Honors Academy


Honors Academy Research Course Policies and Procedures

  1. Honors Course Enrollment
    Students admitted to the University or Honors Academy prior to fall 2013, or later with director’s approval, will enroll in HN300 (Research and Writing Orientation), a one credit-hour class-room course. Students admitted as of fall 2013 will enroll in HN299 (Introduction to Undergraduate Research), a three credit-hour classroom course. After successful completion of HN300 or HN299, students will enroll in HN303 and HN304 (Honors Scholarship), two credit-hour courses, for two consecutive semesters, working one-on-one with their self-selected faculty mentors. After successful completion of HN303 and HN304, if additional research time is required, students admitted to the University and the Honors Academy after fall 2013 must apply to the director to enroll in the two credit-hour course HN400 (Honors Seminar) for one semester. This will most commonly apply to natural science majors. Students with completed research will enroll in the three credit-hour HN400, Honors Capstone. The Director completes the enrollment process for the research courses, not the student or the mentor. Honors courses for students at the Parkville campus must be scheduled during the 16-week format. Students are expected to maintain regular contact with the Director by replying to e-mails and phone calls within 48 hours.

  2. Mentor Selection
    Students will complete a research proposal, literature review, and will identify a faculty mentor while enrolled in HN300 or HN299. The student will, following discussion with the Academy Director, invite the prospective faculty to participate in the Academy as a mentor. The Academy Director will contact the mentor with necessary information. Mentors are requested to maintain regular contact with the Director throughout their weekly interaction, either face-to-face or on-line, with student mentees.

    Students may change mentors during project completion only in consultation with the present mentor and the Academy Director.

  3. Syllabi and Schedules
    Mentors are required to post syllabi each semester by the end of the first class week. Syllabi will be approved by the Academy Director or appointee. Syllabi templates are available for HN303 and HN304. Syllabi should reflect a tentative schedule of meetings with the mentee.

  4. Mentor/Student Meetings
    Students should meet weekly throughout the semester, both face-to-face and electronically (e-mail, e-companion, etc.) with their mentors. A minimum of 10 progress reports recording discussion topics; research information and/or future planning for each meeting must be submitted via email by the student to the mentor and copied to the Academy Director throughout the semester per the syllabus schedule (please see course description below for the submission schedule). Progress reports submitted as a group at the conclusion of the semester will receive 0 credit. A student may not score an “A” in any Honors course if 10 progress reports have not been completed and submitted as indicated by the course syllabus.

  5. Grade Determination
    The mentor awards the student a grade based on the mentor’s grading plan and the submission of progress reports, the latter of which counts 10% of the grade. Students may not earn an “A” in a course unless all progress reports are completed and submitted to the Director and the mentor according to the submission schedule (please see course description below for the submission schedule). Honors course grades are weighted; a grade of “A” will contribute 5 points to calculation of the GPA, rather than the traditional 4 points. Thus, heightened expectations exist for the quality of performance by an Honors Program student who earns an “A”. Mentors should adopt the grading percentage indicated in the course syllabi. Courses receive an Honors notation on the transcript.

  6. Mentor Stipend
    Mentors receive a stipend equivalent to the stipend for an Independent Study. Mentors should complete an Overload Form and submit it to their Academic Supervisor at the conclusion of each semester, indicating which course they plan to instruct during the following semester. Mentorship of Honors student research projects is not affected by the Overload Policy.

  7. Course descriptions and expectations

    HN300 (1 hour course credit) Research and Writing Orientation: Note: HN300 is replaced by HN299 for all students entering the Academy in fall 2013 or later. This course provides a foundation for the completion of the final project in the Honors Academy, as well as opportunities to gain experience in conducting research. Topics covered include types of research and sources, survey and questionnaire structure and delivery, the purpose of the IRB, development of the research question, and selection of a mentor. During this course students request that faculty serve as mentors in consultation with the Program Director. A research proposal with tentative sources is completed and submitted by semester’s end.  

