Ad Hoc Adviser Overview

Ad Hoc Honors Credit

This page is for departmental/major advisers assisting Departmental Honors students undertaking ad hoc Honors projects for Departmental Honors. Departmental/major advisers will guide and approve ad hoc Honors projects for their departments/majors only; any ad hoc Honors work undertaken to satisfy the Interdisciplinary Honors Core requirements can only be approved by an Honors Program adviser.

Many Departmental Honors programs at the UW require that students pursuing Departmental Honors undertake ad hoc Honors projects in some of their courses within the major. Your department may be one of these; if you are unfamiliar with ad hoc Honors, please review the ad hoc Honors web site, in addition to this site. Please note that ad hoc Honors should not alter a student’s grade in a course; this additional work is recognized by the attachment of an Honors designation (an “H”) to the course on the transcript.

The Honors Program’s commitment to providing a diverse, flexible, and in depth education is not possible without your commitment to working with Honors students on these additional projects. We greatly appreciate your time and energy, and recognize the effort you will contribute to this project and to the student’s experience.

By agreeing to oversee an ad hoc Honors project, the departmental/major adviser agrees to:

  • Assist the student in finding an appropriate course for ad hoc Honors
  • Help the student and instructor understand the goals and philosophy of the department/major’s Honors program and how ad hoc Honors contributes to those goals
  • Help the instructor and student brainstorm appropriate ad hoc project ideas
  • Submit an initial online approval that the ad hoc proposal meets the Departmental Honors program’s requirements by the quarterly deadline listed on the Honors Program website
  • Ensure a student’s DARS reflects completion of ad hoc coursework at the end of the quarter

The student is agreeing to:

  • Take the initiative on the overall project, including initial contact with the departmental/major adviser and instructor, generating project ideas, and communicating with the adviser and the instructor, especially regarding any changes or difficulties
  • Manage the application and approval process with the Honors Program
  • Complete the agreed-on project during the quarter in which the student is enrolled in the course
  • Respect the learning objectives and expectations of the course and the Honors Program
  • Follow up with the departmental/major adviser to ensure accurate allocation of ad hoc Honors credit at the end of the quarter

Coursework taken to complete Departmental Honors requirements may never overlap with a student’s Interdisciplinary Honors Course Requirements.

Suggestions for Evaluations

The Interdisciplinary Honors Staff uses the following rubric to assess and structure feedback on proposed Ad Hoc projects. Departmental Advisers are not required to use this rubric, and you should default to any departmental norms where they exist. This rubric is here as a resource and a tool and does not need to be used in any formal capacity!

Click Here for Rubric
Application Question Strong Sufficient Insufficient
Provide a brief description of this course as well as an explanation of the required coursework. A brief description (3 sentence minimum) can be taken from the course catalog or syllabus, in addition to and details about assignments, projects and activities. Provides a comprehensive overview of all components of the course, including course description and goals

Gives context for how much time/emphasis is placed on assignments, projects, and activities

Provides a general overview of coursework and course goals/descriptions

Might lack in specificity but provides a good sense of how the course is structured, and the type of assignments

Unclear what the focus of the course is.

Provides a vague overview of coursework

Lacks in specificity to the point that course adviser cannot discern what type of work is done in class.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project, as well as details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.) Outlines a clear, specific topic or focus

Connects a specific goal of the project to topic and focus
Includes what additional work will be undertaken for the purpose of the project and how that will support the address of the main goal/focus/topic

Provides specific details about the deliverable
Is generally very specific, with clearly identifiable action items and deliverables

Outlines an identifiable topic and focus
Connects the goal of the project to topic and focus

Includes additional work that needs to be undertaken, but might lack in specificity

Outlines specific details about the deliverable

Gives a good, general picture of the project but might have some pieces still in development

Topic and focus are vague and nonspecific

Goal is general and unfocused

References to additional work are vague

Does not outline specifics of the deliverable (Ex: I will write a research paper)

Does not provide a general picture of the project due to lack of specificity

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project? Meaningfully explains motivation and connects it to personal values and interests or educational and professional goals

Explains how motivation connects to specific aspects of the project and/or the skills/ knowledge that will be gained

Connects motivation to the deliverable and goal of the project

Explains motivation and connects it to personal values or educational and professional goals

Explains how personal motivation connects to skills/ knowledge gained through the project

Does not link motivation to the outcomes of the project

Does not adequately explain how project serves these motivations

Is generally vague and unspecific about motivations for pursuing ad hoc

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise? Draws specific, relevant connections between the project outline and goals and the course content

Explains what gaps the project aims to fill/how it supports student’s further interest in the topic

Describes how course/instructor expertise contribute to foundation of the project

Draws relevant connections between project and course content

Describes how project builds off of course content

Describes how course/instructor expertise relate to the project

Makes underdeveloped, vague connections between project and course content

Does not make specific connections between course goals and project

Does not make relationship between the course/instructor and project clear.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps. Provides specific dates/weeks for benchmarks and goals for the project

Identifies multiple meeting times and plan of contact with the instructor

Outlines all relevant steps to the project

Provides general, week-based deadlines for benchmarks and goals

Identifies multiple meeting times and plan of contact with instructor

Outlines relevant steps to the project

May have more general/less specific schedule than a strong response, but still communicates when necessary components of the project will be finished

Provides a brief and vague timeline for goals

Does not identify a communication plan with the instructor

Does not outline major parts of the project process 

Is generally lacking in specificity and does not communicate a realistic or reasonable plan for completing the project

Contacting Honors

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Honors Program if you have any questions or concerns, and thank you again for your commitment to student success!

University of Washington Honors Program
211 Mary Gates Hall
Box 352800
Seattle, WA 98195-2800