Developing HONORS through Faculty Engagement and Experiential Learning (2017-2020)

Graduate schools and employers in Food, Agriculture, Natural Resource, and Human Sciences (FANHS) value students whose academic programs include deep, complex learning-centered and learner-directed experiences that provide opportunities for students to grapple with real-world issues; students who graduate from honors programs are well-suited for these. Our goal is to fully develop a FANHS minor designed to retain FANHS students in honors programs. The grant team will create a new, peer-reviewed model for honors programming that helps students develop higher-order thinking and team skills, academic networks, and opportunities to engage in research, leadership, international, and/or Extension activities. Our first objective is to engage faculty who desire pedagogical knowledge on the most effective means for incorporation of higher-order thinking into their courses.

The second objective is to develop honors courses and materials for co-curricular activities that will emphasize twenty-first century soft skill development. The third objective is to effectively and appropriately assess the program and student development. The fourth objective is to increase numbers of minority students in FANHS honors. To advance the overall goals of the HEC program, the model will incorporate the most recent advances in higher-order thinking pedagogy and best practices for honors programs. The model will be developed to produce greater recruitment, retention, and graduation of FANH honors students and will be implemented during the course of this project with formative evaluation used to finalize the model for use by FANHS programs. Recruitment and retention plans will be used to increase numbers of minority honors students.

Click to view the Assessing Higher-Order Thinking Skills Module Series