Sandra Weems | 423.869.6329 |

The Honors Council makes recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding criteria for honors courses, approves specific honors courses and faculty to teach these courses.

General Criteria for Honors Courses

  • Analysis
  • Integration
  • Critical Reading
  • Documentation and attribution excellence for source materials
  • Relevant and current application of knowledge and analysis
  • Evidence of learning approach(es) such as debate, presentations, instructional travel
  • Service/experiential learning

Note: Each course is expected to meet many of the above objectives but not every item above. courses are expected to be designed appropriately for the academic level.

General Criteria for Faculty Teaching Honors Courses

  • Proven ability to provide intellectual leadership and mentoring of students in and out of the classroom
  • Support for the overall mission and objectives of the Honors Scholars Program
  • Understanding of the differential educational approach of honors courses
  • Exceptional teaching skills which include fostering inclusive discussion, thoughtful learning activities, selection of relevant and current readings, use of scholarly documentation and attribution, meaningful assessment instruments, and timely feedback to students
  • Proven excellence in the classroom, demonstrated by:
    • classroom observations
    • peer evaluation
    • incorporating feedback for best teaching practices

Benefits of the Honors Classroom

Participating in honors classes, for faculty as well as students, provides the opportunity to explore subject matter more deeply because everyone in the room has demonstrated the desire to work harder. By being in an honors classroom, students and faculty alike indicate the willingness to do more than what is merely required because they enjoy the challenge. If you are reading this, you are likely the kind of person who would enjoy the benefits of the honors classroom. As such, the criteria for teaching or taking an honors course won't seem daunting to you since living up to such standards is likely to be the way you conduct yourself anyway.

Application to Take an Honors Contract Course