Skip to Main Content

Honors College Experiential Learning Opportunities: Home

Honors College Experiential Learning Opportunities (HELO)

Honors Experiential Learning Opportunities (HELO) are pre-approved, non-credit engagements guided by either a faculty mentor, a director, or a coordinator. The engagement must come from one of the HELO categories approved by the Honors College. Each HELO must be bracketed by a HELO application, presentation, and a final reflection paper.

A fully-completed HELO may satisfy either the H4, the H5, or the H6 honors requirement. *Note if you waived H1 and H2, you CAN NOT use a HELO to cover an H. You must have 18 credits of honors coursework to graduate with Commonwealth Honors.

All Honors College Experiential Learning Opportunities must address one or more of the six Honors College Student Learning Outcomes. The outcomes are:

  1. Assess and refine their ability to read, write, speak, listen, and study.
  2. Research, interpret, and evaluate information through critical reading.
  3. Generate new knowledge, solve an applied problem, or create an artifact, then effectively contextualize and defend its meaning.
  4. Collaborate with peers and mentors from a variety of disciplines and communities, effectively contributing to group objectives.
  5. Communicate ideas to diverse audiences through multi-modal representations such as clearly written prose, verbal exposition, and audio/visual creations.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of skills and dispositions needed for life-long, self-directed learning: curiosity, initiative, independence, transfer, and reflection

Honors College Experiential Learning Contact:

Erin Maitland is the Assitant Director of Community Engagement in the Honors College and approves all HELO opportunities. Students interested in HELOs should contact Erin Maitland.


Office: Allen House 109


The Honors Experiential Learning Process

To complete an Honors Experiential Learning Opportunity (HELO), a student must:


***Note if you waived H1 and H2, you CAN NOT use a HELO to cover an H. You must have 18 credits of honors coursework to graduate with Commonwealth Honors.


Step 1: Meet with Erin Maitland before completing the HELO application.

Step 2: Fill out and submit the associated Honors Experiential Learning applicationDepending on the experience, a student must find a mentor or contact a HELO liaison connected to that experience and obtain their signature. Email a copy of the application to You will receive a confirmation email once the HELO has been approved.

Step 3: Complete 80-100 hours of the Honors Experiential Learning experience. This can be done in a semester or spread out over a year.

Step 4: Once hours have been completed, submit a final reflection paper and set up a presentation time with (more information below).

Step 5: Once a HELO has been approved, the student's transcript will be annotated with a zero-credit Honors Experiential Learning course in the semester the experience was completed. This will cover H4, H5, or H6. *Note: If you waived H1 and H2, you CAN NOT use a HEL to cover an honors requirement.  


Components of the Honors Experiential Learning Opportunities:

Speaking: All students must give a final presentation on their HELO. Presentations should only run 15 minutes in length. Students will speak about and reflect on their experience and/or research and how they connected with the Honors College Learning Outcomes.  What did you learn? What did you do? How has this experience impacted you both personally and professionally? 

Approved Categories of Honors Experiential Learning Opportunities