HUHC does not mandate a particular grading policy for Honors Options, since grading falls in the purview of the instructor. This document was created in response to questions from faculty who wanted guidance on how best to integrate the evaluation of the honors enrichment assignments with the regular class grade. Several options are outlined below.
In all cases, however, HUHC urges the honors option professor to discuss with the student in advance how the honors work will influence her/his grade in the course, since that is what will appear on the transcript with the honors credit.
In practice, three models have evolved over the years:
- The professor can incorporate the honors assignments into the grading of the regular course for the honors students, so that the honors work (not shared by other students) gets tabulated along with the regular assignments (that all students share). The honors student is thereby, while registered for the regular course, in fact pursuing an enriched course of study that will be evaluated as a unit. If the honors student does not complete or completes poorly the enriched honors work, the overall grade for the course will reflect that shortcoming.
- The second model treats the honors work as separate and apart from the regular class work. On this model the student receives the grade s/he earns on the regular assignments (papers, tests, etc.) while the honors work is evaluated independently. If the honors student does not complete or only completes honors work poorly, then the professor has the option of not awarding honors credit for that additional work, simply by contacting HUHC to that effect. The additional honors option work and HUHC honors credit are thus severed from the student’s performance in the regular class. The student could still possibly receive an A for the course, but no honors credit. This scenario might be based either on performance (i.e. non-performance) or on circumstances (student cannot complete additional work for other reasons).
- Some faculty have developed in practice a hybrid of the two, whereby the student’s performance on honors option work can in some ways and to some extent influence the regular grade (some grades might count; (non-) completion of additional assignments might weigh in as participation, etc.), but is in general separate.