Honors Curriculum Overview

The Honors College curriculum will be the foundation of the honors experience at OSU-Cascades, and as such, should reflect our strengths and our students’ interests. Honors courses involve different kinds of work rather than more work, and generally offer opportunities for hands-on learning, deeper engagement, and independent investigation.   

Faculty and Course Eligibility and Compensation Policy for Teaching Honors College (HC) Courses at OSU-Cascades

Faculty Eligibility

Anyone may propose an honors course. Tenured/tenure-track and emeritus faculty as well as senior instructors are automatically eligible to teach honors courses; those in other roles can apply for approval via a petition process. Final decisions on eligibility of Honors College faculty will be made by the Honors College in consultation with the OSU-Cascades Dean of Academic Affairs.

Course Eligibility

Any course in the OSU General Catalog is eligible to be offered as an honors course, and proposals for new courses are welcomed each year. The Honors College schedule of classes is renewed annually to provide the very best in undergraduate education and to allow opportunities for faculty to teach on a year-to-year basis. Decisions on proposed courses will be made by the Honors College in consultation with the OSU-Cascades Chair of the committee advising the Honors College and the Dean of Academic Affairs.


The following outlines the compensation policy for HC courses taught at OSU-Cascades.
I. Course Type:

  • Faculty may teach any HC courses “in-load.” They may only teach colloquia courses above and beyond their regular student related activities WU load.
    • i. Honors College BACC Core or elective course (3 to 4 credits) will generally be taught as part of a faculty member’s regular teaching load. In order to support the hire of a replacement part-time faculty member, the Honors College will pay OSU-Cascades from $1750-$2350 per credit, for up to three credits.
    • ii.  Faculty may teach Honors College Colloquia (1 to 2 credit special topics courses) within their regular student related activities load or above that load, with permission.
      • When teaching in load, the Honors College will pay OSU-Cascades from $1750-$2350 per credit.
      • When teaching above load, faculty will receive $2,000/credit as Professional Development Funds.

NOTE: The per credit pay rate for a course is determined by the course designator.

  • Thesis/Research Project – The number of credits involved will vary and must be set by agreement with individual students and captured in a written contract agreement.
    • i. Faculty are encouraged to volunteer as mentors for honors student theses. There is NO direct monetary compensation for these efforts, as the HC does not pay for HC students enrolled for thesis credits.
    • ii. Thesis/research project credits will bear the course designator of the program in which the faculty member teaches (i.e., BI 403). This tuition is credited to that program.
    • iii. Anticipated costs to support students in participating in thesis/research projects should be planned for as part of the program annual budgeting process.
    • iv. HC students are encouraged to apply for the Honors Experience Scholarship. Students can apply for reimbursement of research-related expenses, including supplies and equipment, or direct pay, if their faculty mentor is purchasing the equipment on their behalf. Applications for this scholarship are accepted year-round.
  • Contract Courses
    • i.  Contract courses will not be used at Cascades until further notice.

Important – when considering teaching a HC course, it is critical to include this in your projected WU spreadsheet and discuss the possibilities and implications with your Dean.

Approved on 4/13/17 by Toni Doolen, Becky Johnson, Julie Gess-Newsome, Tara Williams, and Patrick Ball