Honors Augmentation Contract
What is an Honors Augmentation?
Honors Augmentations Contracts (HACs) are designed to allow Honors students to earn Honors credit in upper-division courses by working closely with a course’s instructor to develop and participate in a creative and rigorous “Honors experience” distinct from the course’s other assignments.
An Honors Augmentation should only be considered when enrolling in stand-alone Honors courses or Honors Enriched Embedded courses are unavailable.
What Makes a successful Honors Augmentation contract?
HAC projects can be conducted in any discipline at WKU, from Engineering to Ballet, Sociology to Dental Hygiene, so they are extremely varied. However, the main common quality uniting all successful Honors Augmentation projects is that they are thoughtfully designed to give the student an “Honors experience,” rather than simply being a matter of “more work.”
It is important that the student takes the initiative during the HAC process, from approaching the instructor, talking to the instructor about his or her academic interests and filling out and submitting the HAC Application. While working with your instructor to design a HAC, it is important to keep in mind that the Honors College discourages just making an existing term paper longer or assigning more homework problems per class for an Honors Augmentation. Although lengthening a pre-existing assignment is acceptable, it is important that the “augmented” focus is increased quality and complexity, rather than simply length. For example, rather than just lengthening a term paper, an instructor could assign more sophisticated supplemental readings, a more difficult essay topic, or require a different degree of research for the paper. In the lab sciences, a student could be required to conduct a more extended, focused or challenging experiment conducted at a higher quality than the rest of the class.
Honors Augmentation projects are more successful and satisfying for both the instructor and the student if the project is created together. Students should initiate a meeting with their instructor to discuss their interests in the course’s subject matter, prior relevant experience and future plans, and the instructor should provide expertise in the discipline and pedagogical experience to jointly craft a creative and engaging project.
If students or instructors would like to discuss in more detail some suggestions and examples of successful Honors Augmentation projects, they can contact Dr. Clay Motley at firstname.lastname@example.org
When are Augmentation contracts due?
During the fall and spring semesters, HACs must be submitted to the Honors College by the end of the third week of classes. In summer and winter terms, HACs must be submitted to the Honors College by the end of the first week of classes.
What is the evaluation process?
WKU faculty serving on the Honors Development Board carefully evaluate HACs from their college for clarity and fullness in describing the project, creativity and student engagement, and clearly connecting to—but going beyond—the course’s typical requirements. Students will be notified via their WKU email address if their HAC is approved. At the end of the semester, the Honors College will contact the course instructor and ask for written verification that the HAC has been successfully completed according to the approved terms. Once the Honors College receives this written verification from the instructor, then the Honors College will contact the Registrar’s Office and the student will be assigned Honors credit for the course.
Please note that the Honors College receives more than 100 Honors Augmentation Contract applications each semester, so it will take about two weeks before students are notified of their approval. Similarly, the Registrar’s Office must manually award Honors Credit for each student earning it during a semester, so there can be some lag time between finishing a semester and having the Honors credit appear on the student’s transcript.
Honors Augmentation Contracts will be evaluated by the Honors Development Board with this rubric; please share this rubric with your professor and carefully consult it as you are creating your Honors Augmentation project.
Are there any restrictions for Honors Augmentation Projects?
- You must earn an “A” or “B” in a course to count it for Honors Credit
- You need to complete an Honors Augmentation if you want to earn Honors credit in a study abroad course of less than a semester (such as a winter or summer term trip), including courses sponsored by KIIS. If your study abroad course is a full semester or more, then you may fill out the Study Abroad Honors Credit form to receive Honors credit due to your experience abroad
- No online or IVS classes may be Augmented
- Students may not augment courses taken on WKU branch campuses
- Only typed, fully filled out Honors Augmentation Contracts, signed by all required parties, submitted by the deadline, will be evaluated
Access the e-form by logging in using your NetID and password. A student will fill out the required fields with the details of his or her Augmentation project; once the student has completed the form, he or she will type the instructor's email in the box at the bottom of the page to email the form to the instructor. Once the HAC is emailed to the instructor, the instructor can review the proposed project and then email it to the department head via the same method of including the department head's email in the box at the bottom of the form, which serves as the instructor's "e-signature." Likewise, the department head can then email the HAC to the Honors College, which serves as the department head's endorsement.
You can also check on the progress of the forwarded forms through the sent form archive.