Honors Curriculum Committee

How do I....

Propose an Honors-enriched section of an existing course?

Honors-Enriched Sections are courses in the regular curriculum that offer students enriched opportunities for more in-depth or hands-on autonomous learning, consistent with the Honors Experience Guidelines, but cover the same content and reach the same learning outcomes as their Honors-enriched counterparts. Honors-Enriched Sections maintain their disciplinary prefix, and are designated by a searchable attribute in Banner, as well as the section title (as is the practice for FSUS sections). They are not restricted to Honors students, but all students who enroll are expected to complete the enriching aspects of the course.

  • Honors-enriched sections are proposed by the Department Chair and the Honors Director jointly, and are approved by the Honors Curriculum committee. 
  • Faculty interested in teaching an Honors-enriched section of an existing course should contact their departmental chair.
  • A list of Honors-enriched sections will be made available every semester by the Honors office prior to registration, and Honors-enriched sections will be made a searchable field in MyFSU.

A proposal for an Honors section may be submitted by any full-time faculty at Ferris State University.  

There is one electronic form for proposing an Honors course. It is available on both the UCC site as ‘Form H’ and the Honors site

The committee was at pains to ensure that the faculty member be given the chance to interpret the Honors experience guidelines and be creative in course design, rather than tacitly assuming an interpretation in the creation of the form. As such, the form asks little more than “how does your class meet the honors experience guidelines”. 

The first page of the form will ask you to input information about yourself, as well as 'routing' information for your program, department and college. Completing these questions accurately will speed up the process of reviewing your proposal. If you do not know who your program, department or college's officer is, leave these fields blank. 

The main part of the form (which will appear on the second page once you begin) is reproduced here so you can draft your answers:


Reproduced form for Honors Sections -- DO NOT PRINT AND SUBMIT. You must go to the electronic version here AND complete the routing information

  1. Before answering this question, please review the 'Honors Experience Guidelines' available online. Based on the Honors Experience Guidelines, what do you envision this course to entail that your current offering does not?  Your answer should specify how your course will meet the course-level outcomes contained in the Honors Experience Guidelines.
  2. How will your course encourage students to develop intellectual autonomy?
  3. What enriching activities will your course include (check as many as apply)
  • academic service learning
  • engaging with cultural events that expand the students’ cultural or ethical horizons by exposing them to ideas, traditions or values with which they are unfamiliar
  • competing in intercollegiate academic competitions, such as the engineering competitions or debate team
  • researching independently appropriate to the discipline
  • analyzing cultural artifacts independently or as a group
  • engaging with primary sources appropriate to the discipline
  • participating in experimental or innovative pedagogies
  • expressing oneself creatively
  • immersing in an unfamiliar community through travel or other community-based education (i.e. study abroad / place as text)
  • project-based learning
  1. Please name and explain enriching assignments or activities you intend to include, remembering that your colleagues reviewing your proposal may not have a background in your field, or your innovative approach to it:
  2. Please say why you think this approach to your subject will engage Honors students:

Propose an Honors Seminar, which has never been taught before?

Honors Seminars are courses specifically designed for Honors students. They should serve as a pedagogical laboratory for faculty interested in exploring new topics, interdisciplinary studies or new approaches to teaching and learning. Honors Seminars emphasize autonomous learning and interdisciplinarity, pursuant to the Honors Experience Guidelines. The small class size (23) allows for the faculty member to engage more deliberately with the independent work the students pursue. Honors seminars are designated with the prefix ‘HNRS’.

  • Honors Seminars are initially designated as ‘Honors Special Topics’ and are designated as HNRS X90.
  • Honors Seminars are taught by Honors Program Faculty
  • Honors Seminars are approved by the Honors Curriculum Committee to be taught twice in a two-year period. They should meet General Education criteria, probably ‘C’ and ‘S’.
  • Faculty may propose an Honors Seminar to the Honors Curriculum Committee through a process yet to be determined by that group once it is formed.
  • After being taught twice, they can be approved by the UCC as either a standing HNRS class, at which point they will be given an HNRS number, or turned into a departmental course at the discretion of the faculty member or members who proposed the course in consultation with the Honors Director.

There is one electronic form for proposing an Honors course. It is available on both the UCC site as ‘Form H’ and the Honors site

The committee was at pains to ensure that the faculty member be given the chance to interpret the Honors experience guidelines and be creative in course design, rather than tacitly assuming an interpretation in the creation of the form. As such, the form asks little more than “how does your class meet the honors experience guidelines”. 

The first page of the form will ask you to input information about yourself, as well as 'routing' information for your program, department and college. Completing these questions accurately will speed up the process of reviewing your proposal. If you do not know who your program, department or college's officer is, leave these fields blank. 

The main part of the form (which will appear on the second page once you begin) is reproduced here so you can draft your answers:

 


Reproduced form for Honors Seminars -- DO NOT PRINT AND SUBMIT. You must go to the electronic version here AND complete the routing information

  1. Please describe your course (note: you will list outcomes on the next page. This is a place for you to provide a narrative description of the overall course.  Please include any readings or activities you already have in mind.)
  2. How will this course encourage students to develop intellectual autonomy and empathy?
  3. Proposed course outcomes:
    • Your class must meet 4 of the 5 outcomes expected of Honors courses. Please check all that will apply:
      • Upon completion of an Honors experience, an Honors student should be able to:
      • engage with challenging primary sources appropriate to the academic discipline and level,
      • articulate areas or topics for further work in the topic area or discipline,
      • show improvement in analytic writing and discussion, critical thinking and reading,
      • demonstrate improvement in intergenerational and global cultural competency and appreciation of creative expression,
      • take more responsibility for his or her own learning.
  1. [for each outcome you checked in #4, the form will prompt you with:] Specifically, how will students in this course …?

