More Meaningful Work

We welcome you! Each semester, more than 60 faculty and staff from across campus are engaged in Honors. Honors-affiliated faculty and staff work individually and in collaboration with their colleges to increase student opportunities across campus and lead students to do more meaningful work.



What is Honors Education?

The National Collegiate Honors Council defines Honors Education as "characterized by in-class and extracurricular activities that are measurably broader, deeper, or more complex than comparable learning experiences typically found at institutions of higher education. Honors experiences include a distinctive learner-directed environment and philosophy, provide opportunities that are appropriately tailored to fit the institution's culture and mission, and frequently occur within a close community of students and faculty."

Cohen Honors Learning Outcomes

Faculty Engagement in Honors

Faculty engagement in Honors often meets guidelines for UNISCOPE Service or Teaching Scholarship. Honors-affiliated faculty and staff serve Honors and the campus in many ways:

WSU is an institutional member of NCHC and the Great Plains Honors Council.

How to Get Involved with Honors Teaching

Faculty and staff from across campus are invited to develop and teach Honors College seminars including first-year seminars. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary, team-taught, and social justice topics.

Interested faculty should submit a course proposal through CIM system and include specific information about what makes the course an Honors-level experience. Course proposals are routed to the Honors College Faculty Council for review. Instructors whose courses are approved by the council will be asked to confirm chair approval and other details related to course scheduling.  

Faculty also may use the Seminar Course Proposal form to make a preliminary inquiry and get feedback on a course idea. 

Teaching existing HNRS seminars: Faculty may request to teach an existing Honors seminar course such as HNRS 351 Survey of Leadership, HNRS 352 Survey of Law and Public Policy, or HNRS 486 Collaborative Research. For more information about Honors curriculum, visit the current student page of our website or the undergraduate catalog.

Departmental honors courses: Departments may offer an honors (H- suffix) section of any existing department course by adding a cross-listed course through the Course Information Management system (CIM). Once approved by the department and the honors faculty council, these courses are scheduled and supported by the department. Department chairs are welcome to contact the Dean of the Cohen Honors College with any questions.

How to Get Involved in Honors Outside of the Classroom

Interested faculty may serve as an undergraduate research mentor, as a member of the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity grants committee, or on the Cohen Honors College Faculty Council, the faculty governance board that oversees Honors curriculum and academic affairs.

Cohen Honors Faculty Fellows

Current Faculty Fellows
Background and Purpose

We seek to engage a diverse group of faculty and staff each year to increase our Honors course offerings and increase or improve Honors and high-impact experiences such as undergraduate research, service-learning, and study abroad. Fellows are funded by a gift from Dorothy and Bill Cohen.

Faculty are invited to submit proposals to fund honors course development and other projects related to Honors. Fellows may propose funding for research and implementation of high-impact practices/programs such as the recent first-year research experience program (FYRE).

The first Honors Faculty Fellows served in summer 2013 to develop the Honors College concept and curriculum. These faculty, in collaboration with the Faculty Senate Honors Committee, articulated the college vision and intended benefits that current Honors-affiliated faculty and faculty fellows support.

Application Materials

Submit to: Campus Box 102 or by email to

  • A two- to three-page proposal (statement of interest) that includes background sources, if appropriate, information about why you are interested in Honors or high-impact practices, what prepares you for this work, a timeline and budget;
  • A curriculum vitae; and
  • A letter of support from your department chair and dean or supervisor.

Preference may be given to proposals that clearly articulate a connection to current Honors Goals and to the University Strategic Plan.

Selection: Final fellow appointments are made by the Honors College Dean based on the Honors College Faculty Council application review and recommendations. Fellow nominations are welcome from other academic college deans.


By April 2nd for work during the following academic year or summer.


All fulltime faculty and staff are eligible to serve as Cohen Honors Faculty Fellows. Some Honors -affiliated teaching faculty are selected as fellows based on their tenure of teaching within Honors or on a course proposal in an area such as first-year teaching or study abroad.

Departments, offices, and colleges may submit proposals for development of substantial honors experiences in their college/unit or for collaboration across areas. All individual applications must include a letter of support from the department chair/supervisor.


Fellows agree to serve a one- or two-year appointment with possibility for renewal based on project goals and measures. Fellows will establish project goals and measures in collaboration with their chair/supervisor, and the Honors College Dean at the beginning of the fellowship period.

In addition to individual work toward their proposed course or project, fellows are asked to meet once per semester as a group to share project developments including research findings, best practices, challenges, and questions.


Honors partners with colleges to fund release time or overload and/or professional development such as conference travel, depending on department capacity and project goals. The standard summer stipend for curriculum development or other administrative work is $1500.

Modes of Learning that Support Honors  Outcomes
Research and Creative Scholarship (“learning in depth”)
Research and Creative Scholarship courses tend to be created within existing departments, with honors components supplementing regular work. The goal is specialized, in-depth learning in addition to self-reflective, analytical, and creative activity. The products are often documented scholarship that leads to new integrations, new knowledge, or new understandings of creative products; students pursue a track into postgraduate study, technical careers, or professional careers outside academe, such as telecommunications or theatre.
Breadth and Enduring Questions (“multi- or interdisciplinary learning”)
Breadth and Enduring Questions courses confront students with alternative modes of inquiry, exploration, discovery, tolerance of ambiguity, and enduring questions. The products often involve creative integrations of evidence from several disciplines with an aggressive emphasis on interdisciplinarity. Assessment of the products emphasizes process rather than product, focusing on metacognitive questions such as “how do you know?” Students are encouraged to dig deep without a prescribed result.
Experiential Learning
Experiential (or applied) Learning courses focus on student-driven learning projects facilitated by faculty who provide no necessary, single conclusion to be drawn by all or many students. This includes international experience, service-learning and other forms of active learning.  The process often involves continuous reflective writing and oral presentation as the students articulate their discoveries and document their personal growth.
Honors Faculty Council
Faculty and student participation in the University and College governance is vital to the proper functioning of the University. Faculty interest in direction and development of the Honors College not only reflects their formal right to contribute to University decision making but indicates their responsibility to do so as professional scholars and researchers. The Honors College offers opportunity for faculty and student participation in college governance. Find out more about the Honors Faculty Council.