The Honors Program mission is to develop student-scholars from across the university who will become broad thinkers, creative problem solvers, and influential leaders. This mission is achieved by cultivating academic excellence, a community of scholars, interdisciplinary thinking, and skills of inquiry.
- Complete the Honors enrollment and commitment interview.
- Complete the honors curriculum.
- Complete the honors experiential learning requirement.
- Complete the honors thesis requirement.
Students who graduate with University Honors will be able to:Interdisciplinary Approach
Demonstrate the ability to apply the assumptions, methodologies, and practices from a variety of disciplines to examine issues and solve problems.
Apply skills of inquiry to conduct original and substantive research.
Articulate concepts and ideas intelligently, clearly, and persuasively through writing and other forms of communication at an exceptional level.
Exhibit leadership and influence in a collaborative environment to advance progress and affect constructive change.
Evidence of Learning
• Course exams and writing assignments
• Great Question essays
• Experiential Learning Reports
• Honors Thesis Evaluations
• Student and Alumni Surveys
• Faculty observation and evaluation of student performance
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
All courses offered in the Honors Program are taught by faculty and staff from Undergraduate Education or Alcuin Fellows in return for salary and research stipends. All instructors meet in a seminar or retreat setting at least twice a year to review teaching approaches, strategies, and assess evidence of student achievement of learning of course and program outcomes. Two assessment specialists facilitate assessment activities in these settings. In the first semester of their term, Alcuin Fellows observe the course-type and plan with a co-instructor the specific course they will co-teach over the next 3 years. The UE Dean, associate deans, and when possible Alcuin Fellows attend annually at least one national conference on teaching and assessment in Higher Education.
Assessment of student performance on the Great Question Essay is the cornerstone of Honors Program assessment. This essay is the capstone to the Honors Curriculum, and as such, it provides direct evidence of student ability with respect to most program learning outcomes. The weaknesses these essays reveal about student ability and capacity drive course and program revisions. Assessing Honors Theses is also crucial to gauging program success, but given our emphasis on theses demonstrating discipline-specific conventions and methodologies, as well as making genuine, original contributions to those disciplines, Honors depends upon department faculty mentors and referees, and external reviewers.