Supervise an individual Honors Contract in a non-Honors course?

The Honors Contract allows for an Honors student in good standing to enrich an undergraduate non-Honors classes for Honors credit, provided that he or she complete an additional project that demonstrates autonomous learning on the subject matter of the course, pursuant to the Honors Experience Guidelines. Contracts are agreed upon by the student (or group of students) and the faculty member teaching that course. Every faculty member has the right to refuse an Honors contract for his or her course.

Review the Honors Contract Guidelines for Faculty.

  • The Honors Program approves the contracts after consultation with the Honors Student Council and Honors Curriculum Committee and keeps a record of all contracts and completed projects.
  • At the end of the time specified in the Honors contract, the faculty member will notify the Honors Program office of a satisfactory or unsatisfactory completion.
  • If the contract was completed satisfactorily, as determined by the faculty member, a notation is made on the student’s academic transcript that the course was taken for Honors credit.
  • Interested professors should provide supplemental reading lists or add ‘Honors students interested in taking this class for Honors credit, please talk to me..’ clauses on their syllabi.
  • One course completed at the graduate level per semester can count as an Honors contract without additional project.
  • A ‘Honors Project’ is an Honors Contract that is initiated by the faculty member. These often connect a series of structured learning experiences together: for example, a professor may wish to have a student work in his or her lab over a number of semesters leading to full collaboration on a research project; or a professor who is also the supervisor of a tech team (such as the Human-powered vehicle team or Rube Goldberg team) may wish to connect coursework over a number of semesters to activity on those teams.
    • Faculty leaders of Honors Projects are Honors Program Faculty.
    • These Honors Projects are considered ‘standing’ opportunities, once approved by the Honors curriculum committee, they are listed as opportunities on the Honors website and can be included in marketing material.

Supervise a Senior Symposium Project?

Honors students are expected to complete their Senior Capstone experience in connection with the Honors Senior Symposium.

Become Honors Program Faculty?

To become an Honors Program Faculty Member, a member of the Ferris faculty must become involved with the Honors Program by teaching an Honors section or supervising an Honors contract. Following a successful experience, the Department Chair and Director of Honors may nominate that individual for Honors Program Faculty status in the subsequent academic year.

Maintain my Honors Program Faculty status?

All active Honors Program Faculty are expected to maintain annual involvement with Honors Program activities including any one of the following:

  • Teaching an Honors course: either an Honors seminar or an Honors-enriched section of a regular course,
  • Supervising an Honors Senior Symposium Project or other undergraduate research with an Honors Student,
  • Supervising an Honors Contract or Honors Project,
  • Attending an Honors professional development activity,
  • Participating in an extracurricular activity with Honors students.

Share in the Governance of the Program?

There are many opportunities available to participate in the shared governance of the Honors Program. Please get in touch with Dr. Bradley to express interest.

  • Faculty meetings occur once a semester, typically in Week 2 or 3
  • Membership of the Honors Curriculum Committee is determined by voice vote at the Faculty Meetings
  • We are always looking for:
    • Judges for the Honors Speech Contest (fall)
    • Juror for the Honors Art Show (spring)
    • Judges for the Honors Senior Symposium (spring)

Purpose

The purpose of the Honors Curriculum Committee is to receive, review, and approve proposals for changes related to the curricula and courses designated as Honors, as well as Honors Program faculty status.

 

Composition

  • The Honors Curriculum Committee shall consist of four (4) Honors Program faculty and the Director of the Honors Program who serves ex officio
  • Members shall be elected by vote of the Honors Program faculty.
  • A chair and a recorder shall be elected from the voting members of the committee.

Charge

The Honors Curriculum Committee may approve, disapprove, request additional information, or request revision of course proposals by a simple majority of voting members. Approved proposals shall be forwarded to the chair of the RSS Curriculum committee for review and recommendation and then to the Academic Senate.

The Honors Curriculum Committee shall consider nominations of faculty to the status of Honors Program Faculty, shall review the standing of all Honors Program Faculty on a regular basis, and make recommendations for appointments, renewals or discontinuance to the Honors Program Director by simple majority of voting members.

The Honors Curriculum Committee shall:

  1. Review curriculum proposals for their merit and compliance with Academic Senate curriculum change/proposal guidelines.
  2. Provide reasonable time for interested parties to speak with respect to curriculum proposals
  3. Conduct the initial review of proposed courses, programs, and initiatives
  4. Work within the Academic Senate guidelines for curriculum approval
  5. Seek nominations for Honors program faculty annually
  6. Review Honors Program faculty in accordance with the guidelines for maintaining status as Honors Program Faculty
  7. Make recommendations regarding Honors Program Faculty status to the Director of the Honors Program annually.

In addition to routine duties, the chair of the Curriculum Committee shall:

  1. Disseminate the committee’s timeline for submission of proposals for consideration to departments and committees
  2. Working with the Director of the Honors Program, disseminate the criteria for Honors Program Faculty status to the department chairs
  3. Provide appropriate and timely feedback to the originating department or committee and report its decisions to the Honors Program faculty
  4. At the request of the initiating department or committee, assist in the presentation of the proposal to the Academic Senate.

Curriculum Committee Meeting Schedule

  • 1/15/2016 (agenda | minutes)
  • 10/20/2015 (agenda | minutes)
  • 9/30/2015 (agenda | minutes)
  • 3/18/2015 (agenda | minutes)
  • 2/10/2015 (agenda | minutes)