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Honors Advising FAQ

Honors Courses

Honors courses vary by semester and range across all subject matters. Often they can be cross listed and count toward both honors and General Education requirements. Check out our current and recent honors courses.

Developing an Honors Course

Honors courses can take a variety of forms, often encompassing a variety of intentions. Although the Clarke Honors College is committed to academic freedom, there are some characteristics that are common to honors courses. Below are some guidelines to help you think about developing and enhancing your course in order to offer it in the Clarke Honors College.

The National Collegiate Honors Council has developed a broad definition for honors education that might help in developing your course:
Honors education is characterized by in-class and extracurricular activities that are measurably broader, deeper, or more complex than comparable learning experiences typically found at institutions of higher education. Honors experiences include a distinctive learner-directed environment and philosophy, provide opportunities that are appropriately tailored to fit the institution’s culture and mission, and frequently occur within a close community of students and faculty.  (NCHC, 2014)

To ensure that honors courses meet the criteria established by the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the Clarke Honors College Committee asks that you attempt to link your class syllabus, where possible, to following the learning objectives defined by NCHC as fundamental to honors courses:

  1. To help students develop effective written communication skills (including the ability to make effective use of the information and ideas they learn);
  2. To help students develop effective oral communication skills (while recognizing that not all students are comfortable talking frequently in class);
  3. To help students develop the ability to analyze and synthesize a broad range of material;
  4. To help students understand how scholars think about problems, formulate hypotheses, research those problems, and draw conclusions about them; and to help students understand how creative artists approach the creative process and produce an original work;
  5. To help students become more independent critical thinkers, demonstrating the ability to use knowledge and logic when discussing issues and/or ideas, while considering the consequences of those issues and ideas, for themselves, for others, and for society.

In addition, the Clarke Honors College has identified three core pillars for honors education at Salisbury University. Please attempt to address at least two of these in your course proposal and assignments:

  • Enhanced Critical Thinking and Breadth of Inquiry: Classes and assignments present students with alternative, conflicting, and/or multiple modes of inquiry that produces enduring question. Coursework often includes integrative, interdisciplinary practices.
  • Undergraduate Research: Research can be highly focused and often discipline-oriented, including an emphasis on research writing in the humanities and social sciences, data analysis in the social sciences and STEM disciplines, and experimentation and data collection in the natural sciences and/ or stem disciplines.
  • Community Engagement: Assignments might include off campus community-oriented projects and/or voluntary or philanthropic leadership experiences that engage a wider public body.