The Honors Forum inducted its first members in the spring of 1997 and offered its
first courses in Fall Term 1998. Since its creation, the Honors Forum has enriched
the academic lives of all Skidmore students. Honors classes are open to any student
prepared for the academic challenge. Many faculty members consider their Honors offerings
to be among the highlights of their academic career at the College.
In addition to teaching Honors courses, faculty members serve on the Honors Council, the faculty/administration/student governing body of the Honors Forum. Chaired by the Honors Forum Director, the Honors Council typically meets twice a month. Council members oversee the curriculum (approving Honors courses and curricular opportunities), discuss Honors Forum policies, help to select the annual Jon A. Ramsey faculty lecturer, review applications for new members, advise the Director about students’ requirements, co-plan Accepted Candidates’ events with the Office of Admissions, participate in the Periclean Scholar Award Committee or plan the annual Academic Festival, and plan and host induction ceremonies for new members. We welcome faculty from all disciplines to offer HF courses, serve on the Honors Council, and attend Honors Forum events.
The Honors Forum welcomes new courses from faculty. If you have an idea about a new
HF course or would like to explore ways to adapt a course into an Honors course or
to create an HF Add-on, we encourage you to contact the HF Director, Flagg Taylor,
or a member of the Honors Council. We can also provide models of existing Honors courses
and HF Add-ons for your guidance.
Why teach an Honors course? Many faculty members consider their Honors offerings to be among the highlights of their academic career at the College. These are some of the reasons why:
- Honors Forum courses typically have smaller enrollment caps than other courses. HF add-ons are limited to 12 or 15 students, and most add-ons enroll under 10 students. In HF classes and add-ons, faculty members have opportunities to get to know their students well.
- Students who elect an HF course or an HF add-on are typically receptive to more challenge and likely to take full ownership of their education.
- Faculty members can teach higher-level material, engage students actively in primary or secondary research, or provide leadership opportunities. The smaller class size and the intellectual and leadership skills of HF students make this possible.
- The Honors Forum has some funding to enhance intellectual discourse beyond the formal classroom. In past, the Honors Forum has supported special lectures, library exhibitions, social activities, field trips, and more.
Honors Forum Course Information
Courses developed for the Honors Forum are expected to have “a high degree of involvement from participants and present more sophisticated materials and assignments to provide a challenging academic experience.” These courses include honors courses from other departments or programs, Honors Forum designated courses, Honors Forum independent studies, and Honors Forum 1-credit add-on courses.
“The criteria to design new Honors courses, adapt existing courses into Honors courses, and evaluate Honors course proposals are as follows:
- Intellectual challenge in written assignments, exams, and/or in-class discussions
- Greater sophistication in the presentation of material
- Stimulating material or deeper engagement with course material than in a non-HF course
- Opportunities for leadership and/or greater ownership of knowledge than a non-HF course
- Faster pacing than a non-HF course
- Sense of community enterprise
- Opportunities for engagement with fellow students outside of class
- Higher standards of expectation than a non-HF course
Note that these are guidelines only. Not every course will meet all of these criteria.”
Types of courses
- Honors courses from other departments/programs – e.g. EN 105H
These are courses developed for other departments/programs which also meet Honors Forum course guidelines. They may be a stand-alone course or an honors section of a multi-section course. Proposals for these courses must be submitted to the Curriculum Committee using Curriculog. As part of that process, proposals must be approved by the director of the Honors Forum (and therefore the Honors Forum Council) before they are considered by the Curriculum Committee. Once approved by the Curriculum Committee, these courses are on the books indefinitely and can be taught by instructors whenever they (and their department) choose to do so.
- Honors Forum designated courses – e.g. HF 203 Citizen Studentship
These are courses specifically developed for the Honors Forum. They are typically developed by Honors Forum directors or council members. Proposals for these courses must be submitted to the Curriculum Committee using Curriculog. As part of that process, proposals must be approved by the director of the Honors Forum (and therefore the Honors Forum Council) before they are considered by the Curriculum Committee. Once approved by the Curriculum Committee, these courses are on the books indefinitely and can be taught by instructors whenever they (with permission of their department) choose to do so.
