Honors contracts provide students excellent opportunities to develop skills, use individual talents, and share knowledge with the wider community. They are also a necessary means for most Honors Academy students to acquire the credit hours necessary for receiving an Honors Diploma from Southwest. Honors contracts allow students to do substantive work and receive Honors credit in regular courses. Also, Honors contracts help students to develop academic projects that may be presented at state, regional, or national Honors conferences.
- Should not require extra class work for the faculty member.
- Are not obligations or requirements for faculty members, but should be viewed as opportunities.
- Must further specific course objectives.
- Should meet some of the National Collegiate Honors Council criteria listed on the back of the contract
- Are not simply about "piling on more work," but are about creating opportunities for more substantive, in-depth, scholarly work.
- Enhance the academic and cultural climate of the college
- Provide opportunities for professors to inject a component into a course in a way that they might not otherwise be able to do.
- Demonstrate“true scholarship” to other students
- Create gateways to stimulating student-faculty exchanges and invigorating classes
- Are Precise: Details of the project including the work to be done, the time frame, expected outcomes, and means of evaluation are specified.
- Are Skill, Knowledge, and Product Oriented: Projects might include journal-writing, poster displays, filmaking, creation of exhibitions, conference attendance, original research papers, and other creative projects.
- Are Driven by the Concept of Sharing: Students working on contracts should be encouraged to share their projects in class presentations, at a conference, or if possible, on Honors Academy Fellows Presentation Day in the Fall or Spring Semester.