Chapter 3

Section G. Jane Stephens Honors Program

Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-14 begins here

Policy: Philosophy, Purposes, and Goals

By offering educational opportunities tailored to the special needs, aspirations, and motivations of students whose intellectual and creative abilities are outstanding, the Jane Stephens Honors Program underscores Southeast Missouri State University's commitment to quality and excellence in matters of knowledge, creativity, and leadership. The goals of the Stephens Honors Program reflect this basic commitment. These goals are:

  1. To encourage an intellectual orientation by providing a model of academic endeavor which emphasizes analytical thought, insight into the methodologies of different disciplines, and cross-disciplinary synthesis.
  2. To address the special needs of outstanding students by providing a center of identity for formulating personal goals, developing self-esteem, and increasing the desire for self-directed learning.
  3. To contribute to the general advancement of learning by encouraging the active pursuit of academic goals, as exemplified by research, scholarly activity, and creative endeavor.

Approved by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-14 April 6, 2011, Reviewed by President April 2011, Approved by Board of Regents May 13, 2011

Faculty Senate Bill 17-A-15 begins here

Procedure for Admissions to the Honors Program

Entering students are eligible for admission into the Stephens Honors Program if they meet the following criteria: a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent) and an ACT composite test score of at least 27 (or its equivalent).

Students who do not meet the standards may be admitted to the program by petition if, at the end of at least 15 semester hours of college work, they have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or above.

Participation in the Honors Program

To answer questions concerning participation in the Honors Program contact the Honors Program or review the Honors Program’s website.

Procedures for Program Completion
    1. In order to remain in the program after admission, a student must a) maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.50 and b) maintain active involvement in the program. Falling below the required minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 in any semester will cause the student to be placed on Honors probation. If at the end of the probationary semester the student's cumulative GPA is 3.50 or higher, he/she, will be returned to regular Honors status. If the cumulative GPA is still lower than 3.50 but the semester GPA is 3.50 or higher, the student will remain on Honors probationary status. If the semester GPA for a probationary semester is lower than 3.50, Honors status will be discontinued. A student may apply for readmission to the program if the cumulative GPA is raised to 3.50 or higher.

To maintain active involvement in the Stephens Honors Program, the student must meet the following rate of progress toward accumulating the 24 hours of Honors credit needed to complete the program.

Honors hours completed at Southeast Missouri State University Total hours completed at Southeast Missouri State University
3 30
9 60
18 75
21 90
  1. Failure to meet these credit hour minimums will result in the student being placed on Honors probation. If the requisite number of Honors credits is accumulated by the end of the next semester, s/he will be returned to regular Honors status; otherwise, Honors status will be discontinued. A student may petition the Faculty Honors Council for an exemption from the criteria for active involvement if he/she was not able to meet those standards due to extenuating circumstances, or if he/she had significant involvement in Honors Program activities other than course work (e.g., serving on the Student Honors Council, presenting a paper at an Honors conference).
  2. To complete the Honors Program, a student must:
    1. Earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or above.
    2. Earn a minimum of 24 hours of Honors credit, including 6 hours at the 300- and/or 400- levels.
    3. Complete a senior level research project. This project must be approved by a member of the Honors Faculty, who serves as the supervisor of the project, and by the Director of the Honors Program.
  3. Students who complete the Honors Program requirements will be recognized as follows:
    1. They will be designated Honors Scholars.
    2. They will be identified at the Commencement ceremony.
    3. They will receive a medallion to be worn at the commencement exercises.
    4. Notification of completion of the Honors Program requirements will be added to their academic transcript.
Procedures for Establishing Honors Curriculum

Honors Credit. Honors credit may be earned in two ways: (1) by taking specially designated Honors sections of courses in the University curriculum; (2) by contracting for Honors credit in non-Honors sections.

