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San Diego State University

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Honors Study Abroad Seminar Proposal


To: Faculty


From: Karey Sabol, Associate Director, International Engagement, Division of Undergraduate Studies;
Stacey Sinclair, Director, University Honors Program, Division of Undergraduate Studies


Subject: Request for Honors Study Abroad Seminar Proposals




The University Honors Program is requesting proposals from faculty for the development of new Honors Study Abroad Seminars. The University Honors Program requires a Study Abroad or equivalent international experience. Honors Study Abroad Seminars are credit-bearing, faculty-led Study Abroad programs that align with the goals of the University Honors Program. Honors Study Abroad Seminars are intended to be innovative, creative and challenging courses that push students to think beyond disciplinary and cultural boundaries. Five strategic locations have been selected for these Honors Study Abroad Seminars: Brazil, Morocco, Peru, Russia, and Turkey. These locations were chosen because they align with current global issues and the broader goals of the University Honors Program. For example, Honors Study Abroad Seminars could include courses such as Cultures and Ecosystems of Brazil; Sustainable Community Development in Morocco; The Natural History of South America in Peru; The History of Russian Art & Literature; and The Politics of Religion in Turkey. 


Honors Study Abroad Seminar proposals will be selected on a competitive basis and will be offered during the 2013-2014 academic year (preferably during Winter or Summer breaks). Proposals should identify one of the five particular strategic sites indicated above and articulate how the proposed seminar will both draw upon the unique character and resources of the host culture and fit within the vision and goals of the University Honors Program. Honors Study Abroad Seminars are designed to be distinctive, and proposals are encouraged to incorporate one or more of the following transformative pedagogical or thematic components:


  • Service-learning
  • Research
  • Reflection
  • Cultural immersion with host culture
  • Problem-based learning
  • Interdisciplinary topics
  • Social justice
  • Sustainability
  • Pre/post evaluation of learning outcomes


Proposals will be evaluated on the degree that they draw upon the unique character and resources of the host culture, fit within the vision and goals of the Honors Program, and incorporate transformative pedagogical or thematic components. Priority will be given to proposals submitted by faculty that have familiarity and contacts in the proposed country, and that do not duplicate existing SDSU study abroad courses. It is expected that all selected proposals will be run through the College of Extended Studies.


Each accepted proposal will receive a $2,500 honorarium to supplement the College of Extended Studies instructor salary, in addition to assistance with program design, student recruitment, on-site support and logistics, etc.


Click here for required cover sheet


Honors Study Abroad Seminar topics may be in any field, but should not require specialized skills or intensive prior course work in any one area. Quality rather than quantity separates Honors courses from non-Honors courses. Seminars should offer not merely more of the same material as their non-Honors counterparts, but instead should show greater breadth and integration. Experimentation with new teaching techniques is encouraged. We encourage faculty to take advantage of this opportunity by incorporating course enhancements that provide an enriched learning environment. Honors seminars are made available to all Honors Program students regardless of major and, therefore, should address topics of broad interest and should not have prerequisites.


More General Information on the Honors Curriculum:


The Honors Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies is the unique honors curriculum that students complete. It is made up of 19 units. All honors classes are seminar, interdisciplinary, discussion-based and capped at 20 students. The Honors curriculum is designed to give students a unique opportunity to integrate their general education knowledge and coursework in their major by way of these interdisciplinary seminars. Although the content of these seminars vary considerably, the courses will all feature intense study of unique, interdisciplinary topics that will require students to read, analyze, reflect, and integrate beyond disciplinary boundaries.


Seminars are cooperative ventures and their success depends upon the full and active participation of each member of the class whereby students and faculty investigate some particular aspect of a topic or field. Imagination and creativity in the design and organization of a class, such as the incorporation of selected themes or approaches to subject matter, will usually stimulate honors students to do their best work.


Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar Goal: An enriched learning experience that actively engages students in substantive discussion of course materials. Participatory learning is key.


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