National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors in Practice, 2021, Vol. 17:29–44


Copyright © 2021 National Collegiate Honors Council


This article describes one program’s thoughtful and strategic transition to a college and subsequent innovations to its curricular framework. Acknowledging that such a change affords honors practitioners the opportunity to implement best practices established within the honors community, authors describe the unique evolution of the honors college experience at their institution by way of expanding collaborative transdisciplinary courses, offering a new diploma option, and increasing opportunities related to undergraduate research. Collaborative transdisciplinary courses encourage critical thinking about complex problems in a small group setting. A new diploma option combines disciplinary depth with transdisciplinary capabilities through a four-year, multidisciplinary studio curriculum. Expansion from a single research training course to a suite of course offerings, or “guided research experiences,” strengthens the college’s goal of fostering undergraduate research. Authors suggest that the innovative curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop as change agents and global scholars. The triad of changes are derivative of the college’s core values: to foster meaningful and sustained relationships with faculty, provide resources for independent learning, promote engagement in undergraduate research, yield and advance place-based and problem-focused experiences, guide students through intellectual engagement in global contexts, and seek to better engage students in their learning processes while preparing them for graduation.