    HN299 (3 hours course credit) Introduction to Undergraduate Research: Students complete HN299 prior to beginning work on the Honors Research Project. Please see the undergraduate catalog for a brief description. Additional information TBA.

    HN303 (2 hours course credit) Honors Scholarship II: Students complete HN303 following completion of HN300 or HN299. Please see the undergraduate catalog for a brief description.HN303 allows an Honors Academy student to advance in work on the research project; significant progress on the project is required. Due dates for all required elements should be included in the course syllabus. Significant progress by the course conclusion reflected in the syllabus grading scale includes:

    • completion of a detailed literature review including a minimum number of  sources
    • a rough outline of the written project to be concluded during HN304
    • submission of any measurement instruments to the IRB, if applicable
    • additional work as indicated by the research mentor in the course syllabus

    Students should meet weekly throughout the semester, both face-to-face and electronically (e-mail, e-companion, etc.) with their mentors.

    A minimum of 10 numbered progress reports consisting of discussion topics and future planning for each meeting; drafts of literature reviews; or outlines must be submitted via email by the student to the mentor and copied to the Academy Director throughout the semester according to the following schedule in which the semester recess week is included as week 9::

    • 3 reports submitted by semester week 5
    • 8 reports submitted by semester week 11
    • all reports submitted by semester week 15

    If this schedule is not followed, the student will not be eligible to receive an Honors A for the course.

    During the semester, the student and mentor may be called upon by the Honors Academy Faculty Fellow Coordinator to participate in a mandatory public project update hosted by the Honors and Scholarship Committee, which will be announced via email to students and mentors at the beginning of the semester. Students are expected to furnish a written summary of their research to include:

    • the research topic and question
    • possible thesis or hypothesis
    • pertinent observations leading to the possible thesis or hypothesis
    • the detailed literature review

    Students will deliver this information in a 10 minute oral report before the Honors and Scholarship Committee or other faculty members as directed. Please see Honors Project Update Instructions. The Committee and other attendees may offer questions and suggestions for the student. By course conclusion, students should have in hand a research source/literature review, and a tentative outline of the project findings and future development plans. This document must be submitted to the mentor with a copy to the Academy director before the conclusion of the final course week during the semester in which the course is completed.

    HN304 (2 hours course credit) Honors Scholarship II: Students complete HN304 following completion of HN303. Please see the undergraduate catalog for a brief description. HN304 allows an advanced Honors Academy student to complete research work on the Honors project; significant progress on the project is required. Due dates for all required elements should be included in the course syllabus. Significant progress by the course conclusion reflected in the syllabus grading scale includes:

    • advanced, near-complete laboratory findings for natural science students
    • a complete, polished written draft of the Research Project

    Students should meet weekly throughout the semester, both face-to-face and electronically (e-mail, e-companion, etc.) with their mentors.

    A minimum of 10 numbered progress reports consisting of discussion topics and future planning for each meeting; report drafts and/or visuals; accounts of project presentations at professional  conferences; account of professional conference attendance related to the research; and publication plans including possible journal or other venue titles must be submitted via email by the student to the mentor and copied to the Academy Director throughout the semester according to the following schedule in which the semester recess week is included as week 9:

    • 3 reports submitted by semester week 5
    • 8 reports submitted by semester week 11
    • all reports submitted by semester week 15

    If this schedule is not followed, the student will not be eligible to receive an Honors A for the course.

    During the semester, the student and mentor may be called upon by the Honors Academy Faculty Fellow Coordinator to participate in a mandatory public project update hosted by the Honors and Scholarship Committee. In the fall semester, students will participate in a research update session; Please see Honors Project Update Instructions. In the spring semester that update will be completed during the Annual Creative Arts and Research Symposium in panel presentation format.

