Honors Project


The purpose of the Department of Educational Studies Honors Program is to encourage and support qualified candidates who wish to further their learning by engaging in independent research, scholarship, and/or fieldwork that goes beyond the program of study. This work will add an important dimension to candidates' education in and outside the college classroom. Satisfactory completion of the Honors Program will be noted on the candidate's permanent record. This departmental honors program is part of the larger honors program at Rhode Island College.

Honors Project Expectations

We encourage candidates to choose a project that is of significant interest and that is feasible within the constraints of the one-year timeline. Projects must connect theory to practice and his/her content area with education. Sample topics include: incorporating the history of mathematics into the high school mathematics curriculum; teaching ESL learners in a particular content area; and field-based topics, such as action research in a particular classroom, or working productively with specialized populations, including special education students, gifted and talented students, English Language Learners, etc. Candidates who wish to enroll in the Honors Program and have a topic but not a clear research agenda are encouraged to consult with a DES faculty member in their area of interest before applying.


It is advised that candidates finish their Honors Program before the student teaching semester, so should apply prior to enrolling in SED 407. Once the candidate has been accepted to the Honors Program, s/he will take two Directed Study courses over the course of two semesters, under the direction of his/her Honors Program Advisor. The candidate may ask a DES faculty member to be his/her Advisor, or the Honors Committee will work with the candidate to find someone appropriate, based on the topic. Once this has been determined, the candidate's responsibilities consist of the following:

First Semester

  • Enroll in SED 490 (Directed Study, 3 credits)
    This is where the project proposal will be fully developed.
  • By Dec. 1 of the fall semester or April 15 of the spring semester, the candidate will meet with the Honors Committee.
  • The Advisor will evaluate the candidate's work and report his/her grade to the Committee. If the candidate earns less than a B, s/he will be dropped from the Honors Program, although s/he will be awarded three credits in SED 490 if s/he received a passing grade.
  • If the grade is a B or higher, the candidate may continue to the second semester.

Second Semester

  • Enroll in SED 491 (Directed Study, 3 credits)
    In this phase of the Project, the candidate will engage in the research described in his/her proposal from SED 490 under the supervision of his/her Advisor.
  • While projects will be individualized, candidates are expected to write a substantial paper outlining their process and findings. The paper should be based on current, significant research, offer creative insights, be well-organized and clearly written, and use APA format.
  • The final copy of the paper and presentation must be made to the Committee by November 15 of the fall semester or April 15 of the spring semester. The candidate must submit the final copy to the Honors Committee no later than one week prior to the meeting.
  • The candidate, with the support of his/her supervisor, will also make arrangements to present his/her research to an outside audience before the end of the semester.
  • As with the first semester, if the candidate's project is not accepted for Honors but receives a passing grade, s/he will receive three hours of credit for SED 491.

Earning Honors in Educational Studies

Once it is determined that the project has earned Honors, the Committee, via Department Chair, will submit the candidate's name to the Records Office. The Honors designation will be entered into the candidate's permanent record and awarded at graduation.

Other Opportunities for Honors Participants

  • A campus-wide Seminar will be offered on occasion for candidates enrolled in the Honors Program. DES Honors candidates are strongly encouraged to participate.
  • Occasionally, funding for Honors Projects will be available. The Committee is responsible for letting the Advisor and candidate know about these opportunities.
  • Candidates are also encouraged to participate in College Honors activities.

Application Procedures

Applications are due by the Friday before Thanksgiving for spring semester enrollment and by April 25 for fall semester enrollment. A complete application will include:

  • A narrative that describes the candidate's qualifications for and interest in the Honors Program. S/he should explain why s/he is interested in the Honors Program and include a project proposal, including a brief description and rationale for the project.
  • A resume that documents the candidate's experiences in and outside the classroom, including extracurricular activities; volunteer work; work with age-appropriate youth; etc.
  • An up-to-date transcript.
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member in the DES. This faculty member may or may not serve as the Honors advisor for the candidate's project.

Qualifications for Admission

To qualify for admission to the Department of Educational Studies Honors Program, candidates must:
  • Be admitted to the FSEHD as an undergraduate or 2nd degree candidate;
  • Must have completed at least 60 credits but not over 90 credits;
  • Must have an overall GPA of 3.33 (including transfer credits from other institutions) and GPA of 3.5 in FSEHD coursework.

If a candidate has submitted a satisfactory application, s/he will interview with the DES Honors Committee. The Honors Committee is looking for evidence of commitment, perseverance, work ethic, and cooperative attitude, in addition to aptitude for teaching.

The application must be approved by the DES Honors Committee before the candidate begins his/her project. Revision and review may be required, and should be done in a timely fashion. If the candidate does not have an advisor at the time of the application, the Committee will work with him/her to find someone appropriate.

Dr. Janet D. Johnson
Department Honors Chairperson
Henry Barnard 218

Page last updated: Tuesday, October 4, 2011