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Faculty Information for Contracting Courses

Honors Programs and universities often encourage Honors students to contract courses as an opportunity for intrinsically motivated students to attain knowledge in a manner that reaches towards academic excellence and instills Honors-based learning outcomes. This is done when a student cannot attend an Honors course that semester.

Contract Examples By Course

This link is provided to allow professors to see examples of previously completed contracts in a number of courses. This resource is meant for both students and faculty to gather ideas of Honors-level work.

Page Resources

Video 1 (coming soon)

Creating, Submitting, and Completing contract work between professor and student

Video 2 (coming soon)

Basic points from "One Hand Washes the Other: Designing Mutually Beneficial Honors Contracts" (Bambina, 2020)

Full text posted below in Chapter 5 from Building Honors Contracts: Insights and Oversights.


Intrinsic Motivation for Honors Students Explained*

Figure 2.1 - Teaching approaches in honors education and related teaching strategies. (table from Wolfensberger, 2012)

Creating community

  • Interaction, (peer) feedback, active learning
  • Encouragement, joy, inspiration
  • Availability, interest in students, committment

Enhancing academic competence

  • Multi- and interdisciplinary thinking, multiple perspectives
  • Scholarly teaching, academic depth, involvement in research
  • Challenging learning tasks, difficulty, acceleration

Offering freedom

  • Flexibility, allow for self-regulation, openness
  • Innovative teaching, experimentation, fun
  • Professionalism, novice relationship, challenges

*The "Intrinsic Motivation for Honors Students Explained" Venn diagram is a synoptic reworking of Wolfensberger's (2012) interpretation of "Motivational Theory" as researched and pioneered by Deci & Ryan (2000). Their interpretation is summarized by Wolfensberger:

Deci and Ryan have convincingly shown in their work that there are three essential psychological needs or conditions that motivate a person: psychological relatedness, competence (increasing mastery of any field, skill, or routine and the inherent satisfaction and confidence that come with increasing mastery) and autonomy.

Building Honors Contracts: Insights and Oversights

Kritine A. Miller

This E-book is brought to you for free and open access by the National Collegiate Honors Council at DigitalCommons @University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in NCHC Monograph Series by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons @University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


Miller, K.A., ed. (2020). Building Honors Contracts: Insights and Oversights. National Collegiate Honors Council Monograph Series.

Bambina, A. (2020) "One Hand Washes the Other: Designing Mutually Beneficial Honors Contracts".

Wolfensberger, M. (2012). Teaching for excellence: Honors pedagogies revealed. New York: Waxmann.