An Honors contract is a mutual agreement between the Honors student and the faculty
member on a project or activity that will allow a particular non-honors course to
be custom designated as “Honors” on the student’s transcript. Contracts allow students
to complete further exploration, research, and/or experience in a particular topic
of course material. Students often use the projects they complete for an Honors contract
as entries in WCU's annual Undergraduate Expo and NCUR, an annual national conference
for undergraduate research. Honors Contracts are now submitted, reviewed, and approved via MyWCU.
For students: Type "honors" into the search bar on the top left of your MyWCU webpage,
then select "Submit an Honors Contract"
For instructors: Type "honors" into the search bar on the top left of your MyWCU webpage,
then select "Manage Honors Contracts"
Honors Contracts must be submitted by the student AND approved by the instructor no
later than Friday of the fourth week of the semester (Friday of the second week for
Friday, May 25 by 5pm (May 2018 mini-term)
Friday, June 15 by 5pm (Summer I 2018 term)
Friday, July 13 by 5pm (Summer II 2018 term)
Friday, September 14 by 5pm (Fall 2018)
Friday, February 8 by 5pm (Spring 2019)
How to submit your Honors Contract online:
Can an Honors contract be developed for any WCU course?
Yes, including internships and distance/online courses. Whether or not a particular
course will work for an Honors contract is ultimately the instructor’s decision.
Who can do an Honors contract?
A student must be a member of The Honors College to take advantage of Honors contracts.
Students currently on probation in The Honors College (due to grades or lack of Honors
progress) may complete Honors contract work during their probation semester in order
to continue to make progress and improve their GPA and standing.
Students who were previous members but have been removed from the college due to grades
or lack of Honors progress are ineligible for Honors contract work.
What determines the credit hours for an Honors contract?
Honors credit is always attached to the credit hours for the course (for example,
an Honors contract for a three-hour course would be for three credit hours).
What is a “good” Honors contract?
The best contracts are of mutual interest to the student and faculty member. Ideally,
Honors contracts should:
- Involve a project or activity that takes one deeper into the course subject and results
in an experience relevant to one’s preparation as a professional.
- Engage the student in higher levels of thinking and performance (i.e. synthesis, creation,
evaluation, analysis) over a sustained period of time or over the course of the entire
semester for advanced courses (at the 200, 300, or 400 levels), or involve lower cognitive
domains (i.e. recall, understanding, application) over a shorter amount of time for
introductory courses (at the 100 or possibly 200 levels).
- When possible, invite a student to participate in undergraduate research or begin
a research agenda within a major.
- Depending on the discipline, invite a student to work on a creative project beyond
the regular scope of the course (in theatre, art, or creative writing for example).
- If applicable, involve a particular service project relevant to the course and/or
the student’s major.
- If applicable, involve a student honing teaching/presentation skills through a presentation
of out-of-class material to the class or an external group.
- When possible, result in a presentation of creative work or research results at the
Undergraduate Expo, a regional conference, or the National Conference on Undergraduate
- Allow the faculty member an opportunity to try innovative or professionally interesting
projects or activities that would be difficult to do for an entire class.
- Be commensurate with the number of credits earned (e.g. a contract in a 4 credit hour
course should be more involved than a contract in a 3 credit hour course).
What is a “bad” contract?
Contracts most likely to present problems usually:
- Are “busy work” (taking an extra quiz, for example).
- Are of little or no interest to the student or faculty member.
- Have no clear connection to the course content.
- Have little or no tangible outcome.
- Are described so vaguely that the outcome is confusing to the student (i.e., “student
will do an extra paper” or “student will read extra material”).
- Under no circumstance will a contract be approved for work already accomplished.