Honors Course Proposal Guide
Thank you for your interest in designing and teaching a course for the Honors College at UMass Lowell! Honors courses provide a dynamic, engaging environment where you will work with high-achieving students. Honors students are highly motivated and enjoy diving deep into topics they are familiar with or exploring something brand new. There are a variety of ways to get involved teaching Honors courses. This guide provides an overview of the types of honors-level courses offered at UMass Lowell and how to propose new courses.
There are five different types of Honors courses:
- HONR Prefix Special Topics Courses,
- Honors Sections of Courses in Academic Departments,
- Honors Ready Courses,
- Honors-by-Contract Courses and
- Honors Project Courses.
Honors College Learning Outcomes
- Generate new knowledge, solve an applied problem, or create an artifact then effectively contextualize and defend its meaning.
- Demonstrate an understanding of skills and dispositions needed for life-long, self-directed learning: curiosity, initiative, independence, transfer, and reflection.
- Research, interpret, and evaluate information through critical reading.
- Communicate ideas to diverse audiences through multi-modal representations such as: clearly written prose, verbal exposition, and audio/visual creations.
- Collaborate with peers and mentors from various disciplines and communities, contributing to group objectives.
- Assess and refine their ability to read, write, speak, listen, and study.
Proposing an HONR Prefix Special Topics Course
- The type of Honors course you are proposing (AH, SS, STEM, Interdisciplinary Free Elective)
- 30-character title
- 50-character title
- 800-character catalog and marketing description for the course
- Honors Outcome(s) the course incorporates
- Honors Requirement(s) the course fulfills
- 2-3 sentence discussion as to why you are interested in teaching this seminar
- Skeleton syllabus outlining learning outcomes and types of assignments
- HONR 3100: Honors Project Workshop themed around interdisciplinary research methods
- HONR 3200: Special Topics in Honors is an interdisciplinary seminar that does not fit into a specific core curriculum category. These courses can be used as free electives, but students can petition to use certain HONR 3200 courses to fulfill core curriculum requirements instead.
- HONR 3300: Special Topics Arts and Humanities Honors Seminars
- HONR 3400: Special Topics Social Science Honors Seminars
- HONR 3500: Special Topics STEM Honors Seminars
Proposing an Honors Section of a Course in an Academic Department
- Evidence of need for the course
- Number of dedicated Honors sections of the course
- What distinguishes the Honors section(s) of the course from the non-honors section(s) of the course
- Include a sample assignment for the honors section of the course and contrast it with a non-honors assignment designed to teach the same concepts
- Proposed course size (typically 19 students)
- How the honors section incorporates one or more of the Honors Learning Outcomes in addition to the established outcomes for the course
- Your chair may suggest you teach an Honors Ready course instead of an Honors section. If so, design and submit an honors ready component for your non-honors course (see below for more information)
- Some departments may proposal honors recitation sections of larger lecture courses
- In some departments, an honors section of a course may have additional credits (Example: PLAS Honors Capstone Project is 3 credits and PLAS Capstone Project is 1 credit)