Each department appoints a Department Honors Coordinator who represents the Honors Program in that department, answering questions about Honors and especially about the capstone that may come from students and faculty. The chief responsibility of the coordinator is as a gatekeeper and quality control expert, demanding disciplinary rigor and helping define for the department or program what constitutes excellence in an Honors Capstone in that field.
Because coordinators have a comprehensive view of the work of majors who are in the Honors Program, they are in a unique position to recommend students for Honors Awards, the Honors Capstone Conference, University awards, and national awards. Coordinators should feel free to forward names of stellar students to the Honors Office so that we can find opportunities for them and ways to recognize their accomplishments.
Coordinators can also help by adding materials or FAQs for their majors for this webpage and by recommending revisions to it.
Most of the work of the Department Honors Coordinator occurs at the beginning of the semester when students submit their capstone proposal for review. Students submit an online capstone form, which is sent for approval to the faculty capstone advisor. When advisors approve the form, it is sent electronically to the Department Honors Coordinator for approval.
Capstone forms are due on the same day that independent study forms are due. Beginning in Fall 2012, this due date will be early in the semester–the same day as the end of the add/drop period. As a result, Honors will encourage students pursuing a Capstone project to approach faculty capstone advisors during the summer and winter breaks.
There is no fixed deadline for the approval of capstone forms.
Important: Please be aware that the coordinator is determined based on the capstone advisor’s department and NOT on the student’s. Students have the option of writing a capstone outside their primary major. If their faculty capstone advisor is in your department, then you are the coordinator for that student.
The role of the Department Honors Coordinator is to assist the faculty capstone advisor in determining the quality and feasibility of the proposal. When coordinators feel that proposals are poorly conceptualized or insufficient in some way, they should work with faculty capstone advisors so that advisors can provide the right assistance to the students. Coordinators are especially helpful in guiding new faculty.
The Honors Program promises students that they will receive an “unsurpassed undergraduate education,” and so coordinators should feel comfortable declining weak proposals. The capstone form is due early in the semester so that students can revise and resubmit the proposal for approval. Thus, an initially declined proposal is usually a step toward ensuring quality student work. Once coordinators accept revised proposals, their work on those capstones is done. Ultimately, the judgment of the quality of the capstone is in the hands of the faculty capstone advisor, who is the professor of record.
To graduate with Honors, students must complete a 3 to 6 credit capstone through one of the following options:
- Honors independent study (HNRS 490)
- Honors supplement to any upper-level course
- Any of the University Honors in [Major] capstone options available (see below)
Coordinators are also encouraged to visit our website’s capstone process page and our page on the role of the faculty capstone advisor.