The Honors Contract enables you to construct a study project in lieu of a course, within a course, or in order to take a graduate course for Honors credit. Honors contracts are independent projects guided by faculty mentors. (See Appendix A for the guidelines for faculty mentors of Honors students.) The contract forms are available in the Registrar’s office.
There are four kinds of Honors Projects, each of which requires the completion of an Honors Contract:
Independent Study (an independent course of study with a faculty member focused on a topic that is not part of the standard curriculum or independent travel that focuses on a course of study and is monitored by a faculty member.)
Course Expansion (taking a course offered in the regular curriculum but working with the instructor/mentor to develop a project that would expand the unit total of the course. For example: a three unit course becomes either a 4, 5, or 6 unit course.)
Course-Conversion (taking a course offered in the regular curriculum, electing not to expand the unit total, but working with the instructor to transform the course requirements into a project(s) that further promotes the student's initiative and creativity and thereby designating the course as Honors on the transcript.)
Graduate Course (An undergraduate student enrolls in a graduate course with approval of the instructor and the graduate program coordinator.)
Honors work may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.All Honors Contracts are initiated by the student. They require filling out and completing the Honors Contract (Appendix B), supplying the complete supporting documentation and returning them to Dr. Diara Spain by the published deadline. The deadline for the submission of Honors Contracts to the Honors Director for the Fall and Spring semester is generally 3 weeks from the first day of classes.
The Honors Director informs the student of approval of the Honors Contract or suggests necessary changes.A binder marked "Past Honors Contracts" containing successful and complete Honors contracts is available for your review in the office of the Honors Director.
The Honors Contract process involves five steps:
The Contract is an important document: it becomes part of your Honors folder and speaks to the quality and commitment of your work better than anything else can.
You can begin this process from three points: you may know the faculty mentor you wish to work with and not the project; you may have a project in mind but not a mentor; you may know only that you wish to/need to develop an Honors Contract. In addition to yourself, you have excellent resources available to you for consultation about your work: the Honors Director, your academic advisor, the faculty, and your fellow students. Successful projects grow in various ways, out of scheduling necessities as much as out of desire, inspiration or insight.
The Registration and Advisement Period of the prior semester is an excellent time to begin this process: you, the faculty, and other honors students are thinking about your schedule of work for the following semester. It often takes time for your project to germinate; you can complete this form up to the contract deadline, which is three weeks into the semester.
The contract is your plan for the Honors Project. You will not always be able to anticipate at the contract stage where your research will take you. However, in order to approve your Honors Contract, the Honors Board needs to review in as much detail as possible what you are proposing. In addition if the Board is familiar with the field, it frequently proves helpful in making suggestions and offering additional resources.
The contract form has a front side of important information and a reverse side which requires you to submit two typed copies of the nine sections below:
If you are loyal to your project, maintain your contact with your mentor, and talk about research with friends and faculty, keeping it in the forefront of your mind, you will find you are enjoying it and maintaining your work schedule. One suggestion is to keep a "To Do" list of tasks that you cross off when you do them. Update and revise your proposal weekly, by way of keeping yourself and your mentor aware of your progress and your work on target.
Completed projects should be submitted for evaluation to your mentor on schedule and to the Honors Director. Projects are shared at the Honors Conference at the end of the semester.
This step is an important part of your learning process and it comes in three parts: self-evaluation, presentation at the end of the semester’s Honors conference, and evaluation by your mentor. Directions for self evaluation are in Appendix C. The evaluation should be turned in to the Honors Director (via campus mailbox or office).