Honors Course Enhancement
Guidelines for Creating an Honors Enhancement for a Single Student in a Non-Honors Course
An honors enhancement allows scholars to add material to an existing NJIT course so as to meet their intellectual interests. Enhancements are granted as an exception when there is a compelling intellectual reason or a significant impediment to the academic progress of the scholar (i.e., there are no honors courses that meet the specific academic need). They must be approved by an honors advisor and the course instructor. When completed successfully, a scholar earns honors credit for the course.
The guidelines below detail the process and have been endorsed by the University Undergraduate Curriculum Review Committee on April 30, 2007. They have been clarified at the request of the The Faculty Senate Committee on Honors Education convened on April 30, 2019.
Guidelines and Limitations
Albert Dorman Honors College scholars are permitted to earn honors credit for a non-honors course by completing additional coursework under very special circumstances.
A maximum of two enhancements will be granted per scholar for the length of their tenure at NJIT. Enhanced courses will be approved only at the 300 and 400 levels within the scholar’s major if no alternative Honors courses exist. Only one enhanced course at the lower-division level (200) may be considered if approved by the Honors advisor.
This option is not available to first-year scholars. Scholars must be in good academic standing, meeting their Dorman Honors College requirements.
Permission is granted when, in the assessment of the honors advisor, no alternative regular honors course exists and the scholar is expected to have no opportunity to take the course as honors in the future. Permission is also granted for a course that is not regularly offered as honors and in which a scholar demonstrates compelling intellectual reason to go beyond the regular course content.
What counts as an enhancement?
A course enhancement is a semester-long project that a scholar undertakes to deepen their understanding of course content. In the project, they can apply course content to intellectual interests, professional interests, local needs, or current events. Examples include independent research, service projects, creative projects, literature reviews, and taking part in the instructor’s research. As a guideline, research papers should be approximately 10 pages and include appropriate academic citations.
Procedures for application and approval for scholars:
The scholar requesting this option must follow the procedures below in the order given.
Pre-application (Prior Semester)
1. To initiate a request for a course enhancement, scholars must first complete the course enhancement pre-application google form, which is sent by email during the prior semester.
2. Requests will then be reviewed by Ms. Kain (first years and sophomores); Dr. Ronald (accelerated scholars, juniors, seniors, and year 5); and Ms. Bacsik (students in honors tracks).
3. After the review of the request, the scholar will be contacted by their honors advisor to let them know whether or not the enhancement is pre-approved.
4. If the request is pre-approved, the advisor will send the scholar the enhancement guidelines. The scholar and instructor must work together during that prior semester to develop ideas for enhancing the class.
5. At the beginning of the course enhancement semester, the scholar will receive an email with the course enhancement contract form.
6. The contract form must be completed, signed by the course instructor and scholar, and returned to the honors office prior to the enhancement deadline (typically the third week of the semester).
7. The honors advisor makes the decision whether the proposed enhancement falls within the guidelines. If the decision is positive, the honors advisor sends a confirmation email to the scholar and the professor. If the decision is negative, the honors advisor initiates a discussion with the professor with the aim of bringing the enhancement within the guidelines. Ultimately, the professor and the advisor must both approve.
Submission and Assessment:
8. At the end of the semester, the scholar must upload the work to the Honors College Canvas page by the deadline set forth in the initial approval email (typically the last day of the semester). The instructor will complete a google form with their assessment of the enhancement work and whether or not honors credit should be given.
9. Honors credit will be granted only when the professor has confirmed the work has been completed satisfactorily at the honors level.
Revised Guidelines for Instructors
Application: The enhancement process starts in the previous semester when an honors scholar contacts the course instructor to ask about enhancing the course. If the instructor agrees, the scholar and the instructor discuss the enhancement project and agree to meet regularly (at least two times) during the semester of the course enhancement.
Process: The instructor, along with the scholar, fills out a simple contract form initiated by the Honors College to outline the honors enhancement work. The enhancement work needs to be approved by the honors advisors to ensure that it falls within the guidelines. If changes are required, the honors advisor will contact the course instructor with the aim of bringing the enhancement within the guidelines. The instructors should feel free to contact the honors advisors for guidance and/or clarification when needed. Ultimately the professor and the advisor must both approve.
The scholar and the instructor will meet two-to-three times throughout the semester to trace the progress of the enhancement work. If a student is not attending these meetings, please alert the honors advisors.
Assessment: The enhancement must be completed by the last day of the semester. The enhancement will be assessed separately from the work in the rest of the course. The enhancement work will be assessed as “With Honors” or “Without Honors.” In this context, “With Honors” means that the scholar will earn honors credit in addition to the grade earned in the course. “Without Honors” means that the scholar did not produce work worthy of honors credit and will not earn honors credit. (As a clarification, the scholar may still get an A for the course for fulfilling the requirements of the course. “With Honors” or “Without Honors” only applies to the honors credit.) Consistent with Honors College policy for all honors courses, honors credit will be awarded only if the scholar earns at least a B in the course.
Communication of the assessment: The instructor will provide an assessment of the honors enhancement work through the enhancement Canvas course. Instructions will be provided by the Honors College. This assessment is due on the same day that grades are due.