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Las Positas College

Information for Faculty

Any full-time or part-time faculty can offer their course as Honors to selected students in their regular courses. If your student successfully completes your course as honors, an indication of "Honors" will be added to their transcript for your course. Students who complete 5 honors courses and meet other Honors Program requirements are eligible for transfer agreements with many colleges including UCLA, UCI and many other public and private colleges. Agreeing to offer your regular course as honors is entirely optional.

A faculty can offer their course as Honors in two different ways:

  1. NEW, as of Spring 2024: you can offer Honors courses by getting CERTIFIED as an Honors Instructor and have an organized Embedded Honors Component in your regular courses, which you can reuse from semester to semester.
  2. You can create a faculty contract with each Honors student individually for any regular course you teach, have the student submit the Contract to the Honors Program, and have the Honors coordinator approve it.

Bellow you will find more details on each of the two ways to offer your courses as Honors. 

Becoming a Certified Honors Instructor

Why would you want to become an Honors Certified Instructor?   

  • You will get a Ready to Go Model Honors Canvas Course, all set up with typical honors assignments, which you can start using for your honors students right away. All you would need to do is choose the assignments and adjust the due dates for your liking (and you can keep adding material as you teach). Having one Canvas Course for all your honors students will not only make it easier to provide the honors material for multiple students at once and to keep the students on track, but also prevent plagiarism and AI usage (which is on a rise even among honors students), because when you accept honors projects in emails the projects don’t go through any checks. If you already have a Canvas course for your Honors students or have Honors Assignments embedded in your regular courses, that’s great - all you will need to do is have it aligned and approved to become a Certified” Canvas Course.  
  • You will have a much greater autonomy to choose your own way of providing honors credit:
    • You will be able to control everything, from the due dates to the types of honors assignments - you will not need my approvals of your students’ proposals for projects.
    • You will be able to offer the honors option for your summer courses.
    • You might not even have the students write any proposals or do the projects at all! Instead, you could build a set of honors level extra assignments - such model might work better for math or computer science classes, where having one big project might be an issue.  
  • You will get paid for getting your first Honors Canvas Course certified! The stipend will be equivalent to 3 hours of F-Hour rate (the current rate being $62.95 an hour).  

What exactly would you need to do to get certified?   

  • Complete a short honors instructor orientation online or in person (schedule TBA) or have a short one-on-one meeting with me (only once). 
  • Have me review your Honors Canvas course after you personalized and finalized the Model Canvas Course to your liking (for each Canvas Course separately, if more than one).  

That is all! However, keep in mind - Honors Program budget is limited and so is my time, so the certification will take place on a first come first serve basis. If you are interested - please click on the following link to complete a very short form to start the process:  

Sign up for Honors Canvas Course and to get certified!

If you are not ready, you can continue offering honors credit through contracts. You can find all the information about Contracts bellow.

Creating a student-faculty contract

Any part-time or full-time faculty member is eligible to create an honors contract with an individual student in any regular course. An honors contract allows a student to go in-depth in an area of research related to your course. Any transfer-level course is eligible for an honors contract. 

Creating a Contract with Your Honors Student

As a mentor for an honors student, your first job will be to work with your honors student to create an honors contract proposal. This proposal indicates the nature of the honors project that a student will have to complete to earn honors credit for your course. For honors contracts that have a research paper as the only product of the project, the minimum length is 12 pages. Honors projects can take the form of any thing from a research project, to an experimental design and write-up, to the creation of work of art with a narrative describing how that art fits within the theory and practice of your discipline.

Your Student Submits an Honors Contract Proposal

It is the job of the student to submit the actual honors contract. Your student will draft an honors project proposal summary. If you agree to the proposal, your student will submit that honors project proposal summary when they submit their honors contract proposal on the Honors Program Canvas. You can find samples of the honors project proposal summary on our page summarizing the honors proposal process.

Continued Mentorship of Your Honors Student

An honors project proposal is not just an agreement to additional work that a student will complete and submit to you at the end of the term. It is also an agreement that you will mentor and provide feedback to that student throughout the semester. Mentorship is an essential part of the honors program, and any honors project proposal that is approved must also indicate that you will be checking-in with the student at least every 2-3 weeks to provide feedback and advice, and to ensure that their project is progressing. For this reason the contract also requires that the student's project be broken up into several sub-steps with individual dates for completion. For example, a written research project might have separate dates where you evaluate the students research, notes, first half of the essay, second half of the essay, complete rough draft, and final draft. 

Completing an Honors Project

Hopefully your student will successfully complete their honors project. If they complete their contract to your satisfaction, your student will then complete the Honors Project Completion Report and feedback Forms. You will also receive an email from the Honors Program coordinator asking you to confirm that the student's completed project is, in fact, approved. As long as that student also completes your class with a grade of A or B, a designation of "Honors" will be added to the description of your course on their transcript.

Compensation for Mentoring Students

Unfortunately, due to the growth of the Program, processing and paying for each individual contract has become logistically and fiscally impossible. The only monetary compensation is available for a one-time Honors Faculty certification (see Certification information above). The hope is that the certification will make it easier for the faculty to mentor students without spending time outside of their office hours. We hope to develop non-monetary incentives to reward and acknowledging the hard work of faculty mentors who continue to mentor multiple students. If you have ideas on how to reward and honor instructors who mentor honors students, please contact the Program Coordinator.

Due Dates for proposals and projects

Honors project proposals are usually due at the end of the third full week of classes, or first week in summer. All paperwork is due on the last regular day of instruction before finals begin. Specific dates for this semester can be found on the right sidebar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a student drops their project or otherwise does not successfully complete their contract? 

There is no automatic penalty to the student who does not successfully complete a contract. We do encourage all of our honors students to take their contracts very seriously because of the time and effort that you have committed to them as well. A student with several dropped contracts will be evaluated for continuation in the program.

Students in my class already complete a big and difficult project. Can I just add 5 pages to that project and have that count as an honors project? 

No. Our transfer institutions are clear that any project that counts for honors has to be made entirely of work not already already required for regular students enrolled in the course. These institutions evaluate our contracts for compliance. It is probably best to create the project separate from any existing course projects. If the project overlaps with an existing project in your course, the student will be asked in their proposal to explicitly specify which aspects of the project are already required and which belong to the honors project. For example, an existing 10 page research paper would need to be expanded to 22 pages with additional expectations, and research elements not already contained in the project. Generally, creating a second companion project, rather than increasing the length of complexity of an existing project, tends to work better for the honors program.

How often do I need to meet with my honors student?

The program has an expectation that a student interact with their mentor at least every 2-3 weeks. These interactions can be in a traditional face-to-face meeting, via Zoom, email, or whatever platform makes the most sense in your situation.

What are my responsibilities vs. the student's responsibilities?

Mentors will:

  • Help set the parameters of the student's contract
  • Provide feedback to the student every 2-3 weeks
  • Approve the completed project
  • Reply to honors coordinator's email inquiry to confirm the project is completed

The student must:

  • Submit the honors contract proposal form
  • Complete the work on the schedule you two have determined
  • Revise and amend their work based on your supervision
  • Submit the honors contract completion survey

Why would I want to mentor an honors project?

Many faculty find that mentoring honors students is the most rewarding part of their year. Honors students are generally excited to learn and responsive to feedback. They are generally self-motivated and intellectually curious, and they often end up becoming majors in the discipline where they complete their honors projects. These projects help students build valuable skills for advanced university work, and completing the program provides access to transfer agreement with many selective colleges.

Thank you for your interest in the Honors Transfer Program and feel free to contact the Honors Transfer Program coordinator with any further questions.