Learning-by-Contract is designed to help honors-eligible students receive honors credit for courses not regularly designated as honors. It should be especially useful to students seeking honors credit for higher-level courses within their areas of emphasis. Under the Learning-by-Contract option, the student and the professor enter into an agreement which details the work that must be completed to earn honors credit. Students should expect to receive additional guidance from the professor. Honors credit should not be awarded simply for superior performance on the regular course assignments. Learning-by-Contract is a voluntary program for both the student and the faculty member, but once the commitment is made, it is expected that both parties will uphold the agreement.

Examples of what the contracted honors project might entail:

1. A written product, appropriate to the discipline, revised repeatedly with the guidance of the professor of the course. This work should reflect higher level of understanding of the material and extra effort on the part of the student. The final draft should be of outstanding quality.

2. Additional readings, of a different type and/or technical level from that required for the course. The student should demonstrate an understanding of these readings through a class presentation, an oral examination by the professor, or a formal paper.

3. Individual research appropriate to the discipline. This may involve more laboratory and/or library work than that required of other students in the course. The research findings should be presented at the end of the semester.

4. Class presentations and/or prepared portfolios. Designed for work in the creative or performing arts, class presentations or portfolios must be judged by appropriate professional standards.

5. Any mutually acceptable project which examines the course material in both broader and deeper perspectives.


1. Honors work requires a deeper understanding of the material. Therefore, it is expected that a student must receive a "B" or better in the regular coursework to earn satisfactory completion of the contracted work and to earn honors credit for the course.

2. The Honors Learning-by-Contract should be completed by the honors-eligible student and the professor, with a description of the work expected of the student and returned to the Honors College no later than the end of the third week of the semester (first week of the summer semester). Once approved, the professor and the student will receive a copy of the contract.

3. Periodically, the type and quantity of honors contracts being completed in the department should be reviewed. In courses where the demand is particularly high, perhaps an honors section of the course should be offered.

4. Honors Learning-by-Contract should be established only for regular academic courses which meet the requirements for general education or the requirements within the student's area of concentration.

5. Honors Learning-by-Contract may not be offered for internships, field work practicums, technical training courses, special readings courses, special research courses, or correspondence courses.

6. Faculty are encouraged to participate, but they are cautioned to limit the number of students with Honors contracts so they can give the students ample guidance, without being overloaded.

7. The Honors College requests that only full-time ranked faculty members offer Learning-by-Contract. No contract will be approved with teaching assistants or adjunct faculty.


The student's grade card will only show the grade received in the regular coursework. The honors designation will be processed separately and hand posted to the student's transcript after the Honors Learning-by-Contract Completion Form is processed by the Honors College and the Registrar's Office. The steps to complete for the Honors Learning Contract are as follows:

1. After the Honors Learning-by-Contract form has been completed, signed and approved as indicated in the program guidelines, both the instructor and student will receive a copy of the approved project.

2. At the end of the semester, the instructor will receive an Honors Learning-by-Contract Completion Form from the Honors College:

a) If the student has successfully completed the honors contract, the instructor should sign and return the form.

b) If the student turned in an unacceptable project or did not turn in a project at all, the instructor has two options:

1. To give the student an extension of no more than 30 days (30 days from last day of semester). An Extension/Completion form will be mailed to instructors who report they have granted an extension. This form must be returned to the Honors College by the instructor at the end of the 30 day extension indicating completion or non-completion of the project.

2. To indicate on the form that the project was not successfully completed, and return the form to the Honors College. The course grade should not be affected in any way by the successful or unsuccessful completion of an Honors Learning-by-Contract.

c) To ensure that the student receives Honors credit for the work done in your course, the Honors Learning-by-Contract Completion Form must be sent to 211 Lowry when Grade Reports are submitted to the Registrar.

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