Honors Program Banner

Information For Faculty

How Can Faculty Members be Involved?

This program would not exist without the dedication and support of our faculty. BHSU Faculty can be involved in the Honors Program in many ways. These include teaching an Honors course or Colloquia, working one-on-one with a capstone or contract student, hosting a Geek Speak, or serving on the Advisory Council. Please contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika if you are interested in being an Honors faculty member and contributing to the program.

Recruit New Students: Encourage your best freshmen to apply to transfer into the Honors Program. A word from a faculty member makes a difference. Guidelines for transfer into the program are a GPA of 3.3 OR an ACT score of 25, and no more than 30 hours of college credit for the bachelor’s track or 15 hours of college credit for the associate track.

Geek Speak Lectures: One of the Honors program's social events, the Thursday afternoon lectures draw anywhere from 40 to 95 students, faculty, and community members for diverse topics: zombies! beauty! death and dying in the civil war! urban decay and abandonment! animal studies! rock and roll evolution! the meaning of happiness! superheroes! Faculty are encouraged to propose lectures from either their disciplines or their varied academic and personal interests. Proposals are accepted year-round. See Schedule.

Honors Foundation Courses: If you teach a general education course, you could offer it as a foundations section for Honors. You determine the coursework, but Honors courses are traditionally founded on critical analysis, discussion, undergraduate research, and creative scholarship. 

Honors Contract Courses: Consider working with an Honors student under a special contract. Students can sometimes fulfill credit requirements by working individually with their professor in a regular course section. For contract courses, the professor and student decide on alternative or additional assignments to make the course more rigorous and suited to the student’s own interests. These assignments should challenge the student through scholarly and/or creative endeavors. Examples may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Longer or additional essays or papers
  • Supplemental or additional research
  • In-class presentations or lectures
  • Additional (and more challenging) problems, experiments, or readings
  • Creative endeavors such as an exhibit, a collection of short stories or poems, or musical compositions
  • A conference paper and/or participation in a professional conference
  • Novels to supplement a course
  • A semester-long blog on topics relevant to the class or supplemental work
  • Analysis of complex, scientific issues in popular culture or media
  • Reviews of books or films related to the topic
  • Travel to a series of cultural events or field research (with appropriate review and documentation)
  • Experiential learning or service-learning


Contract Information and Form

Contract Completion Form

Honors Colloquia: Colloquia are seminars on specialty topics, and one is offered each semester. Proposals are approved by the Advisory Council and chosen by student vote for two years at a time. Upcoming colloquia include “Revolution in the Heavens: Science, Galileo, and Religion” and “Through the Whedonverse: Understanding Postmodern Popular Culture.” Proposals will next be due in spring 2018 for fall 2018-spring 2020.

Honors Advisory Council: Council members are responsible for policy and curriculum changes, probation appeals, program planning, Honors advising, and other duties designated by the Provost and the Associate VP for Academic Affairs. If you are interested in replacing a council member in your school at the end of his or her term of service, please make your wishes known to that council member or to the director.

Capstone Mentor or Committee Member: Direct an Honors capstone project in your field of study or serve as a second reader on a capstone committee. A traditional capstone is a pared-down version of a master’s thesis process. However, students are encouraged to consider other, diverse projects. Some examples are a business plan, a creative work of art or portfolio, an educational program, or a major project for community service. All Capstone projects have a research component and a traditional defense at the last Geek Speak of the semester.

Take The Next Step

Develop valuable personal relationships in a small community with amazing faculty and staff while thriving in the outdoors of the Black Hills.