10/11/04

 

To:  Curriculum Committee

From:  Bart Finzel, in role of Honors Program Director

RE:  Catalog Copy for the Honors Program

 

To complete the transition to the new Honors program curriculum approved by the Assembly in the Fall of 2002, I am proposing several changes to the UMM catalog. 

 

As you know, the “Honors” courses that are currently cross-listed with non-honors offerings are being eliminated from the UMM Catalog. In addition, all Discipline based Senior Honors Project courses (e.g. Econ 4994; Chem 4994) are being eliminated from the Catalog. Moreover, new catalog copy is being proposed (see attached) under the “General Information: Honors Program” heading to reflect the new Honors Program requirements. These changes ensure the Honors Program has a clear, distinctive interdisciplinary focus. 

 

Some minor changes are also being proposed to the Catalog copy for the Honors Program under the Academic Information Heading (see below).  In particular, the timeline for students to fulfill certain Honors Program requirements (the “core” class, the application period) has been relaxed to accommodate transfer students or other students with special circumstances. 

 

I have also increased the elective course expectation to 4 from its current 3.  This should not require additional resources.  With this change, students graduating with ‘honors” will be required to minimally complete 12 credits in the Honors Program, or, for the student who starts the Program as a Fall semester sophomore, average 2 credits of work in the program per semester of participation. This credit expectation had been in the “new” Honors Program proposal in 2002 and in the Honors Task Force report, but was changed when language requiring students “complete one honors course per semester of participation when in residence at UMM, provided that students complete at least 3 Honors courses at the 3xxx level at UMM” was reduced to “complete 3 Honors courses”.  The National Collegiate Honors Council suggests that 20-25% of course work be done in “honors” for a fully developed honors Program.  This is a modest move in that direction.

 

Also attached are proposals for two new IS 3XXXH courses.

 

Thanks for your attention.

 

 

 

 

 

Page seven catalog copy:  replace the entire text with that below

 

General Information

 

Honors Program

The UMM Honors Program offers a distinctive opportunity for students to enhance their college experience. It encourages students to explore the world of ideas and creativity in a variety of ways that offer challenges and excitement. It is a combination of courses, activities, and individual projects that is flexible, allowing students to determine the ways in which they study and develop. Any interested UMM student may enroll in the program by filling out an application form, available from the Honors Office, 225 Community Services.

The Honors Program offers a selection of special courses that go beyond the scope of the regular curriculum. Typically, they are small classes and represent the special interests of the faculty who design them. Honors students have opportunities for extended and stimulating independent study. They also come together regularly at a variety of public or special events on and off campus. Successful completion of the Honors Program provides a UMM degree "with honors" as recognition of superior achievement in academic and cocurricular endeavor.

To graduate "with honors," participants must complete one honors course annually, attend and respond to at least four honors activities per year of participation, successfully complete a senior honors project (which counts as an honors course), and earn A’s for half of their UMM credits. The Honors Program is administered by a faculty director. A more detailed description of the Honors Program appears in the Academic Information section in this catalog.

 

 

 

     The UMM Honors Program offers a distinct, academically challenging, intellectual experience that amplifies and complements the liberal arts mission of UMM for motivated and high-achieving students.  It does this by relying upon an interdisciplinary curriculum.  Successful completion of the Honors Program provides the student a UMM degree “with honors” as a recognition of their achievement and willingness to explore ideas beyond disciplinary confines.

     All Honors students must enroll in “Traditions in Human Thought,” a course that explores significant works from history, literature, philosophy, and science from an interdisciplinary perspective. The students may then choose from several elective offerings each semester.  These consist of courses that examine a particular topic from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The courses are often team-taught by faculty from different UMM academic divisions and concern subjects of special interest to the faculty that design them.  As seniors, Honors students complete an Honors Project: a substantial scholarly or creative interdisciplinary work designed by the student working cooperatively with a project advisor.  Upon completion, the project is defended before a panel of faculty from different disciplines. In addition to these requirements, Honors Program students often volunteer for service initiatives; attend public presentations, music and theatric performances; enjoy occasional field trips and outings; and mentor those just starting in the Program.

     All UMM students are eligible to participate in the Honors Program.  Students normally apply to the program in the spring semester of their freshman year and begin coursework in their sophomore year.  While everyone may apply, academic success in the fall semester, faculty recommendations, and a short essay may be used to limit the number of students to those with the proven motivation and ability to likely succeed in the Program.  A more detailed description of the Honors Program courses and requirements appears in the Academic Information section in this catalog.

 

 

Page 52-53 copy:  edit as indicated.

 

Honors Program
The Honors Program represents an opportunity for UMM students to pursue an interdisciplinary and interdivisional curriculum and work toward graduation "with honors." All UMM students are eligible to participate in the Honors Program. Students normally apply to the program in the spring semester of their freshman year and begin coursework in their sophomore year. While everyone may apply, academic success in the fall semester, faculty recommendations, and a short essay may be used to limit the number of students to those with the proven motivation and ability to likely succeed in the Program.  Applications are available at the Honors Office, 231 Community Services. Students wishing to register for an honors course must be enrolled in the Honors Program. If spaces remain in an honors course at the end of registration, non-honors students may enroll with the permission of the instructor.

To graduate "with honors," participants must (1) complete the course IS 2001H—Honors: Traditions in Human Thought usually in the fall of their sophomore year; (2) complete at least three four other 3xxx Honors courses at UMM; (3) successfully complete a multidisciplinary senior honors project (4) earn a UMM GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Honors courses are limited to a class size of 20. The elective courses examine a particular topic from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The courses are often team-taught by faculty from different UMM academic divisions and concern subjects of special interest to the faculty that design them. Many courses are taught by teams of faculty from different UMM academic divisions and examine a particular topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. The courses encourage active learning through writing, experimentation, creative activity, or discussion and emphasize primary texts and materials. Honors students do original work that demonstrates a consistently high level of academic commitment. Honors courses are based, therefore, on evaluating the quality, not the quantity, of students’ active participation, and they differ significantly from other curricular offerings either in content or pedagogy. The senior honors project is a substantial scholarly or creative work that shows students’ intellectual engagement and their ability to articulate and defend their choices regarding methodology and subject matter to a panel of three faculty from different disciplines, including the project’s adviser. It is the responsibility of the student to secure a project adviser, identify two other faculty for the panel in consultation with the project adviser, and register for at least 2 credits of IS 4994—Senior Honors Project. Students should submit the completed project to the Honors Program director and panel members by April 1 and arrange for the defense.

The list of honors courses may change from year to year. The listing below represents a sampling of courses that have been offered in the past and which may be offered in the 2003-2005  2005-2007 biennium. Actual course offerings appear in the Class Schedule.

Back to the top.

Sample Honors Courses—Updated listings are available through the Honors Program director. For complete course descriptions, see the Division Structure and Course Descriptions section; symbols are explained near the beginning of that section.

Note: The following courses all require approval from the instructor for students not in the Honors Program.

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Note:  _____1993, 2993, 3993, 4993 should no longer be included in the list.  The discipline based 4994 classes should also be eliminated.