Guidelines and Pedagogy
Honors seminars align with one of the honors thematic areas - community engagement, creativity, global studies, leadership and research. Seminars are not expected to align with all or multiple thematic areas. Rather, an in-depth focus in one area is better received than a course that tries to fit in multiple areas on a surface level.
Honors seminars engage students in experiential learning and in reflection on their learning. They should challenge students with creative projects/activities that take learning beyond the typical classroom, integrate theory to practice, provide contextual complexity and provide opportunity for reflection. Experiential components vary widely and may include visits to local or regional sites, fieldwork, service-learning, integration of lab work, performances, international or study tours or other activities.
Broad Student Audience and Unique Nature
Honors seminars should challenge and broaden the intellectual horizons of UHP students at all levels, regardless of the disciplines in which students are majoring. They are taken by students across disciplines. They should be rigorous and are not introductory survey courses. At the same time, honors seminars do not have prerequisites. Proposals can come from any discipline/college. Interdisciplinary courses are encouraged.
Faculty/student dialogue should serve as the primary mode of interaction with lecture kept to a minimum. Students should be challenged by reading primary sources and writing assignments that demand clear articulation of ideas. Use of innovative technology and collaborative work are encouraged. Evaluation of students should be based on their willingness to explore and critique concepts, rather than on absorption of facts.
Students are required to maintain learning portfolios to integrate and share their learning during their time in the UHP. They are expected to create areas in their portfolios for each honors seminar completed, reflecting on and integrating their learning. Please keep this in mind as you design your seminar and consider what evidence/artifacts students may include in their portfolio as well as what opportunities for reflection on learning will be included in your seminar. View sample portfolios.
If a study tour will be included in the seminar (typically international), it can take place during the break period immediately following the semester or during spring break. Spring break study tours are encouraged. While we can accept proposals for seminars with domestic study tours, there is typically not enough interest from students to run them. With that, it's now rare for a domestic study tour proposal to be approved. Proposals for honors seminars with study tours must include an itinerary and budget. In addition, we expect that faculty have direct experience in the study tour location. Faculty will need to share with us their knowledge of and experience in the destination country and culture.