This document is designed to provide you with a workflow process as your plan your honors immersed (HI) project. Honors immersed is a high-impact learning experience. This is a fancy way of saying that it allows you to utilize methods from your discipline in a practical fashion that facilitates your long-term career goals. We measure this by asking you to submit an “artifact” (i.e., original written work) and a short reflective journal at the end of your project.
We recommend that you complete it as a junior, but it can also be done as a sophomore. In certain instances (such as business majors completing an internship or teacher education students enrolled in the practicum) you may want to wait until you are a senior. This is a one-semester requirement that can be completed as a for-credit course (150-hour total time commitment) or a non-credit summer research or internship project (240-hour total time commitment). That means you have lots of options, but we understand that flexibility sometimes also leads to confusion.
In the remainder of this document, we will (1) explain the types of projects that can constitute, HI, (2) give you advice on how to pitch an HI project to a potential mentor, and (3) provide a clear workflow process once you are ready to tell us about your project.
What kinds of projects can I use to complete honors immersed?
We divided the types of projects used to complete HI into three categories. These are:
- For credit options (independent study, internship, research, and study abroad)
- Non-credit summer research
- Non-credit summer internships
Let’s look at each of these in more detail:
Most students utilize the for-credit option. Many students enroll in a course via their home department. Examples include an independent study, internship, or research class within the major. All of these are individual enrollment courses. That means you cannot sign yourself up for them; you must ask a faculty supervisor to fill out the paperwork for you. Another sizable group utilizes a study abroad class. Study abroad classes focusing on language or grammar do not count for honors immersed. However, almost all programs have courses where the student can work one-on-one with a faculty member to produce an “artifact”, i.e. some kind of written work, which satisfies the honors immersed requirement. Before the pandemic nearly half of honors students studied abroad. This may be a good option for many of you. Lastly, there are some less-common courses that count for honors immersed. This includes the teaching practicum for education students and combinations of CHEM 481/482 and CHEM 481/397.
More students are utilizing the non-credit summer research option. These require a major time commitment of between 240-400 hours. This track is available to all students (not just those in STEM fields). The SURF grant, which is available to all students at the CofC, meets the HI requirement. Other types of research funding include SURP, SSM, REU, and NSF. This list is not meant to be inclusive; if you have earned a summer grant to fund your research not mentioned above, simply ask your honors advisor if you can use it for honors immersed. Since you will not receive a grade, your supervisor must submit a short rubric at the end of the project.
Lastly, the Honors Committee recently approved the use of non-credit summer internships. They took this step because more and more students are completing substantial work which requires a greater time commitment than a three-credit course (for which you should budget 150 hours). If you have a summer internship with a time commitment of at least 240 hours, we can count this as honors immersed with the permission of your supervisor. He/she/they must agree to oversee your written project and complete a short rubric for you in lieu of a grade.
I have identified a potential HI project that fits the criteria listed above. How do I pitch this to a mentor?
The key component to a successful HI project is your faculty, research, or internship mentor. Please keep in mind that your mentor is not getting paid to oversee you. He/she/they are much more likely to say yes if you have an existing relationship. You should carefully explain how the project fits in to your long-term goals. Our advice is to approach your mentor the semester before your project begins if you are using a for-credit course, or as soon as you get your award/employment letter for a non-credit summer research project or non-credit summer internship. You can assure them that the added time commitment should be minimal, but that they must agree to oversee your written work and complete the short rubric. Most internships require you to complete some sort or report or assessment document, and we can use that as your final artifact.
The steps below are designed to provide a workflow process for you to follow:
- Place HI on your PACE Navigator. For most of you this will be in the summer after sophomore or junior year, or during one of the academic semesters during junior year. Some of you may want to complete the project earlier (via a SURF grant). Others of you will do it as a senior (education majors via the practicum and many business majors via an internship). The main thing is to have it on the PACE so you are ready for it.
- Select the type of project that is right for you (for credit, non-credit summer research, non-credit summer internship). This may require a meeting with your honors advisor.
- The next step is the most important. You need to pitch your project to your mentor. Depending on what you are doing, this may be a faculty member in your home department, an outside research mentor, or an internship supervisor. Whenever possible, try to approach someone you already know (they are more likely to say yes).
- Once your mentor or supervisor is on board, you are ready to complete the required paperwork. It can be found on the HUB at:
Scroll down to the section for Honors Directed. The first thing you need to do is click on the link for “Honors Immersed Workflow”. This will take you to a short Qualtrics survey where you will provide us with demographic information. Please be sure to complete the whole survey; it only takes about 3 minutes!
Then click on the “Honors Immersed Faculty/Supervisor Permission Form”. This requires your signature and your mentor’s signature. After you have completed it, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once your application is submitted, we’ll review it. You’ll receive an e-mail saying it is complete and has been approved. At that point, you are all set until the project is done.
*Please keep in mind that HI is a checkbox on Degreeworks; it will not show up as in-progress.*
- At the completion of your project, you will need to upload a copy of your final “artifact” and your short reflective journal to your Honors Advising Class on OAKS. The reflective journal is only one page and has three paragraphs: the first explains what you did, the second, how you used methods from your major, and the third elucidates how the project facilitated your long-term professional goals.
- If you completed one of the non-credit options, your supervisor must complete the short rubric attached to the “Honors Immersed Faculty/Supervisor Permission Form”. Your supervisor can send that directly to email@example.com.