Course Honors

The option of doing honors work in a non-honors class, known as "course honors," is offered to every student at the Florham Campus, but it is most frequently chosen by Honors Program students when they are not able to enroll in an Honors course or honors course section.

We expect Honors student who pursue course honors to work harder in the class, expand their knowledge of a subject beyond the range of the class syllabus, and make a contribution to the class as well as to their own learning. Students from different majors bring many talents and abilities to courses within and outside of their majors. We would like them to draw on their talents and interests to enrich everyone's experience of the course.

In order to earn course honors, students must speak with course instructors early in the semester, have the instructors consent to work with them on special a special project, and earn a "B+" or higher in the course. After an instructor and student agree on a project, the student picks up and completes the Course Honors Contract, available from Gracelyn Weaver, Honors Program Coordinator, located in the Advising Office. The faculty member must sign the form. The student is responsible for returning the form to the Honors Office by the third week in the semester. Faculty must return one progress report and a final report evaluating the students' work. The Honors Office emails these forms to faculty in the middle and at the end of the semester. Students who earn course honors will have "course honors" added on their transcript next to the course listing.

Course honors offer students opportunities to delve more deeply into course topics and to pursue a line of individual interest. The additional course responsibilities should provide students with significant intellectual challenges, demand a greater investment of time, and allow the student to make an additional contribution to the learning of the other students in the class. Earning course honors should require that students do extra research for the class and present it in an acceptable range of formats.

The traditional course honors assignment has been a ten page topic on an issue or topic related to the course syllabus. However, given the changes in approaches to learning, instructors now have more flexibility and can be more creative in the types of assignments they develop. Assignments should be appropriate to the subject and format of the class. In addition to presenting research used in a paper, some instructors ask students to develop PowerPoint presentations to cover a topic. In a science class, students could do an extra experiment(s) or teach part of an assigned lesson incorporating extra research or reading. Last year a science professor reported being highly impressed with the work of two students who prepared and taught a class session. An art student might do an extra art project or present more information about the work of an artist discussed in class or do an in-depth consideration of some works not covered in class A film student might make a video. Students could also interview appropriate subjects and share the information from the interview in a class. Some students have helped their professors teach parts of the class on a regular basis throughout the semester. Students may-and should be encouraged to-integrate knowledge, approaches, and learning formats from other courses and disciplines into other classrooms. A film major might create an extra film sequence, but might also use video as a format for a course honors project in another discipline. An education major might teach a segment of a class using recent educational pedagogy or create a study guide. When students present to a class, their peers should be asked to critique and respond to their work. This will encourage the class to be attentive and engaged with the presentation.