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Honors-Sponsored Courses

Would you like to propose your own unique course, targeted to students you want to involve?  Are you interested in teaching some of ETSU’s finest students who are looking to be challenged in the classroom?  Then consider offering an Honors-Sponsored course through ETSU’s Honors College.

What Is An Honors-Sponsored Course?

The Honors-Sponsored Course Program is designed to give greater numbers of students the opportunity to experience an Honors course at ETSU.  We also hope the program will provide faculty members with opportunities to investigate new approaches to teaching existing courses (e.g., an honors-sponsored course section) or to offer an entirely new course they would like to develop. Like other honors courses offered by the Honors College and by departments across campus, an honors-sponsored course presents students with the opportunity for in-depth investigation and discussion of a given subject through innovative teaching that encourages students to become active participants in their education.  Such active participation may be fostered in many ways, such as through any of the following: interdisciplinary explorations; opportunities to develop oral communication skills through discussions and/or presentations; community service projects; projects that investigate global/international aspects to issues or a discipline; leadership and teamwork development opportunities through collaborative projects; fieldwork and/or field trips; opportunities and encouragement to present course work at the Appalachian Research Forum or ETSU Undergraduate Research Symposium, or at other appropriate venues.  The smaller class size (max. 24 students) ensures that engaged participation is both manageable and fulfilling.

How Do I Propose a Course?

First, a faculty member fills out an Honors-Sponsored Course Proposal.  Faculty are invited (though certainly not required) to set up an appointment with a representative of the Honors College to talk more about their proposal before officially submitting it for review.

Upon submission, the proposal will be reviewed by at least two members of the Honors Faculty.  If the proposal is found wanting in any way, the faculty member will be invited to meet with a representative of the Honors College to discuss what improvements can be made to the proposal before resubmission.

Features of a Strong Proposal

  1. description of how the course fulfills the goals of Honors-base education; i.e., clear indication of what features differentiate the course as an “Honors” course.

  2. A clear indication of how the students are to be engaged and challenged beyond the usual components of a traditional lecture course. 

  3. A proposal form filled out in its entirety, with the requisite signatures.

  4. A copy of the course syllabus submitted with the proposal form.

Commonly-Asked Questions

Q: How (and by whom) do I get paid for teaching the course?

A: Typically, the Honors College buys out the faculty member’s time for the course, with approval from the department chair, which allows the department to hire adjunct replacement.  Or, if the faculty member prefers and the chair concurs, s/he can choose to receive the adjunct rate as overload.

Q: How can I “target” students?

A: Faculty have the opportunity to target students by major, GPA, classification, honors status, and any other combination of factors that they might find appropriate.

Q: How will the course be listed in the schedule?

A: Typically, the course will be listed as an offering in the faculty member’s department, either as an honors section of a previously existing course (as an -088 section), or as an entirely new course (Special Topics or an experimental course).  When deemed appropriate, the course can be offered through the Honors College as a UHON- offering.  If the course is listed as UHON, the faculty member will need to consult the department chair to determine if these credits will apply to the student's degree program.

Q: Can an Honors-sponsored course be team-taught?

A: Yes, but the buy-out may need to be split between the two professors, depending on circumstances and consultation with the Dean of the Honors College.

Q: Can I offer the course more than once?

A:  Yes, but priority will be given to those courses that have not been offered. 

Q: How many students need to sign up for the course for it to make?

A: Minimum enrollment numbers apply.

Q: Can I offer a course in the summer?

A: An Honors-sponsored course can be offered Fall, Spring, or Summer.  If offered in Summer, the usual "entrepreneurial" rules and requirements will apply.

Q: How early do I need to submit my proposal for consideration for the following semester?

A: To ensure reviewers ample time to consider a proposal, and to guarantee inclusion in the following semester’s schedule, the following deadlines apply:

  •  Spring semester offering / August 15 deadline

  •  Fall semester offering / December 15 deadline

  •  Summer offering / December 15 deadline

Q: Are there any sample successful proposals I might view?

A: As the Honors College offers more of these courses, we intend to build an archive of proposals that faculty might view (securing permission from the proposal writers before incorporating their proposals into the archive).

Q: Can the course be offered for more or less than 3 credits?

A: The usual TBR rules apply -- so this depends primarily on the course schedule proposed by the faculty member.  This issue will be subject to appropriate critique provided by the review process.

Q: How will these courses be assessed?

A: In a manner consistent with the SAI instrument. Faculty members may request assistance from the Honors College in developing an additional mid-term or final assessment instrument, if so desired.

Q: Where do I find the course proposal?

A: Click here.

Q: If I have more questions, what should I do?

Contact Daniel Hedden (hedden@etsu.edu,  Curriculum & Programs Coordinator, the Honors College, PO Box 70589, ETSU, Johnson City, TN  37614, or call (423) 439-6074.

USPS Mailing Address:
The Honors College at
East Tennessee State University
PO Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614-1708

Phone: 423.439.6076
Fax: 423.439.6080
email:  Honors College

Street Addresses of The Honors College offices:
  Administration: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
University & Midway Scholars: Ada Earnest House
310 S. Dossett Drive
Honors-in-Discipline Programs: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Fine & Performing Art Scholars: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Undergraduate Research: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
International Programs & Services: Yoakley Hall, Room 122
161 S. Dossett Drive