Facebook Pixel Faculty Opportunities | Western Kentucky University Skip to main content

Faculty Opportunities

 If you are interested in this opportunity, please follow this link: http://www.wku.edu/studyabroad/harlaxton-teach.php

WKU in England at Harlaxton College

WKU faculty, alumni, staff, and friends may rent the renovated and fully furnished “WKU in England” Gatehouse at Harlaxton Manor. Built in 1835, this historic and comfortable flat may be rented on a short or long-term basis for sabbaticals, research trips, or personal travel. You will find the Gatehouse both a beautiful place for relaxation and contemplation, as well an exciting base for adventures throughout the United Kingdom.

For more information please follow this link: Rent "WKU in England" Gatehouse at Harlaxton Manor


What is the Honors Faculty Engagement Grant for?

The Honors Faculty Engagement Grant (HFEG) is designed to financially support faculty in developing innovative, creative, and unique academic experiences for Mahurin Honors College students in Honors courses and sections.

Who is eligible to apply for an HFEG?

Instructors of a WKU Honors section (including an Honors Enriched Embedded Course) may apply for an HFEG for the semester they are teaching this section. Instructors may apply for an HFEG each semester they are teaching an Honors section regardless of past awards.

HFEG funds cannot be used to support Faculty Led Study Abroad and Study Away courses. HFEGs are designed to enrich courses offered on WKU’s campus by making brief travel, equipment, speakers, etc. available that would not be otherwise, thus helping create an Honors experience for students.

What can HFEG funds be used for?

There are a wide variety of acceptable uses for HFEG funds, as long as the funds are devoted to providing an “Honors experience” for Mahurin Honors College students. Common examples of HFEG-supported uses are: inviting guest speakers to a class, taking a field trip, and purchasing select materials.

Please note that HFEG funds are primarily intended to support Mahurin Honors College students. When there is no added expense for non-Honors student participation, then HFEG funds may be used; for example, renting a van or paying a guest speaker is no less expensive regardless of how many Honors and non-Honors students participate. Purchasing tickets for a performance, however, would become more expensive with the participation of non-Honors students, and thus would not be an appropriate use of HFEG funds.

How much can I ask for?

The maximum HFEG award is $1,500; however, the Honors Development Board will determine the award amount. When participating in an out-of-class experience, instructors are strongly encouraged to require participating students to share in the cost. Sharing in the cost of a trip, and paying in advance, improves student participation in the event and encourages an appreciation for the cost and effort associated with the trip. For example, students could pay $5 each for a theatre ticket that actually costs $25, with the HFEG and other sources (such as department and college) subsidizing the rest.

When are HFEG applications due?

All HFEG applications, regardless of monetary value, are due at the start of the term in which they will be used. Please see the Mahurin Honors College webpage for specific deadline dates. Late HFEGs are not accepted.

If you feel an important academic opportunity has arisen that does not fit easily within the HFEG deadlines, please feel free to contact the Associate Director for Academics in Mahurin Honors College to discuss the matter.

If you feel an important academic opportunity has arisen that does not fit easily within the HFEG deadlines, please feel free to contact Assistant Director for Academics in Mahurin Honors College to discuss the matter.

When will the decision on my HFEG be made?

HFEGs are evaluated by the Honors Development Board (HDB). It takes the HDB two to three weeks after the deadline to evaluate the HFEG applications and make funding recommendations. Faculty will receive an awards letter via their WKU campus mail directly after the HDB’s decision.

How are HFEGs chosen for funding?

The Honors Development Board is composed of faculty representatives from each of the University’s colleges, as well as faculty and students from the Mahurin Honors College. Budgetary restrictions are the prime factor in determining awards, followed by the committee’s decision regarding the ability of the project to provide a valuable “Honors experience” for the students.

If selected, how will I receive my funding?

The Mahurin Honors College can only pay for expenses itemized and approved on the HFEG Application in an amount equal or less than the total requested funds. Due to the large number of HFEGs we process each semester, we ask that your department pay the expenses up front and forward an Inter-Account bill to the Mahurin Honors College for processing. It is important that you receive funding approval before making purchases.


To apply for an Faculty Engagement Grant, please click here!

The Honors Development Board helps create and oversee Mahurin Honors College policies and curricula and review Honors grants for students and faculty. Faculty serving on the HDB review Honors Augmentation Contracts and serve on students' Capstone Experience/Thesis committees. HDB faculty representatives also are the primary liaison between the Mahurin Honors College and their home college. The HDB is composed of two faculty representatives from each WKU college, a student representative from each academic class, a Gatton Academy student representative, a Gatton Academy staff representative, select Mahurin Honors College faculty, and the Mahurin Honors College's Executive Director and Assistant Director for Academics. Faculty representatives are appointed to the HDB by their college's dean for a three-year term. To learn more about the Honors Development Board, contact Mahurin Honors College's Academics Director.


Honors Colloquia bring the form and style of a small, collaborative academic seminar to Mahurin Honors College students for a challenging and distinctive academic experience. There are four key ingredients that make Honors Colloquia different from many other courses offered in the Mahurin Honors College and at WKU: an emphasis on active discussion rather than lecture; critical-thinking-based writing assignments rather than exams and quizzes; the use of primary documents instead of textbooks; and an innovative, interdisciplinary subject matter. With these distinct features, an Honors Colloquium will challenge and engage students with the course material, with the professor, and with one another, for a unique academic experience that is at the heart of an Honors College education.

