Honors Contract Information For Faculty

If you have any questions about the honors contract process please reach out to hnrs-contracthelp@email.arizona.edu.
 

Outline of Honors Contracts

The Honors College requires that honors students that wish to earn honors credit for a course that does not have a section with the requirement designation of “honors course” to complete an honors contract. Honors contracts detail/outline the work that a student will be completing in order to earn honors credit. Only honors students submit honors contracts. Honors contracts submitted by non-honors students will be denied. We require honors contract submissions for two main reasons, 1) For students and instructors to have documentation and clear expectations for earning honors credit and 2) notification to the Honors College to make the adjustment to the student’s record so honors credit can be awarded at the end of the course. Students submitting honors contracts do not need to enroll in a different class or a different section. The Honors College makes an adjustment to the student’s record that allows instructors to assign honors credit via the grade book with final grades at the end of the course. An honors contract is not meant to take the place of preceptorship units.

 

Honors Course Hallmarks

The Honors Course Hallmarks serve as a guide for the development of Honors courses. While honors contracts are not the same as Honors courses, we believe that this guide can still be used to give some context to the content of honors contract assignments

 

Submitting Honors Contracts

All students are required to submit an honors contract who wish to earn honors credit for a course that does not have a section with the requirement designation of “honors course”. Students submit an honors contract via the Honors Contract Form found on the landing page for our Honors Contracts web page.

 

Types of Contracts

There are two ways that the honors assignment is typically outlined. Either is completely acceptable and it is up to the instructor which way they want to handle their honors contract assignments. 

The first is what we call “negotiated” assignments. This would require each student to talk/meet with the instructor to discuss or negotiate what the assignment will be. This option tends to require a bit more of the instructor’s time as students are typically scheduling meetings or sending multiple emails to talk about the assignment in detail.  It is encouraged that students meet with their instructor to discuss the assignment before filling out the honors contract form. Here is a copy of the questions we require students to answer on the honors contract if they are negotiating their contract assignments. These questions can be accessed by students on our honors contract web page. Once a student submits a negotiated contract an email is sent to the instructor to view what the student has written for the honors contract and then asks the instructor to submit approval, denial or edits.

The second is what we call “pre-approved” assignments. The instructor provides the assignment(s) that all honors students would do if they want to earn honors credit. Typically, this outline is either included in the syllabus or posted to the D2L. It is helpful if this pre-approved assignment includes details about what exactly the assignment is, any formatting requirements, possible rubric, due dates, etc.. This is a great choice if there are a lot of students that want to earn honors credit for a course. There is a spot on our honors contract form for students to upload a document that outlines the pre-approved assignment. An approval email is not sent to the instructor because we assume the instructor will approve the assignment because they are ones that proposed it. An email is sent to the instructor after all honors contracts have been processed with a list of students that have submitted honors contracts.

Examples of pre-approved contracts from previous semesters:

 

Grading

When a student has the adjustment to their record made, the instructor will be able to see in the grade book the students that can earn honors credit under the Requirement Designation tab. Here is a picture of what it looks like in the grade book. Instructors would select “Satisfied” for students that earn honors credits and “Not satisfied” for students not earning honors credits. Instructors are required to determine whether the student has completed the terms of the honors contract by the same date that grades are regularly due for the course. “Incompletes” are not accepted for honors contracts, unless the student has obtained prior permission from the Honors College.

Honors contracts typically do not impact a student's final grade in the class. Students do not earn a higher grade because they are doing an honors contract, but they would also not receive a lower grade for doing an honors contract. The grade for the assignment that the student does for the honors contract does not factor into their final grade. If the student does not complete the terms of the honors contract, the only consequence would be that the student will not receive honors credit for the course. Now, that being said, there can certainly be a requirement that the student must earn a certain grade on the honors assignment to earn honors credits. For example, we have seen contracts say, “I (the student) must earn a grade of (X) or higher on the assignment for the honors contract to earn honors credit.” 

 

GAs and TAs Supervising Contracts 

The Honors College no longer requires GAs or TAs to seek approval from the college to supervise contracts. Since honors credit for honors contracts is awarded with the final grades GAs/TAs who will not be entering final grades will need to communicate which students will be earning honors units to whomever is entering final grades.
 

Graduate-level Courses 

Students typically are not able to create an honors contract for a class that is co-convened with a 500-level graduate class. If a student has at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the University of Arizona AND has at least 60 earned units, they would not create an Honors Contract. Instead, the student would fill out the Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Course form. If this is a student’s very first semester at the University of Arizona AND/OR they have less than 60 earned units then the Honors College would accept an honors contract. If an instructor would prefer that all students do an honors contract, regardless of eligibility to enroll in the graduate section, we ask that the instructor please contact the Honors College prior to the start of the semester and before students start submitting honors contracts.