Dr. Jim Ford                                                                            Honors Seminar

jford@rsu.edu                                                                         HONS 4113H  

Office: Baird Hall 101A                                                         Spring 2012  

Office Phone: (918) 343-7749                                                M 12-1:15, F 1-2:15 p.m.

Office Hours: 9-11 M; 11-noon W;                                         Classroom: BH 103

1-2 TR; 9-noon F; and by appointment.                                   Prerequisite: HONS 3113, senior status.








Integration of senior honors and degree curriculum with independent reading and research. Inception and actualization of original, specialized project, designed to investigate, analyze, and synthesize information in field of study, using skills developed in the program(s). Written and oral presentation. Project may be combined with capstone experience in degree program. Prerequisite: HONS 3113.



Albert Camus, The Plague. Knopf, 1991.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment. Penguin, 2002.

Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls. Scribner, 1995.

Charles Kimball, When Religion Becomes Evil. HarperOne, 2008.

Jon Krakauer, Where Men Win Glory. Anchor, 2010.

Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father. Crown, 2004.

George Orwell, 1984. Penguin, 1950.

Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture. Hyperion, 2008.

Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Penguin, 2007.

Oliver Sacks, An Anthropologist on Mars. Vintage, 1996.

The books are available at the RSU Bookstore in Claremore. Please have them before the course begins.



The Rogers State University Honors Program supports the larger vision and mission of Rogers State University.  The Rogers State University Honors Program aspires to challenge talented students to develop intellectual curiosity, intellectual rigor, independent reasoning, creative thinking, superior communication skills, strong leadership abilities, a system for ethical decision-making, and a desire for life-long learning.  Students with strong academic records and motivation to excel personally and academically join with select faculty to form a university community that supports outstanding scholarship, personal growth, and service.

The specific mission of the Rogers State University Honors Program is to provide an education in a collaborative, experiential, learning-based environment of faculty and students and to produce graduates of the program who act as agents of change in their academic, professional, and personal lives, cultivate the community approach to life and learning, hold lasting commitments to academic and social responsibility, integrate creative and critical thinking in diverse approaches to problem-solving, embrace the principles and practices of the life-long learner, value pluralism and informed civic discourse, and explore technology and information literacy as critical resources for life in the 21st Century.



This course will emphasize discussion and writing. I will regularly suggest questions pertaining to the material we will be discussing in the following class. Students should come to class prepared to address these questions. Always bring to class the book we are discussing.

During this Capstone course, every student will compile and present a portfolio that includes the following:

Please note that elements from a student’s capstone experience in the degree program may also be utilized for this process. Further details will be discussed in class. I will make final decisions regarding the appropriateness of any shared assignments on a case-by-case basis.

Finally, students will present their capstone projects orally at a date and time to be determined.



As discussion is a major portion of your grade (30%) as well as the heart of this class, your attendance is required. One absence will adversely affect your grade; two or more absences are grounds for failure of the course as a whole.


STANDARDS OF ACHIEVEMENT                      

Every student’s final grade will be earned via the following:


All student work will be judged according to the following academic criteria:


GRADING SCALE                  90-100 A               80-89 B              70-79 C           60-69 D


Other Details




Students are expected to follow university policies as put forth in the institution’s Student Code of Responsibilities and Conduct. In accordance with Title 12 of The Student Code, instances of alleged academic misconduct will follow the policies and procedures as described in Title 12. As a general rule, Faculty at Rogers State University have the responsibility of enforcing the academic code. Therefore, if academic misconduct is suspected I will submit a letter of alleged academic misconduct to the Office of Student Affairs.

Note especially RSU’s official plagiarism statement:Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own, including: direct quotation without both attribution and indication that the material is being directly quoted, e.g. quotation marks; paraphrase without attribution; paraphrase with or without attribution where the wording of the original remains substantially intact and is represented as the author’s own; expression in one’s own words, but without attribution, of ideas, arguments, lines of reasoning, facts, processes, or other products of the intellect where such material is learned from the work of another and is not part of the general fund of common knowledge.” Deliberate plagiarism and/or other forms of cheating are grounds for failure in the course as a whole.



In order to maintain an effective learning environment, students are expected to fully comply with The Student Code. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of each student to read and become familiar with the policies of The Student Code.



            Rogers State University is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to educational programs and services.  Any student who has a disability that he or she believes will require some form of academic accommodation must inform the professor of such need during or immediately following the first class attended.  Before any educational accommodation can be provided, it is the responsibility of each student to prove eligibility for assistance by registering for services through Student Affairs.




Feb. 24th         Rough Draft of Reflective Paper Due

March 26th      Rough Draft of Original Work Due

April 20th         Portfolio Due

April 26th         Presentations (April 27th?)




Course Schedule


Jan 9    M         Introduction

Jan 13  F          Colleges that Change Lives: “It’s Personal!”


Jan 16  M         The Last Lecture

Jan 20  F          Project Proposal Due


Jan 23  M         Crime and Punishment, Part I

Jan 27  F          Crime and Punishment, Parts II-III


Jan 30  M         Crime and Punishment, Part IV

Feb 3   F          Crime and Punishment, Parts V-Epilogue


Feb 6   M         An Anthropologist on Mars, Preface-p. 152

Feb 10 F          An Anthropologist on Mars, p.153-End        


Feb 13 M         For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ch. 1-11

Feb 17 F          For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ch. 12-26


Feb 20 M         For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ch. 27-End

Feb 24 F          Rough Draft of Reflective Paper Due


Feb 27 M         Dreams From My Father

Mar 2  F          “ “


Mar 5  M         The Plague/1984

Mar 9  F          “ “


Mar 12 M         NO CLASS

Mar 16 F          Rough Draft of Original Work Due




Mar 26 M         Where Men Win Glory/When Religion Becomes Evil

Mar 30 F          “ “


Apr 2   M         The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Apr 6   F          “ “


Apr 9   M         Making Revisions

Apr 13 F          “ “


Apr 16 M         “ “

Apr 20 F          Portfolio Due


Apr 23 M         Final Considerations

Apr 27 F          Presentation Discussion


May 4 F           Final Meeting (note that this is during exam week)

This schedule is subject to change as necessary.