Honors Program

Challenging Yourself, Preparing for Life’s Big Challenges

University Honors Program

Announcements for faculty:

Click here for information about honors course proposals.

Click here for information about honors colloquium proposals.

Click here for information about visiting scholar grants

Honors Course Proposals

All full-time and continuing URI faculty are invited to submit proposals for Honors courses to be taught in either Fall 2014 or Spring 2015. Courses may be proposed for one semester or both; for 100 or 200-level Honors Seminars, for 300 or 400-level Honors Tutorials, and for 400-level Senior Honors Seminars for more advanced students. Course proposals can either be for an honors section of an existing course or for an original course designed specifically for the Honors Program. Teaching in the Honors Program gives you the opportunity to experiment with new interdisciplinary courses and to enjoy extraordinary teaching conditions:

  • teach small seminar-style classes between 15 and 20 students
  • meet highly motivated students (minimum 3.3 grade point average)
  • experiment with new course designs
  • participate in an interdisciplinary community of faculty interested in teaching excellence and active learning.

All enrollment numbers for honors courses are credited to the faculty member’s home department. Teaching in the University Honors Program offers your department:

  • an opportunity to showcase and recruit for your major among excellent students;
  • an occasion to try course designs that may later become a permanent offering in your department;
  • the honor and prestige of having department faculty selected and publicized as exemplary teachers in the University Honors Program.

Guidelines for Honors Course Proposals

If you would like to teach an Honors course in 2014-15 please forward the following to Lynne Derbyshire, Honors Director, Lippitt Hall 300B:

  • a one to two page syllabus of the proposed course that includes the following information:
    course title and course description (including course level 100/200/300/400), course objectives, grading criteria, and a sample reading list. For general education courses, please indicate which requirement the class will meet and which skill areas will be covered in the course;
  • a thirty-word course description that can be included in our course schedule and flyer;
  • a condensed curriculum vitae and recent representative SET or IDEA scores;
  • an endorsement from your Chair and Dean, together with any comments they wish to convey.
  • a brief statement indicating what differentiates your honors course from a regular course. This may include one or more of the following criteria: interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter, emphasis on developing critical thinking skills rather than recitation of facts, emphasis on developing critical reading skills, integration of writing as a process in the structure of the course, project-based learning, work with primary sources rather than textbooks, more emphasis on cooperative learning, and providing a core content area to a pure skills course, or other criteria that you feel identifies your course as an Honors course.

For additional information please call Lynne Derbyshire at 874-4732, or send her an e-mail (derbyshire@uri.edu).

Visiting Scholar Grants

The Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee provides funds for bringing notable scholars to campus to make intellectually stimulating presentations. All faculty members or administrative officers who wish to arrange such a program may apply for funds to underwrite part of the expenses for a campus visit. The maximum award is $500, with most awards falling below that amount, and requests for funds must show significant funding from other sources. We are taking proposals for January to May 2014 and the deadline is February 15th, 2014. Your proposal must contain all of the following:

  • Resume or full vita if possible of the proposed visiting scholar;
  • Description of the program and its potential audience; while the committee’s primary charge is to serve the URI community; we also wish to attract audiences members from across the state;
  • A PR and publicity plan to reach the desired audience.
  • Proposed date of presentation; please take into account other events on campus, avoid conflicts, and maximize your proposed audience.
  • Budget statement that includes the amount requested, an itemized breakdown of costs, and other funding sources you are pursuing. Funds granted can be used only for travel or honorarium and will be paid directly to the visiting scholar in one single check.
  • Please download a spreadsheet for your budget here, edit in Excel, save it and submit it as an email attachment.
  • Please email your request to derbyshire@uri.edu by February 15th, 2014. Late requests will be considered, once all timely submitted requests have been decided.

If you have any questions, please call Lynne Derbyshire at 874-4732 or e-mail her at derbyshire@uri.edu.

Colloquium Proposals

The Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee invites interested faculty and faculty teams to submit proposals for the Fall 2015 Honors Colloquium. The Honors Colloquium is the premiere intellectual lecture series in Rhode Island and serves as a showcase for the University. The Colloquium is a university-wide educational forum with a substantial public following and audience that offers presentations and discussions of emerging lively, challenging intellectual issues. Each fall, the Honors Colloquium combines a topical series of speakers and events with a 200-level honors course. Participation in a Honors Colloquium is a completion requirement for the Honors Program, and in the last few years the average class size has been 50-70 students.

Substantial financial support is in place for a speakers budget, summer recontracting, and course replacement. In addition, financial liaisons for additional support have been established over past recent years with the various colleges, research centers, and academic programs on campus. Colloquium coordinators are also encouraged to seek external support.

Selection of the winning proposal is made by the Honors Program and Visiting Scholars Committee. The proposal should include:

  • a concept paper of one to two pages that frames the intellectual issue(s);
  • a list or brief account of potential speakers and special events;
  • a rough estimate of a budget;
  • a brief course description for the 200-level honors class, including a sample syllabus and reading list;
  • curriculum vitae for the colloquium coordinator(s).

The proposal period for Fall 2014 has passed. However, if you’d like to submit proposals for future years you may go ahead and submit them to Lynne Derbyshire, as outlined above.

There are several successful proposals available for your perusal in the Honors Center. Please contact Deborah Gardiner at 874-2303 if you wish to look these over.

Previous colloquia:

Fall, 2003 “The Futures of Globalization”
Fall, 2004 “Food and Human Rights: Hunger and Social Policy”
Fall, 2005 “Contemporary Sport: Healthy Pursuit or Obsession?”
Fall, 2006 “Songs of Social Justice: The Rhetoric of Music”
Fall, 2007 “China Rising”
Fall, 2008 “Global Environmental Change”
Fall, 2009 “Demystifying India”
Fall, 2010 “Race”
Fall, 2011 “Are You Ready for the Future?”
Fall, 2012 “Politics, Health and Money”
Fall, 2013 “Great Public Schools”

The Honors Colloquium is a wonderful opportunity to engage the University and public with your area of research and intellectual concern. If you have any comments or questions, please call Lynne Derbyshire at 874-4732 or email her at derbyshire@uri.edu



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