    All students are expected to deliver a 10-12 minute oral report detailing progress made on the project and summarizing the project. Visuals are strongly recommended, but students should be prepared to complete an oral report without use of visuals, if required. Students are expected to furnish a written narrative summary to the Director or other appointed individual of their research to include:

    • the project research question/topic
    • thesis/hypothesis
    • observations/research
    • outcome/objectives achievement
    • sources utilized for the project
    • a copy or photographs of all visuals utilized
    • a copy of IRB approval as applicable

    The Committee and other attendees may supply suggestions for the student. By course conclusion, students should have completed research and the gathering of data/information and submit a completed written draft of their project. This document must be submitted to the mentor with a copy to the Academy director before the conclusion of the final course week (not final exam week) during the semester in which the course is completed.

    HN400 (2 hours course credit): Students admitted to the University or Honors Academy prior to fall 2013 complete HN400 following completion of HN304. Please see the undergraduate catalog for a brief description. Students admitted to the University or Honors Academy in fall 2013 or later complete HN 410 (see below). Students admitted fall to the University or Honors Academy in fall 2013 or later may apply to the Honors Academy Director to complete HN400 if additional research time is required. That application consists of a narrative paragraph justifying the need for an additional semester of research and must be supported by the project mentor. It must be received before the final course week of the semester (not final exam week).

    HN400 requires final development of the public presentation of the project conducted by the student under guidance of their faculty mentor(s). A major component of this course is the public presentation or other proper forum which allows exposure of the final product. The student should complete the project early in the semester and prepare for public oral presentation. That presentation may take place at the Great Plains Honors Conference, a professional conference related to the student’s major and/or at the University spring Symposium or other public venue approved by the Academy Director in consultation with the mentor.

    During the semester, the student and mentor may be called upon by the Honors Academy Faculty Fellow Coordinator to participate in a mandatory public oral practice presentation. Please see oral presentation practice instructions. The research materials and visuals must be near-complete for this practice presentation. Committee members will furnish an oral and written evaluation of the student’s presentation to the student and mentor. The presentation must receive a “Meets Expectation” or higher rating before a student may deliver the presentation in a public venue. Students should meet weekly throughout the semester, both face-to-face and electronically (e-mail, e-companion, etc.) with their mentors.

    A minimum of 10 numbered progress reports consisting of discussion topics and future planning for each meeting; report drafts and/or visuals; accounts of project presentations at professional  conferences; account of professional conference attendance related to the research; and publication plans including possible journal or other venue titles must be submitted via email by the student to the mentor and copied to the Academy Director throughout the semester according to the following schedule in which the semester recess week is included as week 9:

    • 3 reports submitted by semester week 5
    • 8 reports submitted by semester week 11
    • all reports submitted by semester week 15

    If this schedule is not followed, the student will not be eligible to receive an Honors A for the course.

    HN410 (3 hours course credit):  Honors Capstone Seminar: Enduring Questions Students admitted to the University or Honors Academy in fall 2013 or later complete HN 410 following completion of HN304. Please see the undergraduate catalog for a brief description. Additional information TBA.

  8. Requirements for Successful Program Completion
    In order to graduate from the Honors Academy in good standing, students must
    • attend all mandatory meetings scheduled by the Director throughout their enrollment in the Honors Academy
    • maintain a 3.5 GPA until graduation
    • submit Honors Research Project Progress Reports and Summaries as required
    • present a high-quality written bound report and an electronic copy of the completed Honors research project to the Academy director two weeks prior to graduation, or two weeks prior to the final class day of the semester, if the student is not graduating at the conclusion of the final Honors course enrollment semester. Please see final printed project instructions.
    • present a copy of the written project to the Honors Research Project mentor
    • complete a successful public oral discussion of the final Research Project findings and conclusion attended by the mentor, a member of the Honors and Scholarship Committee, or an appointed representative of the Committee. Such presentation must take place at least three weeks prior to graduation in an appropriate venue. The faculty member in attendance must alert the Honors Academy director of the successful presentation.

    Successful completion of Honors Academy requirements will be noted in the graduation program as well as on the diploma and transcript. Graduates of the Honors Academy will see the Director following project completion to obtain an Honors medal for wear during the graduation ceremony.