Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty

What is the goal of an honors course?

The goal of an honors course is to provide students with special, small courses that provide greater access to faculty and a closer encounter with the course material. Most of the courses fulfill a GE requirement and are limited in size (most often to 25 students).

The content of the UHP course should remain generally within the declared course title, but we encourage the instructors to innovate and alter the curriculum to go into greater depth on the subject. These courses cannot be graded on a standard curve, and we encourage the instructors to experiment with a variety of forms of assessment. All Honors students are highly motivated and dedicated students, and it would be counterproductive for them to be competing directly against each other for just one or two A’s in each class.

What approaches are used in an honors course?

The specific approach taken by an instructor depends on the nature of the material, the instructor's own tastes and preferences. In the past, many instructors have taken advantage of the small class size to employ teaching techniques that they would not otherwise have been able to try.

When are UHP courses determined?

During Fall Quarter, the UHP will put out a call for next year’s Honors Courses to Department Chairs, asking them to pass on the information to their faculty. Any professors who are interested in teaching in Honors are welcome to do so, subject to the approval of their Department Chair.

How much work can be expected of the students?

Depending on the course, the amount of work should be commensurate with 3-5 units of credit. The Carnegie Rule (one hour in class = one hour outside of class) is often used to determine the amount of expected work for the course.

What assistance or feedback is available to an instructor teaching an honors course?

UHP staff can provide information about what has been done in previous courses. We would be happy to offer ideas and suggestions to any instructor teaching an honors course.

What about compensation for teaching honors courses?

The new Honors plan makes honors teaching on-load for faculty. Departments receive a buyout from the UHP to offset a professor teaching in honors.

Per the provost, departments will be credited student credit hours (SCH) for BOTH the UHP course (usually, therefore, 25 x 4 = 100 SCH) AND any SCH in the course taught with buyout money - so it could be a wash or even a gain for the department in terms of SCH.

For instructors who wish to teach on an overload basis, UHP currently provides an unrestricted research grant at the end of the course. The allocation may be used for travel, equipment, supplies, or books and will be deposited in a special account that the department budget/financial coordinator will set up for the instructor. The funds are then administered by the instructor’s home department.