Honors Enhancements

What is an enhancement? 

An enhancement is established through a contract between the Honors student and faculty member (see Part 2 of the contract and all four of its sub-points below) and the completion of the appropriate forms (i.e., the Project Approval and the Faculty Workload Credit forms). An enhancement is another method of fulfilling a course requirement for the Honors Program, where students can take a course that they are already required to take within their major and work with the professor of the course to incorporate at least one of the Honors’ Modes of Inquiry into the course (details for doing so is listed below). Students will receive an additional credit for the extra work that they will be doing as part of the course. Faculty member will receive an additional .11 faculty workload credit for their additional time.

The COMPLETED application contains:

  • An Enhancement Contract
  • The Project Approval Form
  • The Request for Faculty Workload Credit Form


Process of Doing an Enhancement

  1. Review your schedule and take a look at the courses that you are already required to take.
  2. Factors to consider:
    • Professor is in my field of interest and can become a future reference/contact for recommendation letter.
    • Subject matter is in my field of interest and can help further my knowledge as well as develop my professional skills.
  3. E-mail and set up an appointment with the professor of the course you are looking to enhance.
  4. Review the enhancement contract and samples with the professor. Discuss and draft a proposal of your own enhancement with the professor.
  5. You can submit the draft of your proposal to the Honors Program for review before submitting a final copy and collecting the approval signatures.
  6. Please note the following:
    • Adjunct professors are only allowed up to a limited amount of credit hours. If he/she is an adjunct professor, please have them check with their department Chairs about their hours.
    • The due date for enhancements is generally three weeks after priority registration. Please check with the honors office about the due date.
    • There are TWO signature forms with the enhancement: (1) to approve of your additional credit hour and (2) to approve of the faculty’s additional 1/9 credit hour.


Parts of an Enhancement Contract and Examples

  1. Rationale:
    1. The student must outline (1) the objectives of the honors component, using at least one of the Modes of Inquiry
      1. Example: The objectives of the honors component is explained and carried out in the form of the following modes of inquiry:
        1. Scientific and Mathematical Analysis – The student will utilize the scientific process of nursing to understand medical and surgical treatment for commonly occurring illnesses. They will also use the nursing process to design, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions to provide preventive, curative, supportive, and restorative care for individuals undergoing the medical and surgical treatments.
        2. Textual Analysis – The student will explore various ways in which research is used to support assessments and therapeutic nursing interventions used in the nursing practice for individuals who undergo medical and surgical treatment for commonly occurring illnesses. the student will also use research as sources of information to achieve optimum client outcomes in a cost-effective manner following medical and surgical interventions.
    2.  (2)The reasons for undertaking the enhancement
      1. Example: The reasons for undertaking this enhancement include: (1) I am unable to take an honors course due to this semester being my barrier semester and scheduling issues; (2) my interest in women’s roles in the history of music composition and how they shaped the world we know today; and, (3) to fulfill the artistic creation and analysis mode of inquiry that I am still missing for my honors course requirements.
      2. i.e. inability to fit in an honors course on top of their major requirements, lack of time left in completing their degree, interest in the topic of the course that they would like to enhance, further looking into the field and work of the professor that they would like to work with, etc.
    3. (3) what and how the planned activities enhance the course to honors level in at least three ways
      1. Example:  I will be doing (1) additional research on various women composers, such as Hildegard von Bingen, Francesca Caccini, and etc., their history and influence in the music composition field, (2) write a 5-7 page research paper on my findings, as well as (3) learn and perform “Concertino for Flute and Piano” by Cecile Chaminade in the James Furman competition in February.
      2. i.e. adding to the syllabus in the form of additional topics not covered, making the course interdisciplinary, creating a multi-cultural element to a course, including a dimension of public service
  2. Enhancement
    1. List and describe, in some detail, the particular elements of the honors component. At a minimum, the student must undertake at least 20 extra workload hours for the enhancement. Include whatever activities are supplemental or alternative to the regular requirements of the course
      1. Example 1: 
        1. Student will produce triple the required number of research sources already required for the annotated bibliography/article summaries
        2. Student will craft a two-page rational for how the presentation serves to expand class understanding of the student’s play of choice and classroom discourse.
        3. Student will create and present appropriate pedagogical materials for a description of the project and how it relates to the course subject matter.
        4. Student will create and present an in-class discussion of an appropriate play and how it engages significant aspects of scholarly discourse.
      2. Example 2: 
        1. Student will complete a 5-7 page research paper with 5-7 APA cited sources.
        2. Student will perform “Concertino for Flute” in a James Furman competition.
        3. Student will meet with professor for an hour each week to work on the music piece and discuss research.
        4. Student will do additional 2 hours of practice on her own and keep a journal for her enhancement.
      3. i.e. extra written or lab work, projects, presentations, meetings with outside mentors, conferences, etc.
  3. Evaluation Process
    1. Describe the grading process of the honors component
      1. Example 1: The grading component will be separate from that of other work. The enhancement grade will then be averaged in with the grading for the normal requirements of the course.
      2. Example 2: The student will be given a separate grade for the enhancement part of the course.
        1. Participation during designated meetings: 10%
        2. Research Summaries conducted for each topic: 50%
        3. Powerpoint Presentation: 20%
        4. Final Research Paper: 20%
      3. i.e. student is graded on all work, including the honors component; or a separate grade is given for the enhancement which is then averaged in with the grading for the regular requirements of the course, etc.)
  4. Scheduling
    1. Provide a schedule with deadlines and/or due dates for specific activities (i.e. weekly meetings, interviews, attendance and/or performance at events/conferences, all assigned work, etc.) At a minimum, at least one weekly meeting between the faculty member and the student for one-half hour must occur

Past Enhancements:

Enhancement Sample