Honors Contracts provide students the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on independent projects in courses they are enrolled in to develop special skills and gain in-depth knowledge related to the course. Upon completion of the contract, the course will be designated as “Honors” on the student’s transcript. Students completing three Honors contracts in upper-division courses will complete the Honors Contract Experience.
Courses from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Nursing are not eligible for Honors Contracts. Instead, a rotation of Honors Embedded Courses will be offered each semester to provide Honors students an enriched academic experience and a means to earn the necessary amount of departmental Honors credit.
FGCU Faculty: If you are developing a contract with a student and have any questions, please feel free to contact an Honors Executive Board member or an Honors Faculty Fellow in an aligned academic discipline to your own. They are happy to discuss best practices and pedagogy related to Honors Contracts.
The Honors Contract Proposal Rubric provides guidelines for reviewers as they evaluate contract proposals. It may be helpful to reference the rubric as you create an Honors Contract proposal. View Honors Contract Proposal Rubric.
The Honors Contract proposal examples below provide guidance on the expectations for an Honors Contract in terms of project scope and expansion. These Honors Contract proposals serve as examples only, and should not limit other proposal ideas. Faculty and students are welcome to submit Honors Contract proposals that are original, creative and expansive.
Reasons to conduct an Honors Contract
To conduct original research that may lead to an Honors Thesis, a publication or a conference presentation
To explore an aspect of the course more in depth in order to increase knowledge in this area
To gain academic knowledge and skills by assisting a professor on his or her own research related to the course subject
To develop a professional relationship with a faculty member in your major
To gain skills and experiences related to professional development, such as graduate school or future employment
Limitations on an Honors Contract
Due to the intensive nature of an Honors Contract, a student can only complete one contract per semester. Should extenuating circumstances arise in which a student needs to complete two contracts in a semester, the student should provide a written justification to the Honors College at firstname.lastname@example.org at the time the proposal is submitted.
- Honors Contracts may be submitted in upper-division courses only (level 3000+ courses)
- Courses from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and School of Nursing are not eligible for Honors Contracts. Instead, a rotation of Honors Embedded Courses will be offered each semester to provide Honors students an enriched academic experience and a means to earn the necessary amount of departmental Honors credit.
Considerations before submitting an Honors Contract
An Honors Contract should reflect an experience that is qualitatively different from that which non-Honors students enrolled in the same course will have and should also show evidence of engaging with one or more of the Elements of Honors. The Honors Contract should identify an individualized set of assignments, experiences and/or activities that provide some or all of the elements of the Honors course experience to an individual student enrolled in a non-Honors course. It must be submitted by the date specified on the Honors College website.
Ideally, an Honors Contract project is the combination of the student’s academic interests and goals with the professor’s disciplinary expertise and guidance. It should not be written individually by either party. Because developing the project is collaborative, the student must contact the professor no later than the first week of classes of the semester about his or her interest in conducting an Honors Contract. Students are strongly encouraged to contact their professors before the start of the semester in which the contract project will be conducted to give both parties maximum time to develop a meaningful, creative project.
Institutional Review Board:
If your proposed project requires you to survey or to test human subjects or animals, you must know whether IRB approval is required prior to submitting your Honors Contract. If this is a possibility, please work with your professor to consult the IRB review categories, guidelines and forms provided here.
Sources for Funding:
Occasionally, Honors Contract projects require funding for material or travel. The following are potential sources of funding. Please see individual webpages for policies and deadlines.
How to submit a contract proposal
- In collaboration with your sponsoring professor, fill out the Honors Contract Proposal Form online here, providing relevant details about the nature and scope of the project.
- Submit the completed proposal; this will be submitted to the Honors College, and reviewed by Honors Faculty Fellows and Honors Executive Board Members. Faculty review proposals based on their academic discipline.
- Proposals are reviewed based on the following primary criteria stated within the Honors College Contract Proposal Rubric.
- The Honors College will notify you and your sponsoring faculty via FGCU email if your proposal is approved. If a proposal requires revision prior to approval, the Honors College office will email your sponsoring faculty member with details.
- At the conclusion of the semester, the Honors College will send out an e-mail to the sponsoring faculty member requesting confirmation that you have successfully completed the Honors Contract.
- If you successfully complete an Honors Contract and earn at least a “B” grade in the related course, you will receive Honors credit for the class.