- Honors Forum independent studies – HF 271 (freshmen and sophomore students) or HF
371 (junior or senior students).
These independent study courses can be proposed by students with a faculty sponsor and can be designated as 1-4 credits. The student and faculty sponsor write a proposal using an independent study form from the Registrar’s Office. The form must be signed by the faculty sponsor, the student’s advisor, and the director of the Honors Forum before it is submitted to the Registrar’s Office.
- Honors Forum 1-credit add-ons – HF 100, HF 200 or HF 300
These “add-on” courses are taught in conjunction with a department/program’s parent course that is already on the books.* Students who enroll in the parent course may also choose to enroll in the “add-on” course which provides a greater intellectual challenge. To propose one of these courses, a faculty member needs to submit a short proposal to the Honors Forum Council that includes a syllabus for the HF add-on, a syllabus for the parent course, and a description of how the add-on enhances the parent course. Add-on courses only require approval of the Honors Forum Council and do not need to go through the Curriculum Committee. Once approved, instructors can teach these add-ons in subsequent semesters without prior approval. The Honors Forum maintains a list of approved add-on courses, and alerts the Registrar’s Office when an instructor wants to teach an add-on during a given semester.
*Note that HF 200 science literacy cluster courses are an exception to this. They are taught annually without a parent course. Each fall, the Science Literacy Initiative submits a list of courses that will be taught around one central theme, along with a description of these courses and a list of faculty who will team-teach them. The courses are approved by the Honors Forum and sent on to the Registrar’s Office to be added to the spring schedule.
If you have an idea about a new HF course or would like to explore ways to adapt a
course into an Honors course or to create an HF Add-on, we encourage you to contact
the HF Director, Flagg Taylor, or a member of the Honors Council.
We can also provide models of existing Honors courses and HF Add-ons for your guidance.
FORMS FOR FACULTY
- Faculty Sponsorship Form - This electronic form is used to submit faculty sponsorship of students applying
for Service Requirement.
- Academic Festival - TEMPORARILY DISABLED. CHECK BACK WITH US IN JANUARY-APRIL.
This electronic form is used by student applying for Academic Festival. Each application must be completed and sponsored by a faculty member.
- Honors Forum Course Funds Request - (HTML format)
The Skidmore College Honors Forum has a modest budget to support and co-sponsor activities, events, and projects (typically in the range of $50-$200, occasionally above $200) that contribute to the intellectual quality of life on campus. Examples of programs include academic events such as special lectures, debates, research presentations, library exhibitions, symposia, as well as cultural and social activities that bring Honors Forum members together with other students. Programs for which funding is sought should serve to foster academic and social connections among students and enhance intellectual discourse beyond the formal classroom. The Honors Forum expects that all co-curricular programs that it supports will promote the mission and goals of the Forum to its members and/or the College community at-large.
current hf FACULTY
Anthropology: Michael Ennis-McMillan, Sonia Silva
Art: Janet Sorenson
Art History: Aditi Chandra, Katie Hauser, Mimi Hellman, Penny Jolly
Biology: Jennifer Bonner, Monica Raveret Richtor
Business: Pushkala Prasad
Chemistry: Kim Frederick, Steven Frey
Classics: Michael Arnush, Leslie Mechem
Economics: Roy Rotheim, Lynda Vargha
English: Catherine Golden, Kate Greenspan, Linda Hall, Thomas Lewis, Martha Wiseman, Sarah Wright, Michael Marx, Melora Wolf
Geosciences: Amy Frappier
Health and Human Physiological Sciences: Jennifer McDonald
History: Erica Bastress-Dukehart, Tillman Nechtman
Mathematics and Statistics: Mark Huibregtse, Daniel Hurwitz, David Vella
Philosophy: Reginald Lilly
Physics: Mary Crone Odekon, Andrew Skinner
Political Sciences: Beau Breslin
Religious Studies: Joel Smith, Greg Spinner
Sociology: John Brueggemann, Susan Walzer
World Languages and Literature: John Anzalone