Honors 3260 – Call for Proposals

This course is intended to provide Honors students with the opportunity to explore a compelling scholarly topic or question from an interdisciplinary perspective. Honors seminars are led by a faculty member, but frequently include guests from other disciplines and professions in the Atlanta community. Seminars should foster critical thinking and writing, and should inspire deep discussion among students and the faculty member. The theme of the course may grow out of the faculty member’s research interests, but the course content and requirements need to be accessible and achievable, respectively, to students across majors. We encourage proposals that relate broadly to the university’s strategic focus on complex challenges in cities and global perspective.

  • Honors 3260 seminars meet for 2.5 hours (either once or twice a week), for three hours of elective credit.
  • Classes are limited to 15 or fewer students; grading is by letter
  • Seminars are defined by shared responsibility and active participation; thus, attendance and active participation should account for a significant portion of the final grade.
  • Seminar-style learning spaces available in the Honors College for all Honors 3260 sections.
  • Funding available for course activities (dependent on available budget).

Examples of Past HON3260 Courses 

Course requirements should demonstrate growth in knowledge and critical thinking through writing and oral discussion or presentation.  Requirements should be creative and allow students to explore the seminar topic through various methods. Small group projects tend to work very effectively in these seminars and class time can be devoted to group work. For example, groups could use the first 30 minutes of class time to meet and report their progress to the full class, and set goals to accomplish within the next week. Small group projects can be defined by students, within parameters, and can span the semester.

Other requirements should ask students to demonstrate learning through creative, non-traditional ways. We discourage proposals for courses that include traditional end of semester research papers or examinations unless the faculty member has had past success with these forms of assessment in this seminar. Instead, we encourage proposals that use individual or small group work that builds collaboration skills, etc., along with writing and presentations.

Some examples of non-traditional ways of assessment are an end of the semester class presentation, a book club embedded within the course, and small group projects that span the semester. For example, several courses have had tremendous success with an end of the semester class presentation, often attended by others in the university community or from the larger Atlanta community. These presentations work particularly well when members of the audience have been class guests. One seminar used a book club format, where small groups each read a different text, then presented their analysis of the text. This strategy exposed students to more content than could otherwise be accomplished, and the presentations enticed most students to read at least one of the other texts in full. Another example is an assignment where students research a psychologist who has not been recognized commensurate with her accomplishments. Students must use original source material to write a compelling memo to a publishing house to material on the psychologist in their next introductory to psychology text. They must specify where and how the information would be incorporated. Any writing assignments should include the opportunity for revision. Students may be from diverse backgrounds, the opportunity for revision provides students unfamiliar with another discipline’s conventions important feedback.

Proposals for Honors 3260 will be welcomed from regular full-time faculty including lecturers and administrators in any college, as well from university-level administrators who hold a faculty appointment. The Honors College will compensate departments, not individual faculty members, $5,000 for each successful proposal. The Honors College transfers these funds directly to the faculty member’s department, center, or other unit shortly after the beginning of the semester the course is taught.
The Honors College Faculty Affiliate Curriculum Committee will evaluate the proposals and make recommendations to the Dean and the Associate Dean of the Honors College. Some preference will be given to proposals by senior faculty and administrators whose schedules do not normally allow them to teach. The Honors College will balance seminars across colleges and disciplines.
Our goal is for the following outcomes and objectives to be met through our Honors College courses;

  • Developing proficient written and oral communication through attention to organization, presentation, and style; use of compelling and credible content, sources; and clear, cohesive, and compelling language and a well-supported, memorable central message
  • Gaining interdisciplinary understanding by synthesizing ideas and experiences and learning to reach conclusions by combining examples from more than one field.
  • Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills by cultivating the mental habit of stating problems and issues clearly; proper sourcing of information and questioning of expert opinions; analyzing personal assumptions; and reaching logical conclusions and solutions.
  • Nurturing creativity by pursuing assignments or research in potentially risky, untested ways; integrating divergent or contradictory ideas; extending a novel question, format, or product to create new knowledge; and producing transformative ideas or solutions.
  • Cultivating a global perspective through study abroad experiences; seeking insight into personal cultural values; interpreting intercultural experience from more than one viewpoint; and negotiating a shared understanding of differences with openness.
Ida Martinez, the Honors College librarian, is available as a resource to faculty members during the course development process. Her office is in the Librarian Subject Specialist Suite area on Library South 5th floor. Honors College Associate Dean, Sarah Cook is also available to consult with faculty developing course proposals. To support faculty teaching HON courses, a committee of Faculty Affiliates have developed an optional formative evaluation instrument for faculty to gain mid- semester feedback on the course.  The committee has also developed a required end of course evaluation specific to the Honors College.

Want to know what kind of honors courses you can teach in the coming academic year or what makes a successful course proposal? Check out this presentation and discussion with Honors College Associate Dean Sarah Cook.

Watch Course Proposal Video 

Please contact Dr/ Cook with any questions at scook@gsu.edu.


The Honors Digital Literacy Initiative provides unique resources to faculty who plan to teach Honors courses in the 2018-2019 academic year. These resources offer increased opportunities for students to participate in active learning, engage in new approaches to their disciplines through digital discussion and problem solving, and obtain skills important to academic and professional success. Resources include:

  • eText and Course Development Assistance: The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) will provide resources to assist faculty with creating their own eTexts or developing other course materials and ideas.
  • Technology-Equipped Academic Spaces: Participants will be eligible to teach in flexible classroom spaces that include technologies such as touch screens and classroom recording.
  • An Exceptional Environment for Educational Research and Publication:This initiative provides many opportunities to conduct evidenced-based research into how evolving digital tools affect learning. Help with preparing publications will be available.

Program Participation
Find out how even small changes to how you ask students to demonstrate evidence of learning can have a big impact. Discover more about digital pedagogy and resources for faculty from CETL. Explore classroom projects from the DL initiative at Edge Magazine.