  1. Honors Sections. Honors sections may be designated for any course in the University curriculum. This arrangement permits the creation of Honors sections in any lower-division course, whether or not it directly serves general education requirements, and in advanced upper-division courses, should sufficient demand arise. However, sections of courses in the General Education curriculum should predominate. Honors sections will be designed and taught so as to contribute to the goals and objectives of the Honors Program; at the same time, they will meet the content requirements of their non-Honors counterparts.
    Credit by Contract. An individual Honors Student may contract with a member of the Honors Faculty to receive Honors credit in any course in the University curriculum. This arrangement permits students to earn Honors credit in courses which cannot support the creation of specially designated Honors sections (for example, independent study and research). The Honors contract will ensure that the student undertakes independent work which satisfies the goals and objectives of the Honors Program; at the same time, it will ensure that the normal content requirements of the course are met.
  2. General Characteristics of the Honors Course. While meeting the defined objectives of their non-honors counterparts, honors courses are expected to emphasize creative and active learning, analysis and synthesis, and application of background knowledge. Particular attention is paid to student initiative, methodological awareness, depth of investigation, and diversity of learning resources. Student initiative is encouraged. There is less reliance upon drill, lecture, and textbook review, and greater reliance upon independent readings, class discussion, question and answer sessions, collective problems solving, and student conducted research. Methodological awareness is the nature of professional activity in the discipline, historical development of the discipline, and current issues and problems.
    Depth of investigation is found where material is covered in greater detail, where greater emphasis is placed in implications and underlying principles, and where intellectually more demanding issues and problems are discussed. Diversity of learning resources implies less reliance upon traditional textbook presentation of material, and greater reliance upon a variety of sources, including professional articles and books, books of current and historical interest, elected readings from periodicals, library resources, visiting faculty, and team teaching. Methods of student evaluation are expected to be consistent with the nature and intent of an Honors course as here defined.
  3. The criteria used to evaluate students in Honors sections should be equivalent to the criteria used to evaluate students in non-Honors sections. Honors sections should be distinguished by the qualities described above rather than by the amount of work required or by the difficulty of attaining a given grade.
Procedures for Course Approval
  1. It is not necessary to seek special course approval for Honors sections, since they are, indeed, sections of already approved courses. However, it is the responsibility of the department and college within which the Honors section is offered, and the Director of Honors, to ensure that the course design satisfies the requirements of an Honors course.
  2. To earn Honors credit by contract, the student must provide a written description of the work to be done in addition to the regular course work. The proposed Honors work must be approved by the instructor, and the Director of Honors. When the student completes the approved Honors work, the instructor notifies the Director of Honors; the Director of Honors notifies the Registrar; and Honors credit is duly indicated in the student's transcripts.
Procedures for Designating Honors Faculty

Honors courses are to be taught by members of the honors faculty. Honors faculty must have:

  1. A doctorate or the appropriate terminal degree. Any exceptions must be approved by the department chairperson, college dean, and the Faculty Honors Council.
  2. At least two years university-level teaching experience and a demonstrable record of excellence in teaching.
  3. An ongoing record of scholarship and/or professional development.
  4. Recommendations from the appropriate chairperson and dean.
Administrative Procedures

Program oversight is provided by the Director of Honors. The Director of Honors reports to the Dean designated by the Provost and acts on the advice of the Faculty Honors Council. The Faculty Honors Council will be composed of one representative from each college and Kent Library, an honors student representative, and the Director of Honors. College representatives will be selected by their respective college councils and in the case of Kent Library by the Library faculty. The student representative is elected by honors students. The Director acts as chair of the Faculty Honors Council.

Approved by Faculty Senate Bill 11-A-14 April 6, 2011, Reviewed by President May 3, 2011, Posted for 15 Day Review May 10, 2011-June 1, 2011. Updated and approved by Faculty Senate Bill 15-A-5 on 2/25/15, Reviewed by President 4/14/15, Posted for 15 Day Review 4/15/15. Approved by Faculty Senate Bill 17-A-15, Reviewed by President 5/2/17, Posted for 15 Day Review 5/8/17.