Honors and Regulations
Students who have achieved a score
of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam in high school in French, Italian,
or Spanish language or literature may receive one Wesleyan credit for either or
for each once they have completed the appropriate course at Wesleyan in the
corresponding language with a grade of B- or better.
Students who have received a 4 or 5 on any AP French exam may request credit for the AP course once they have completed any course given in French numbered 220-399 with a grade of B- or better.
Students who have received a 4 or 5 on the AP Italian Language and Italian Literature exam may request credit for the AP course once they have completed any course given in Italian numbered 221 or higher with a grade of B- or better.
Students who have received a 4 or 5
on the AP Spanish Language exam may
request credit for the AP course once they have completed any course given in
Spanish numbered 221 or higher with a grade of B- or better.
Students who have received a 4 or 5 on the AP Spanish Literature exam may request credit for the AP course once they have completed any course given in Spanish numbered 223 or higher with a grade of B- or better.
A single Wesleyan course may NOT be
used to validate two AP credits.
Students receiving a score of 3 or lower for their AP course(s) are not eligible for a credit toward their Wesleyan graduation.
Courses taken at other institutions and courses taught in English will not serve to validate AP credits.
It is the firm policy of the department to award credit for the first semester of an ampersand course only if the student completes the second semester of the course or the equivalent or is moved to a higher-level course. Students who are given permission to enter the second semester of an ampersand course without having taken the first semester of the sequence will receive credit for that semester only.
Credit for courses taken in French, Italian, or Spanish language or literature may be transferred only if permission has been requested IN ANTICIPATION OF THE COURSE, not after the course has been taken.
To apply for permission to transfer credit, students must fill out and submit two applications. One is available in the Dean's office. The other may be downloaded by clicking here. (This form is also available in the RLL office). On the RLL form, student will provide the following information:
1. Exact title of the course, the location/sponsoring institution, and, if possible, instructor's name.
2. Number of weeks the class meets.
3. Number of meetings per week.
5. Number of hours of lab attendance or conversation sections required (language classes).
6. For language classes, the title of the language text and the amount of the text that will be covered, plus any supplementary teaching materials (workbooks, videos, etc.)
7. For literature courses, list of authors and works to be studied.
8. Basis for evaluation in the course: e.g., amount and type of written work; number of quizzes and exams.
Students applying for permission to transfer credit should know that, upon returning to Wesleyan, they will be required to submit to the Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures copies of all written work and exams, and a final copy of the syllabus used in the course. For language courses, they will also be required to take the Wesleyan language placement exam as proof of their having advanced to the next level. For courses equivalent to the first semester of an ampersand sequence --FREN 105 or 115; ITAL 101 or 111; SPAN 101 or 111-- credit will be awarded only after the student has completed the second part of the sequence: FREN 106 or 116; ITAL 102 or 112; SPAN 102 or 112.
Once the student has gathered all information listed above, he/she may submit it to Kristine Schiavi, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, 300 High Street, Middletown, CT 06459.
I. The Awarding of Honors
After hearing the recommendations of the departmental Honors Committee, the regular members of the department may award Honors or High Honors in Romance Languages & Literatures to majors who have a grade point average of at least 92 in courses taken for the major through the fall semester of their senior year, and who have completed one of the following projects:
1. a thesis with a grade of Honors or High Honors. A thesis is a two-semester project, normally 70-100 pages in length, involving substantial research and writing. Students writing a thesis will enroll in FRST, ITAL, or SPAN 409 in the fall and 410 in the spring.
2. an essay with a grade of Honors. An essay is a one-semester project of research and writing, normally 35-50 pages in length. Students wishing to present an essay for honors must enroll in FRST, ITAL, or SPAN 409 in the fall and complete the essay before the beginning of the second semester. Students who write an essay in the spring semester may not submit that essay for honors.
3. a two-semester project with a grade of Honors or High Honors. The departmental Honors Committee must judge this project to require initiative, sustained intellectual efforts, rigor, and creativity equivalent to that required by a thesis. Students wishing to present a two-semester project for honors will enroll in FRST, ITAL, or SPAN 409 in the fall and 410 in the spring.
4. a one-semester project with a grade of Honors. The departmental Honors Committee must judge this project to require initiative, sustained intellectual efforts, rigor, and creativity equivalent to that required by an essay. Students wishing to present a one-semester project for honors must enroll in FRST, ITAL, or SPAN 409 in the fall and complete the project before the beginning of the second semester.
Students presenting an essay or one-semester project will not be eligible for High Honors.
II. Application for Admission into the Departmental Honors Program:
Students wishing to be considered for departmental honors should submit:
1) a statement of intent for an honors project (a senior essay, senior thesis, or equivalent project) to the chair of the departmental Honors Committee before the end of the spring semester of their junior year.
2) the complete application materials (see list below) before the first day of classes of the fall semester of their senior year.
A faculty member must agree to serve as the tutor for the project before the student submits a statement of intent, and the tutor must approve the proposal before it is submitted to the chair of the departmental Honors Committee. Whenever possible, projects will be supervised by a regular member of the department. When this is not possible or desirable, major advisors may give students permission to work under the supervision of faculty members from other departments and should notify the chair of the departmental Honors Committee that they have done so. The chair of the departmental Honors Committee should act as a liaison with such students during the year.
