The GHC Honors Program. New Challenges. New Rewards.

Honors Project Contract

What do Honors Projects look like?

An Honors Project challenges students to be absorbed into the inquiry of a course in such a way as to give them more than ordinary appreciation for and mastery of the intellectual discipline in question. Whatever form they take, the work of an Honors Project should be higher in quality, more deeply analytical, and more challenging, rather than simply a multiplication of existing assignments. The most important components of an honors project are are the quality of the research, the originality of the author’s thinking, the author’s ability to link her work to theoretical issues of importance in the field, and the quality of communication in multiple formats.

For more discussion on this, faculty members should view a Zoom recording of a Fall 2020 In-Service Workshop on the Honors Program that includes a discussion of how to build Honors Projects. Further instructor-oriented guidance is available in PDF form: Honors Project Guidelines.

Building an Honors Contract

Contract in Microsoft Word format (type into file and return file; or print, write, scan, and return file)
Contract in Adobe PDF format (print, write, scan, and return file)

The current version of the Honors Contract (updated for Fall 2024) asks for identifying information for the student and the faculty mentor (instructor). The contract also asks for a typed description, the more specific the better, of the Mission, Meetings, and Milestones for the proposed Honors Project:

  1. Mission – What is the purpose of this project? What is it about? The focus should be some aspect of content related to the course but one not normally investigated in depth as part of regular coursework. Effort should be made to find a connection between content and the student’s passion, pathway, curiosity, or concerns. Please specifically address the following:
    – What is the general Focus of this project? What content will it consider?
    – What Question is the student trying to answer with this research or activity?
    – What Method will the student use to answer that question?
    – What kinds/numbers of Sources will the student engage with as part of this process?
    – What Format will the final product take? How will the results of the project be reported? While it is common for projects to include formal writing or a presentation, this is not required. What works for the student and the instructor?
  2. Meetings – How and when will the student and instructor meet? The student and instructor should schedule (in the contract) and adhere to no fewer than three meetings over the course of the semester about the work of the project (not advising or classwork).
  3. Milestones – How and when will the student submit pieces of the project to the instructor for review? It is strongly advised that you arrange a schedule of piece-submission for the project, rather than requiring the whole to be submitting near the end of term. Milestone submission allows the instructor to monitor progress and to coach the student on direction, effort level, and format throughout the middle of the semester so that there are no surprises near the end of the semester when the project is being considered for Honors Credit.

The student and instructor agree on, sign, and electronically submit an Honors Contract to the Honors Director (email submission preferred). See the Honors Home Page or posters around campus for the current semester contract deadlines.