Worcester State University

For Faculty

There are many ways for WSU faculty to get involved with the Honors Program.

You may already have honors students among your advisees. We've created a Guide for Advising Honors Students  to help explain policies and program details. Honors students should be guided to select courses from each semester's list of honors offerings, and need to maintain an overall 3.2 GPA (3.0 for students who entered before 2012). We recommend you steer them towards doing a significant independent research project as a Commonwealth Honors Project as appropriate for their major, minor, or interests. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have concerns--or things to celebrate--about an honors advisee.

Consider offering one or more of your courses as an Honors course--either as an all-Honors section, or with some slots (usually 5-7) reserved for Honors students. Each semester we need a broad range of courses for Honors students to take that could fulfill their Major/Minor requirements, their General Education distributions, or their LASC courses. We especially seek courses from the sciences, pre-professional programs and social sciences. Honors students get priority registration during Major-Minor week, so it's a good way to guarantee that spaces in your course will fill early. It doesn't remove any seats from your class, because they are generally students who would be taking your course anyway. Many professors find that the quality of class discussion is often raised in courses with Honors slots and that those sections are livelier and more intellectually engaging.

If you're designing a course to include Honors students, will you need to do anything differently? Honors courses should be learning-centered and student-focused. Students should have opportunities for challenging work, leadership in the classroom, and active learning. Instead of just providing extra assignments for Honors students (which means more grading for you), consider ways to enhance the work in ways that achieve meaningful, lasting, integrative learning - such as deeper research, assignments that demand higher-order thinking, creative formats, or greater student input into project, lab or exam design. If you'd like to look at Honors syllabi, contact the Director or Assistant Director, who can put you in touch with current Honors instructors or provide archived syllabi as examples. We ask Honors course instructors to complete a simple agreement form and forward us a copy of their syllabi, and then provide us with some feedback at the end of each term.

Serving on the Advisory Board
The Honors Advisory Board is comprised of 12-15 faculty serving in staggered 3-year terms. The Board helps plan Honors programming, votes on current WSU students applying into the Program, advises the Director and Assistant Director, and provides faculty oversight and support to strengthen the Honors Program at the university. Any faculty member is welcome at the Honors Advisory Board meetings; contact the Director or click on the "Calendar" tab for a schedule of meeting dates and times.

Help plan or promote campus events that might be of interest to Honors students. If you are planning an event and would like Honors co-sponsorship, or you need student volunteers, involving the Honors Program can broaden the potential impact of your event by drawing on the talents and energy of a well-mobilized community of bright young people.

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