Honors 3280 – Call for Proposals

The National Service Learning Clearinghouse, defines service learning as “…a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” Service learning seminars are essentially experiential courses that include a service component, with opportunity to reflect on service activities and academic theory and research on service in general, service learning specifically, and the type of service for which the course is designed.  Students in service learning courses spend a portion of the course engaged in actual service to an organization or individuals seeking services from that organization. The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University has an excellent resource on service learning, including benefits of service learning, models, and learning outcomes. At Georgia State, the Department of African American Studies also has excellent resources.

  • Honors 3280 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 learning; thus, attendance and active participation in service learning activities significant portion of the final grade
  • Seminar-style learning spaces available in the Honors College for all Honors 3280 sections.
  • Funding available for course activities (dependent on available budget).

Example Honors 3280 Syllabus 

Because our service-learning courses to date have been evolving, faculty have significant leeway to develop course requirements and assessment strategies but they should be aligned with best practices identified for service learning (see above resources).  Although the course is focused on service, the course is also focused on learning, and students should be given ample time for written and discussion-based reflection on their experiences.

Proposals for Honors 3280 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.
Decisions are made by the Associate Dean in coordination with Director of Academic Assistance. 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. No more than one team-taught seminar will be selected per semester. The Honors College, in keeping with overall university goals will prioritize non-peak time and classroom assignments.
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.


Consult the Center for Teaching referenced above for excellent direction on objectives and outcomes, including models of teaching and content.

The Honors Digital Literacy Initiative provides unique resources to faculty who plan to teach Honors courses in the 2019-2020 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.