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Honors Program directors

For more information on the Honors Advisory Board, click here. For more information on student and faculty publications, click here

Honors Faculty

Just as it provides students with opportunities to challenge themselves and explore new ideas, the Honors Program strives to provide faculty with a similar environment. We encourage CalU faculty to see honors courses as a chance to teach new topics, begin new research projects, and/or explore new approaches to teaching. Our honors classroom has state-of-the-art technology and is linked to a flexible computer lab equipped with a flexible combination of desktop and notebook computers.

Past courses have included:

  • HON 265: Global Transitions I: “It’s About Time”
  • HON 270: Global Transitions II: “Art, Guns, and the Government”
  • HON 340: Topics in the Arts and Humanities: “The 1960s”
  • HON 330: Topics in Culture and Society: “Poverty”
  • HON 335: Topics in Science and Technology: “Introduction to Alternative/Sustainable Agriculture”
  • HON 340: Topics in the Arts and Humanities: “Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and Film”
  • HON 320: Topics in Self and Society: “Lust, Love, and Attachment”
  • HON 270: Global Transitions II: “Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Modern World”
  • HON 340: Topics in the Arts and Humanities: “The Place of the Auteur Film”

Any faculty interested in teaching an honors course are encourage to contact the director or associate director for more information.

Addendum Process: Faculty FAQ

What is an addendum?

In order to graduate from the Cal U Honors Program, students must complete 24 credits of Honors coursework.  Because the Honors program does not offer enough courses for students to do this within the program, the addendum system was created so that students may earn Honors credits in non-Honors courses.  An addendum is a contract between the course instructor and the Honors student.  The project should extend beyond the basic goals and objectives of the course.  It should allow the student to work independently under faculty supervision.  Students should expect to devote roughly an additional one quarter to one third more work when doing an Honors addendum for a class.

How long or extensive should an addendum be?

There is no length requirement for addendums.  This is, in part, because addendums take different forms depending on the subject of the course, the level of the course, and the discipline.  An addendum should reflect a substantial amount of intellectual work on the part of the student.  As above, it should constitute roughly a quarter to a third more effort.  It should also reflect the level of the course.  An addendum for a 300-level course would be more substantial than one for a 100 or 200-level course.  In the end, the addendum should demonstrate knowledge the student has acquired beyond the primary outcomes and goals of the course.

How do I grade addendums?

The assessment of addendums is entirely up to the instructor.  He or she may establish any set of criteria or requirements that he or she feels best applies to the project.  The Honors Program, however,  only records whether or not the work is completed.  We do not need a letter grade or score.

What if the completed addendum turns out differently than the proposal?

The final evaluation of an addendum is entirely up to the instructor.  If the completed addendum differs from the proposal, it is the instructor's discretion as to whether or not the changes are acceptable.

What if a student does not complete an addendum?

If a student proposes but does not complete an addendum, he or she does not receive Honors credits for the course.

What if I prefer not to work with Honors students on addendums?

The decision is entirely up to the faculty member.  There is no requirement to provide Honors students with addendum opportunities.

Honors Thesis Project: Faculty FAQ

Here is a copy of the syllabus for HON 499: Honors Thesis. 

What are the University Honors Program’s expectations for a Thesis?

Our expectations are rather simple: the goal is for the student to present identify? a disciplinary conversation in within her or his chosen discipline, into which her or she places his or her own voice.  The best Projects are the ones where this voice comes through clearly and distinctly.

Because we (in the University Honors Program) are not experts in many or most of the fields students choose to work in, our guiding principle is to rely on you, the advisor, as the relevant expert for the student’s work.

Advisors should come to an agreement with students early on in the Thesis Project process about:  how often the student will meet with the Advisor, how many sources from the literature should be consulted, what an appropriate range for number of pages is, a timeline for completing various stages of work, etc.  

The Thesis Project should be an appropriate capstone for an academically advanced student.  The Project’s work is meant to span two semesters, and so it should be somewhat more substantial than a typical research project in the discipline.

Is there a required length?

No, there’s no required length.  The length of the written portion of the Project should be appropriate to the discipline.  For example, in the sciences, it might be appropriate for the written part to be fewer pages, especially when the student has made a substantial investment of time in lab work.  (Also see “What are the University Honors Program’s expectations for a Thesis?” above.)

Do I have to meet with my advisee every week?

No, how often you meet with your advisee is up to you, given the nature of the Project and the particular advisee.  (Also see “What are the University Honors Program’s expectations for a Thesis?” above.)

What do I have to do at the Presentation?

After the student presents his or her work, it is customary for the Advisor to begin the question and answer part of the Presentation.  Advisors will typically ask further questions, and they often interact with the student in the course of other questions as well.  Following the question and answer session, the student will step out of the room and the entire Committee will meet with representatives from the UHP to discuss both a grade for the Project, as well as any additional corrections/changes that should be made before the Thesis is in its final form.  The grade may be contingent upon such corrections/changes.

Who assigns a grade for the Thesis?

The Advisor will assign a grade, in consultation with the Committee and with the UHP representatives.  The advice we typically give begins with the following: “Students are supposed to be presenting a disciplinary conversation into which they will insert their own voices.  “A” grades will be for Projects in which the student’s voice is most clearly present.  “B” grades will be for Projects in which this has been attempted, but which did not succeed as well as they might have.  “C” grades will be for Projects in which the student does not insert his or her voice into the disciplinary conversation.  (An example of a C-range Project would be a mere literature review.)”

Who can I get in touch with if I have questions?

Please get in touch with any questions at any time!  Feel free to contact the Associate Director of the UHP Craig Fox (who works directly with the Thesis students as part of HON 499 Honors Thesis) or the Director of the UHP, M. G. Aune.