Innovative, interdisciplinary subject matter:

  • Colloquium courses should be themed on creative interdisciplinary topics. The overall theme/topic of a colloquium course should be accessible to all majors, regardless of the college from which the colloquium course originates.
  • We encourage 1.5 to 3.0 hour colloquia; thus we encourage faculty to co-facilitate a three-hour colloquium, with both faculty receiving 1.5 hours of credit. This is particularly encouraged for professors teaming from different disciplines to develop an interdisciplinary colloquium.
  • The theme/topic of the colloquium course should not be found anywhere else in the WKU curriculum. Equally, colloquia topics should be distinctive from one another and avoid repetitious offerings.
  • Readings should be interdisciplinary and from a variety of perspectives.

Active discussion instead of lectures:

  • Discussion is used as the primary method of instruction, rather than lectures, in order to promote active learning and meaningful dialogue between fellow students and between the students and professor.
  • Colloquia have an adventurous air of joint discovery where a professor takes the lead in shaping the discussion, but students actively participate in discussing and debating the material. Strategies for promoting active learning include class discussions, debates, simulations, group work, experiments, case studies, field work, etc. For example, a strong colloquium can include a set of readings on both sides of a contentious issue that engenders debate and discussion across a wide spectrum of positions. Lectures should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Critical thinking-based writing assignments rather than exams:

  • Assignments should encourage analysis, application, inquiry, and synthesis rather than rote memorization. When possible, writing assignments should be employed as the method for students to express their understanding of the course material.
  • The key is to encourage a sophisticated engagement with the material that is unlikely through memorization and exams but is fostered by written assignments. Colloquia do not include exams or quizzes as part of the course grade. With regard to assessment, the focus of a colloquium should be on quality of writing assignments, written or oral debates, presentations, group work, participation in discussion, etc.
  • For a 1.5 hr colloquium, it is suggested that each student write approximately 10-12 pages of original content, with 20-24 pages being appropriate for a 3 hr colloquium. This page total may be reached through frequent short assignments or longer assignments. These are, of course, just guidelines, so there is a fair amount of latitude on the types and length of assignments based on discipline.

Primary sources instead of textbooks:

  • Readings should come from primary sources, rather than textbooks, whenever possible. Reading primary sources stresses “close reading” skills and encourages sophisticated critical thinking far more than pre-packaged, second-hand information explained in textbooks. Journal articles or are acceptable as well.
  • Just as colloquia encourage students and professors to engage in dialogue with one another, by reading primary sources, students connect with the key ideas of the course on their own terms, are more likely to think critically about them, and can better understand them in all their complexities and nuances.

Further Consideration:

  • Many students develop their Honors Capstone Experience/Thesis from their colloquia. Ideally, the interdisciplinary subject matter, stimulating activities, and rigorous writing assignments will serve as a catalyst for CE/T projects.
  • The professor typically serves as a facilitator, rather than the sole expert. The professor should share in the learning process with the students. Rather than relaying information to students as in a typical lecture course, the professor and students can work together to set the pace and direction of the course.
  • The professor should model methods of learning, thinking, and discovery. The professor can help students to become lifelong learners by revealing that he or she is continually learning and staying actively engaged within his or her discipline and the broader culture of academia. By modeling methods of learning, thinking, and discovery, the professor is not only teaching the students more about his or her discipline, but is also teaching the students about he process of scholarship.
  • Colloquium courses should have no prerequisites. The only prerequisites for colloquium are good standing in the Mahurin Honors College, sophomore standing and/or permission of the instructor.

Resources Available:

Faculty teaching an Honors Colloquium may apply for an Honors Faculty Engagement Grant of up to $1500 for field trips, guest speakers, or materials that will have provide an “Honors experience”.

Recent Colloquia Topics:• “Human Rights” • “The World in 2030” • “Ethics and Genetics” • “Doing Death: Capital Punishment” • “Bollywood and Beyond” • “Challenges to Capitalism” • “Fuels of the Future” • “Service Learning” • “Selfhood and Identity” • “Controversial Issues in Human Behavior” • “Climate Change”.

To apply to teach an Honors Colloquium Course, click here!

This form is filled out in the event that an Mahurin Honors College student asks you for a letter of recommendation in support of the student’s Honors Travel Abroad Grant application. Honors Travel Abroad Grants (TAGs) support Honors students’ intellectual development by encouraging and financially supporting their participation in Study Abroad programs.

TAG awards are very competitive; therefore, the Honors Development Board relies heavily on your recommendation as it evaluates the student’s ability and maturity to excel in the unique educational environment of a study abroad program.

Click Here to fill out the Honors Travel Abroad Grant Faculty Recommendation Form

These letters are written in the event that an Mahurin Honors College student lists you as the Project Advisor for their Honors Development Grant application. Honors Development Grants (HDGs) are designed to support Honors students’ intellectual development by providing funding for: traveling to professional conferences to present academic papers, conducting academic research, or purchasing tangible items (such as laboratory material) to support academic endeavors.

HDG awards are very competitive; therefore, the Honors Development Board relies heavily on your recommendation as it evaluates the project’s ability to positively impact the student’s academic development.

Click here to download the Honors Development Grant letter of support


Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 11/8/19