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Faculty Opportunities


WKU in England at Harlaxton College

WKU faculty, alumni, staff, and friends may rent the renovated and fully furnished “WKU in England” Gatehouse at Harlaxton Manor. Built in 1835, this historic and comfortable flat may be rented on a short or long-term basis for sabbaticals, research trips, or personal travel. You will find the Gatehouse both a beautiful place for relaxation and contemplation, as well an exciting base for adventures throughout the United Kingdom.

For more information please follow this link: Rent "WKU in England" Gatehouse at Harlaxton Manor

The Honors Development Board helps create and oversee Mahurin Honors College policies and curricula and review Honors grants for students and faculty. Faculty serving on the HDB review Honors Augmentation Contracts and serve on students' Capstone Experience/Thesis committees. HDB faculty representatives also are the primary liaison between the Mahurin Honors College and their home college. The HDB is composed of two faculty representatives from each WKU college, a student representative from each academic class, a Gatton Academy student representative, a Gatton Academy staff representative, select Mahurin Honors College faculty, and the Mahurin Honors College's Executive Director and Assistant Director for Academics. Faculty representatives are appointed to the HDB by their college's dean for a three-year term. To learn more about the Honors Development Board, contact Mahurin Honors College's Academics Director.


Honors Colloquia bring the form and style of a small, collaborative academic seminar to Mahurin Honors College students for a challenging and distinctive academic experience. There are four key ingredients that make Honors Colloquia different from many other courses offered in the Mahurin Honors College and at WKU: an emphasis on active discussion rather than lecture; critical-thinking-based writing assignments rather than exams and quizzes; the use of primary documents instead of textbooks; and an innovative, interdisciplinary subject matter. With these distinct features, an Honors Colloquium will challenge and engage students with the course material, with the professor, and with one another, for a unique academic experience that is at the heart of an Honors College education.

Innovative, interdisciplinary subject matter:

  • Colloquium courses should be themed on creative interdisciplinary topics. The overall theme/topic of a colloquium course should be accessible to all majors, regardless of the college from which the colloquium course originates.
  • We encourage 1.5 to 3.0 hour colloquia; thus we encourage faculty to co-facilitate a three-hour colloquium, with both faculty receiving 1.5 hours of credit. This is particularly encouraged for professors teaming from different disciplines to develop an interdisciplinary colloquium.
  • The theme/topic of the colloquium course should not be found anywhere else in the WKU curriculum. Equally, colloquia topics should be distinctive from one another and avoid repetitious offerings.
  • Readings should be interdisciplinary and from a variety of perspectives.

Active discussion instead of lectures:

  • Discussion is used as the primary method of instruction, rather than lectures, in order to promote active learning and meaningful dialogue between fellow students and between the students and professor.
  • Colloquia have an adventurous air of joint discovery where a professor takes the lead in shaping the discussion, but students actively participate in discussing and debating the material. Strategies for promoting active learning include class discussions, debates, simulations, group work, experiments, case studies, field work, etc. For example, a strong colloquium can include a set of readings on both sides of a contentious issue that engenders debate and discussion across a wide spectrum of positions. Lectures should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Critical thinking-based writing assignments rather than exams:

  • Assignments should encourage analysis, application, inquiry, and synthesis rather than rote memorization. When possible, writing assignments should be employed as the method for students to express their understanding of the course material.
  • The key is to encourage a sophisticated engagement with the material that is unlikely through memorization and exams but is fostered by written assignments. Colloquia do not include exams or quizzes as part of the course grade. With regard to assessment, the focus of a colloquium should be on quality of writing assignments, written or oral debates, presentations, group work, participation in discussion, etc.
  • For a 1.5 hr colloquium, it is suggested that each student write approximately 10-12 pages of original content, with 20-24 pages being appropriate for a 3 hr colloquium. This page total may be reached through frequent short assignments or longer assignments. These are, of course, just guidelines, so there is a fair amount of latitude on the types and length of assignments based on discipline.

Primary sources instead of textbooks:

  • Readings should come from primary sources, rather than textbooks, whenever possible. Reading primary sources stresses “close reading” skills and encourages sophisticated critical thinking far more than pre-packaged, second-hand information explained in textbooks. Journal articles or are acceptable as well.
  • Just as colloquia encourage students and professors to engage in dialogue with one another, by reading primary sources, students connect with the key ideas of the course on their own terms, are more likely to think critically about them, and can better understand them in all their complexities and nuances.

Further Consideration:

  • Many students develop their Honors Capstone Experience/Thesis from their colloquia. Ideally, the interdisciplinary subject matter, stimulating activities, and rigorous writing assignments will serve as a catalyst for CE/T projects.
  • The professor typically serves as a facilitator, rather than the sole expert. The professor should share in the learning process with the students. Rather than relaying information to students as in a typical lecture course, the professor and students can work together to set the pace and direction of the course.
  • The professor should model methods of learning, thinking, and discovery. The professor can help students to become lifelong learners by revealing that he or she is continually learning and staying actively engaged within his or her discipline and the broader culture of academia. By modeling methods of learning, thinking, and discovery, the professor is not only teaching the students more about his or her discipline, but is also teaching the students about he process of scholarship.
  • Colloquium courses should have no prerequisites. The only prerequisites for colloquium are good standing in the Mahurin Honors College, sophomore standing and/or permission of the instructor.

Resources Available:

Faculty teaching an Honors Colloquium may apply for an Honors Faculty Engagement Grant of up to $1500 for field trips, guest speakers, or materials that will have provide an “Honors experience”.

Recent Colloquia Topics:• “Human Rights” • “The World in 2030” • “Ethics and Genetics” • “Doing Death: Capital Punishment” • “Bollywood and Beyond” • “Challenges to Capitalism” • “Fuels of the Future” • “Service Learning” • “Selfhood and Identity” • “Controversial Issues in Human Behavior” • “Climate Change”.

To apply to teach an Honors Colloquium Course, click here!

These letters are written in the event that an Mahurin Honors College student lists you as the Project Advisor for their Honors Development Grant application. Honors Development Grants (HDGs) are designed to support Honors students’ intellectual development by providing funding for: traveling to professional conferences to present academic papers, conducting academic research, or purchasing tangible items (such as laboratory material) to support academic endeavors.

HDG awards are very competitive; therefore, the Honors Development Board relies heavily on your recommendation as it evaluates the project’s ability to positively impact the student’s academic development.

Click here to download the Honors Development Grant letter of support

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 Last Modified 6/22/20