Is Teaching a Creative Activity?

The Honors experience represents the reason I got into higher education.” - UHC Instructor 

Call for Coursework 2014-2015

OSU tenured/tenure-track, senior instructor, and emeritus faculty members are invited to submit University Honors College course proposals for the 2014-15 academic year.  Other faculty who would like to apply should contact the UHC.  The UHC will also award several course development grants of $1000-$3000 for new or revised Honors courses that include substantial experiential learning opportunities

The UHC Schedule of Classes is renewed annually to provide the very best in undergraduate education.  We are looking for a broad variety of colloquia and electives.  Any course in the OSU General Catalog is eligible to be offered as an Honors course, and proposals for new courses are welcomed. 

The Honors teaching experience features interactions with OSU's most accomplished and dedicated group of undergraduates, and faculty report that teaching in the UHC is both rewarding and energizing. Innovation in pedagogy is encouraged and participatory learning is the norm.  Honors courses are typically capped at 20-24 students at the lower-division level and 12-15 students at the upper-division level. 

The deadline for course proposal submissions for the 2014-15 academic year is January 27, 2014.  Proposals should be submitted online at Submit Course Proposals; additional details on the UHC curriculum are also available at that site.  If you have questions or would like to discuss a course idea, please e-mail or call Tara Williams, UHC Associate Dean, at tara.williams@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-6412. 

To be considered for a course development grant, submit a one-page description of how the course would incorporate and evaluate the experiential learning component as well as a brief budget to tara.williams@oregonstate.edu by January 27, 2014.

 

Course Types

The Honors curriculum hosts both new and established courses. Any course in the OSU General Catalog can be offered as an Honors course using the departmental designator with an “H” suffix (e.g., GEO 300HHH). The HC designator is also available, along with departmental topics numbers at all levels (x99H). Each Honors course is classified into one of three types: Honors sections of Baccalaureate Core Courses (BCC), Honors Colloquia (one or two credits), and Honors Electives.

Honors Sections of Baccalaureate Core Courses

The UHC curriculum requires students to complete 6 credits of Honors sections of BCC, and proposals from all disciplines are invited.  These courses will carry an H suffix.  These will be small sections of existing BCC offerings tailored to UHC students.  Courses will be selected to offer both horizontal (disciplinary) and vertical (100-400 level) breadth.  We encourage flexible approaches in this category (e.g., Honors laboratory or recitation sections of courses in which a separate lecture section might not be feasible.  In this case the student would receive Honors credit only for the Honors component.).  Other options may be discussed and are welcomed.

Honors Colloquia

UHC students are required to complete 6 credits of colloquia (colloquia are one or two-credit classes).  A colloquium can serve student needs in many ways, either as an opportunity to explore a subject lying outside the academic comfort zone, or as an introduction to a potential area for research and scholarship. Please call if you have questions about a course idea.

  • Colloquia must be substantive in terms of established OSU disciplines or interdisciplinary foci.
  • Colloquia must be non-specialized enough to accommodate students without special expertise.
  • Colloquia may be graded A – F or P/N (students may elect S/U grading).
  • Scheduling of colloquia can be flexible, innovation is encouraged, short-term/weekend options are possible.

Honors Electives

 UHC students must complete at least 12 credits of additional electives in UHC courses, representing a broad range of interests and fields.  Generally these are upper-division disciplinary courses but an array of options are available.  Innovative and stimulating courses are sought, and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged.  Guidelines and requirements in this category are identical with those described above for the Honors section of BCC offerings.  The University Honors College has special topics numbers, and a full suite of upper-division blanket numbered courses, which may be used for elective courses if a departmental designator is unavailable or inappropriate.

Selection

Proposal review will be completed, and proposers will be notified of proposal status by the end of February 2012.  Honors courses selected as a result of submitted proposals are “one-time-only” agreements with no automatic renewal. General Guidelines and Criteria for Honors Courses are as follows:

  • Honors sections of existing courses must meet prerequisites for subsequent courses, as determined by curricular and administrative units.
  • Courses with interdisciplinary emphasis, integration with other courses and disciplines (e.g., sequential or concurrent courses developed by two departments), and team teaching are encouraged.  A single course or a group of courses (offered sequentially or concurrently) may be proposed.
  • Proposals should address the specific challenges and opportunities afforded by small classes with dedicated and accomplished students.
    • o Courses should not simply cover more material or insist on additional rigor.
    • o Experimentation with new teaching techniques is encouraged. 
    • o The educational approach should be flexible enough to accommodate different learning styles appropriate to a diverse student audience. 
    • o Interactive learning is the norm, heavier workloads are not.
    • o Variable scheduling in support of pedagogical innovation is possible.
  • Proposals must include all elements required in the on-line proposal form, including a syllabus, and be submitted by the deadline to be considered.

Eligibility & Recognition

OSU faculty members of professorial or Senior Instructor rank are eligible to teach in Honors. Faculty selected to teach in Honors are noted as University Honors College Faculty in the General OSU Catalog (http://catalog.oregonstate.edu/FacultyList.aspx) and are also listed on the University Honors College website.  Exceptionally qualified faculty submitting course proposals will be considered for selection and funding as a UHC Eminent Professor.

Compensation

The UHC provides reimbursement to departments for faculty involved in Honors instruction.  Reimbursement is on a per-credit basis by OUS Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) level. Impacts on faculty teaching loads, availability of funds for professional expenses, or other compensation are to be negotiated by the instructor with their department/unit chair or head.  Each course proposal must be endorsed by the department/unit chair/head.

Scheduling

Scheduling of all H and HC courses is carried out by the UHC in collaboration with participating departments. For those courses listed under a departmental designator, all student credit hours will be registered to the home department. Variable credit and special topic numbers (e.g. x99H) can be used as appropriate.

Class Size

The UHC adheres to National Collegiate Honors Council guidelines for providing “enriched learning environments.” Lower-division UHC courses are typically capped between 20 and 24 students; upper-division at 12-15. 

Non-Honors Enrollment

Once priority registration is complete, non-Honors students with a cumulative OSU GPA of at least 3.25 are eligible to enroll in UHC courses for which they have the necessary prerequisites on a space-available basis with the consent of the UHC. Please refer interested students to the UHC office to obtain an enrollment waiver request form.

Student Assessment

Assessment of student learning should be cognizant of differences among students and diversity of learning styles.  Proposals should indicate methods of assessment.  UHC classes should not be graded more stringently than any other course and workloads should be congruent with typical workloads.

Each UHC course is assessed by means of a written UHC student assessment.  This instrument is designed to address the unique challenges and opportunities of Honors instruction and has been approved by OSU legal counsel and by Academic Affairs in lieu of the standard OSU course evaluation form.  The Office of Academic Affairs is fully cognizant of the greater effort required of UHC Faculty and views UHC teaching as indicative of having provided a compelling learning experience.

Proposers are encouraged to contact Tara Williams at tara.williams@oregonstate.edu to discuss ideas for new coursework.  All new course proposals must be submitted online.