Proposals should include:
1. a concise description of the main topic;
2. a schematic outline of the finished work;
3. a preliminary bibliography;
4. a time-frame for the completion of the various stages of the project;
5. a copy of the student’s academic transcript;
and should address the following points:
1. the merit of the proposed work;
2. the likelihood that the student will be able to complete it on time;
3. the frequency and number of meetings between the tutor and the student;
4. the student’s preparation for the project (previous or anticipated coursework, research, experience).
III. Admission and Progress
Applicants will be admitted to the honors program by the departmental Honors Committee on the basis of all of the following:
1. a minimum grade point average of 92 in courses taken for the major both on campus and abroad, through the end of the spring semester of the student’s junior year (when the Honors Committee is in doubt as to which courses taken abroad count towards the major, it will consult the student’s advisor);
2. the recommendation of a faculty member in the department (usually the tutor);
3. determination by the departmental honors committee of the merit and feasibility of the applicant's project.
Insofar as possible, students admitted to the honors program should begin work on their projects during the summer.
Tutors should submit a progress report to the chair of the departmental honors committee by the end of the first week after the Thanksgiving recess. If, in the opinion of the tutor or the departmental honors committee, the proposed work is unlikely to be completed, or if the expectations of quality and scope are unlikely to be fulfilled, the student shall be given the option of transforming the project into a one-semester honors project or of withdrawing from the honors program.
Students who begin one-semester projects and decide in the course of their work that they would like to transform them into two-semester projects may do so if their tutor and the departmental Honors Committee concur. Requests to transform a one-semester project into a two-semester project should be submitted to the chair of the departmental Honors Committee no later than the end of the first week after the Thanksgiving recess.
Students presenting two-semester projects must submit a fifteen-page sample of their work to the Honors Committee by the end of the first semester and must complete the Work in Progress form for Honors sent out in January by Honors Coordinator.
IV. The Evaluation of the Project
The completed project will be evaluated initially by two faculty members chosen by the tutor in consultation with the student. One will normally be a faculty member other than the tutor from the section in which the student is majoring. The other will normally be from another section or from another department. The task of evaluating projects should be distributed equitably among the members of the department. Potential evaluators should be contacted well ahead of the deadline for the submission of projects.
When faculty agree to evaluate projects, the chair of the departmental Honors Committee should inform them that they will need to submit a recommendation for No Honors, Honors, or High Honors within a week after the project is submitted in order to allow time for resolving discrepant recommendations. The chair should also explain the No Bar option.
Every project will be evaluated by two evaluators in the first instance, who will award the project one of the following grades:
No Honors/No Bar Honors
Honors/No Bar High Honors
The No Bar option indicates that the evaluator has no objection to the project being awarded the next higher grade if the other evaluator has given it that grade. Two grades of No Bar do not activate each other. That is, two grades of No Honors/No Bar Honors would not be sufficient to validate a recommendation for Honors.
When the two evaluators are in disagreement about the grade (e.g. one gives a grade of Honors while the other gives a grade of No Honors or High Honors) and the disagreement cannot be resolved through recourse to the No Bar option, the chair of the departmental Honors Committee will select a third evaluator, normally a member of the department, in consultation with the tutor, whose evaluation of the project will decide the final grade. The various combinations are illustrated below:
Cases of the extreme disagreement (where one of the three evaluators gives HH and another NH) will be resolved by the departmental Honors Committee.
V. The departmental Honors Committee
The chair of the department will appoint the chair and members of the departmental Honors Committee in the fall. The committee will normally include one representative from each of the three sections.
The Committee is responsible for the oversight of the honors procedures, including the correct implementation of department policies and procedures, recommendations for modifying those policies and procedures, the evaluation of honors projects, and the recommendation of students for Honors and High Honors.
In the spring each year, the chair of the departmental Honors Committee will inform junior majors of the procedures and policies governing the department’s honors program.
Majors in Romance Languages & Literatures are not required to participate in a senior capstone experience. Nevertheless, the department encourages all seniors to reflect on, and take stock of their development in, their respective majors.
Recognizing that some students may wish to engage in a project that would prompt such self-evaluation, the department makes the following recommendations.
Any of the projects in the following list, which is not exhaustive, could serve as senior capstone experiences:
- A senior thesis or essay or another senior honors project.
- A senior (group) tutorial.
- Organizing and participating in a student forum devoted to an aspect of Romance cultures.
- Organizing and participating in a play in a Romance language.
- Serving as a TA or CA in a language course.
- Creating an orientation program or information and support network for study abroad in Romance language settings.
- Teaching a Romance language in a school.
- Teaching English to Romance-language speaking immigrants.
- Serving as an interpreter in a legal setting.
- A community service initiative where a Romance language is used. Volunteering, for example, at a soup kitchen or food pantry where there is an opportunity to interact with native speakers of a Romance language.
- Organizing a Romance-language film or speakers’ series or other event(s) to promote an awareness of Romance cultures across the university.
- Creating and maintaining a Romance Languages & Literatures majors web page.
Projects need not be undertaken for credit and group projects are strongly encouraged.
There is no deadline for the sort of reflection and self-evaluation that the department hopes all majors will engage in. However, those majors involved in senior capstone experiences are invited to give a presentation to faculty and other majors before March 30 of their senior year.