1.01 The Department Academic Distinction Program is an individualized learning experience available to outstanding students at Sam Houston State University.
1.02 An Academic Distinction Program project provides qualified students with a comprehensive introduction to meaningful research under the guidance of a designated faculty advisor.
2. QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE ACADEMIC DISTINCTION PROGRAM
2.01 To enroll for six (6) semester hours of credit in an Academic Distinction Program project a student must have:
2.02 At the beginning of each long semester, department chairs are responsible for sending a letter to all eligible students listed as majors for that department and meeting the criteria set forth in paragraph 2.01 a, b, and c above, informing them of their eligibility for the Academic Distinction Program project and explaining procedures for enrolling in a project. The department chair will also disseminate the list of eligible students (majors) to the faculty of that department.
3. ENROLLMENT IN A DEPARTMENT ACADEMIC DISTINCTION PROGRAM
3.01 A qualified student should first contact a professor who is participating in the department Academic Distinction Program and discuss the feasibility of accepting an Academic Distinction Program project.
3.02 If the professor agrees to direct the studentís project, the professor will provide the student and the department chair with a letter to that effect.
3.03 The student, under supervision of the professor, will then prepare an outline of the proposed project including: objectives, research methods, resource materials, and description of the proposed final paper or project. When the outline is approved by the supervising professor, he/she will forward it through the department chair to the respective college dean for approval.
3.03 Once approval is obtained from the chair and the dean, the student may register for two consecutive semesters (3 hours of credit each semester) in courses designated by the department chair. If, however, the student fails to attain a grade of B or higher in the designated Academic Distinction Program course for the first semester, permission to enroll in an additional Academic Distinction Program course may be denied by the department chair.
3.04 The six hours of Academic Distinction Program course work are, as a general rule, to be completed in the studentís major field. Interdisciplinary projects, however, may be undertaken with approval of the major department and the written agreement of any other department involved.
3.05 An Academic Distinction Program project shall consist of six semester credit hours of individual instruction under the course number or numbers designated by the department. The six semester credit hours of Academic Distinction Program course work cannot be taken concurrently or completed within two summer sessions. If approved by the supervising professor and the appropriate department chair, the course work need not be continuous.
3.06 The six semester credit hours of Academic Distinction Program course work must include (but are not limited to) the satisfactory completion of a paper or project acceptable to the supervising professor and the department chair. Any standard or presentation acceptable to and within a department and college may be deemed correct and proper.
3.07 Each department will maintain a permanent record of completed Academic Distinction Program papers and projects. Each student is responsible for furnishing completed papers or project material (tape, film, etc.) in an appropriate form to the department, as required.
4. GRADUATION WITH ACADEMIC DISTINCTION
4.01 In order to complete the 6-hour program and graduate with academic distinction in a specified academic discipline, the student must maintain not less than a 3.25 Sam Houston State University grade point average and not less than a 3.5 grade point average in the major field or in the discipline in which academic distinction is sought and must complete all other academic requirements which the individual department considers necessary. The 6 additional semester credit hours of department Academic Distinction Program course work will be completed in addition to the standard requirements within the major field and may not be taken in lieu of any requirements in the major field.
4.02 Students who have successfully completed an academic distinction project will be recognized as follows:
5. RELEASED TIME FOR FACULTY SUPERVISING DEPARTMENTAL HONORS COURSES
5.01 The professor supervising department Academic Distinction Program projects accumulates the same credit for completed projects as he/she does for completed graduate theses. After a total of six students have completed Academic Distinction Program projects under the supervision of a professor, that professor is entitled to (or will have earned) one unit of released time.
6. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES
6.01 Department chairs are responsible for providing the Registrarís Office with a written confirmation of the name of each student approved for an academic distinction project, together with the designated courses to be taken by that student for the project.