First- and second-year students in ECU’s Honors Program take a series of four honors-only, seminar-style courses that fulfill the university’s general education requirements. The content of these courses is unified around significant “Enduring Questions” that are addressed from the perspective of the Western Humanities (EQ1), the Non-Western Humanities (EQ2), the Sciences (EQ3), and Rhetoric and Research (EQ4) (click on the preceding links to read the catalog descriptions for each of these).
Taught by many of the most dynamic instructors on campus, these multi-disciplinary Enduring Questions courses are only available to students who have been accepted into the Honors Program. These students study and evaluate primary source material; present original interpretations and analyses; develop their research skills; and deepen their understanding of the methodologies employed by a variety of disciplines.
In several significant ways, Enduring Questions courses are designed to give students a different kind of challenge from the kind they might get in a regular course. To that end:
- Enrollment is capped at a number that is significantly lower than the enrollment number in regular courses, facilitating a discussion-rich classroom atmosphere;
- A minimum of twenty-four pages of writing is required of each student in each course;
- At least one out-of-the-classroom/field trip–type experience is incorporated into the syllabus to sharpen student engagement with the course content.
Collectively the four-course Enduring Questions sequence helps Honors students develop the attitudes, behavior, and high-level cognitive skills they need to succeed when working on specialized honors projects in their chosen major during their third- and fourth-year in our program.