Honors 1

Student Information

Student Activity Fee

The Honors Program aims to offer its students a broad range of educational experiences outside of the classroom. Consequently, most Honors seminars incorporate at least one field trip–a visit to a museum, an art gallery, a play, a film screening, a concert, an opera, etc. To offset the cost of these activities, students pay a $16/quarter activity fee, which works like a lab fee in science classes. The fee appears once per year on your school bill as a single $48 charge. The activity fee also helps to subsidize program-wide events such as banquets or weekend retreats once or twice a year.

Summer Term Abroad

Some learning is done "on location." One of the highlights of the Honors Program is the Summer Term Abroad: planned for the summer between the student's sophomore and junior year, this term consists considers the theme "Beauty." Frequent field trips take advantage of local art, architecture, and cultural events. The summer term has been based in Newbold, England; Paris, France; and Florence, Italy.

Honors Project

The Honors Project is meant to be the capstone of your experience in the Honors Program. It is a senior-year individual research or creative project that invites you to further explore and synthesize issues, ideas, or art forms you have encountered in your Honors seminars. Students often undertake an extended research paper in their major field, but successful projects have included sculptures, documentary films, stage plays, essays in "creative non-fiction," chemistry experiments, musical compositions, original fiction and poetry, photography exhibitions and screenplays. You are given broad leeway to pursue your particular interests, but the project must relate in some meaningful way to the themes, goals and/or philosophy of the Honors Program.

The Honors Project must be an original piece of work. It may not be the same as a senior project required for a major or another program, though it may grow out of previous research or class projects.

The Honors Project is essentially a directed study. As part of the process of developing a project proposal , you will enlist a faculty advisor with whom you will work closely throughout the various stages of the project. It is your responsibility to schedule (and keep) regular meetings with your advisor to talk about your progress. During the quarter in which you register for HNRS 498, you are required to meet with your advisor a minimum of three times. (If your project is interdisciplinary, you may wish to have a secondary advisor.) Your advisor, in consultation with the Honors director, is responsible for determining your project grade.

Completed proposals must be submitted to the Honors director by the end of spring quarter of the junior year. You will receive a proposal form with instructions.

Project Requirements
Because of the individual nature of the Honors Project, requirements will vary somewhat from project to project. All projects, however, should demonstrate serious thought, a clear rationale, evidence of detailed planning, and skillful execution. Here are some basic guidelines:

Length: Written projects (research papers, creative writing, etc.) must be a minimum of 30 typewritten, double spaced pages; research papers need to have substantial bibliographies (consult your advisor).

Projects not primarily written (e.g., photography exhibits, films, chemistry experiments, musical compositions) must be accompanied by at least 10 double-spaced, typewritten pages detailing such things as: (1) the rationale behind the project; (2) the significance and implications of the project; (3) the methodological or theoretical approach; (4) a description of the process, technical requirements, etc. of the project (e.g., Photography: what kind of film was used? What developing choices were made?; Documentary: How was the editing done?; Chemistry: What materials were used? Where were they obtained?).

Title Page: All projects must include a title page which contains (1) the phrase "an Honors Project presented to the Pacific Union College Honors Program" and (2) clear indication of:

  • Author
  • Title – which should make clear what type of project it is (a documentary film? a sonata? a new translation of the gospel of John?)
  • Advisor(s)
  • Presentation date

Your project culminates in a public presentation of your work. Projects must be ready for presentation by MAY 1. Your project is ready for presentation when:

  • You have given your advisor a final draft of your project for review
  • You have received feedback from your advisor and made any necessary revisions
  • You have given your advisor a clean, proofread copy of the final version of your project
  • You have discussed the presentation with your advisor

The presentation should establish the connections between your project and the Honors Program and demonstrate your ability to express your ideas to a general, non-specialist audience. Presentations normally last about an hour, beginning with an introduction by your advisor, then 30-40 minutes of student presentation, followed by a question-and-answer period. Students often choose to provide light refreshments.

At your presentation, you must submit two clean copies of your project, one for the library archive and one for the Honors Program. The Honors director must have received both copies before you can receive a grade for HNRS 498. Honors projects are archived in the Heritage Room on the second floor of the PUC library. You are welcome to browse past projects to get ideas for your own.

Registering for HNRS 498 (Honors Project)
You are strongly encouraged to work on your project throughout the year, but as far as your transcript is concerned, the Honors project is a single 3-hour "class" offered winter and spring quarters. You need to register for it only once and can choose the quarter that best fits your schedule. However, you will not receive a final grade for the class until you present your project, meaning that if you register for HNRS 498 in the winter but don't present until spring, you will receive an "IP" (In Progress) for winter quarter.

Project Grade
Your final grade takes into account both the product (the project itself and your presentation of it) and the process you used to achieve it:

60% Product

  • Overall quality of the project
  • Fulfillment of basic requirements
  • Relevance to Honors Program
  • Creativity
  • Depth and content
  • Academic rigor

20% Process

  • Meets deadlines (proposal, completion of project, scheduling presentation)
  • Meets regularly with advising professor(s)
  • Submits two copies in timely manner (for Honors Program and library archive)
  • Thoroughness – i.e., the difference between throwing a project together over a week or two and taking the time to develop and polish it over months

20% Presentation

  • Timeliness (should go without saying, but don't be late to your own presentation!)
  • Preparation (arriving early enough to set up; evidence of having planned the presentation carefully; back-up plans for audio-visual presentations – e.g., what will you do if PowerPoint fails? handouts?)
  • Performance (overall demonstration of competence; fielding of questions; ability to explain rationale for project)