Our Honors Faculty Committee appreciates your willingness to serve as adviser for the senior project of one of our Southern Scholars.
As you supervise this student, perhaps the following comments will make the process smoother:
- First, meet with your student and decide on a senior project. Then complete with your student the top half of the Southern Scholars senior project form, which asks for a detailed senior project proposal description, including purpose and proposed methodology. The template for the proposal can be found here. Additionally, here is a sample proposal.
- The senior project proposal is due in the Southern Scholars director's office two weeks after the beginning of the semester the project will be completed.
- Please stay in close contact with your student, making sure the project is progressing as you two planned. Supervise enough so you can give 100 percent approval of the project, the process, and the write-up. Most of the projects that the Honors Faculty Committee has returned for revisions were a result of the adviser assuming the student was doing everything correctly and completely. Insist on periodic progress updates.
- The most helpful part of the process would be for the adviser to review with the senior the specific standards for the discipline.
- The completed project is to be submitted electronically to the Southern Scholars director and turnitin.com four weeks prior to the last day of class of the semester the project is turned in.
- Once the Honors Faculty Committee receives the projects, each one is reviewed by selected committee members. The committee then discusses all the comments and votes to accept or reject the project. If the project is rejected, it is sent back to be revised. Thus far, all returned projects have been able to be revised in time, and most have needed some revision.
- An adviser's final project approval does not guarantee that the Honors Faculty Committee will automatically approve the project. The committee has the final vote.
What follows are some specific questions advisers need to discuss with students doing senior projects. After reviewing many projects through the years, the Honors Faculty Committee has had serious concerns at one time or another about the following:
- Is the sampling size sufficient?
- What methods of testing/selecting/researching might be particular to a discipline and need explanation?
- Does the related research relate specifically—and obviously—to the project?
- Are evaluation criteria all objective? If not, are they consistently subjective?
- If the research involves quantitative analysis, are the findings discussed not only statistically significant, but do they affect size (the question of meaningfulness)?
- How and why were the criteria selected?
- Is the project very well proofread?
- Are the conclusions all validated specifically from the research conducted?
- What is the significance of the research itself?
One final suggestion: Please ask another member of your discipline to read over the senior project. Second readings might save the committee from sending the project back for revision.
The Honors Faculty Committee puts considerable trust in the adviser. Do not approve a project that you feel is below "A" quality or that would be worth less than the stipulated two to three semester hours of credit. You know best what your discipline demands of its research. Be sure these standards are met. Once the project is done, complete the Southern Scholars senior project form by commenting "on the characteristics that make this 'A' quality work." Please include a paragraph explaining your specific academic credentials for advising this senior project.
Thank you so very much for helping the Southern Scholars Honors Program. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Mark Peach.