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Honors College Interactive Experiences: Home

Honors College Interactive Experiences

An Honors Interactive Experience(HIE) is a pre-approved, non-credit, engagement that is guided by either a faculty mentor, a director or a coordinator. The engagement must come from one of the HIE categories which have been approved by the Honors College Faculty Council. Each interactive experience must be bracketed by an Interactive Experience Application, Presentation, and an Interactive Experience Final Reflection.

With the approval of the Honors Interactive Experience Coordinator, a fully-completed HIE may satisfy either the H4, the H5, or the H6 honors requirement.

All Honors College Interactive Experiences 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 Interactive Experience Coordinator

Erin Maitland is the Honors Interactive Experience Coordinator. Students interested in HIEs should contact Erin Maitland:


Office: O'Leary 300D


The Honors Interactive Experience Process

To initiate and complete an Honors Interactive Experience (HIE), a student must:

Step 1: Identify an Honors Interactive Experience from the list of approved categories below. Once you identify an HIE you would like to complete, you must first contact the HIE coordinator, Erin Maitland ( before completing the application.

Step 2: After meeting with the HIE coordinator, fill out and submit the associated Honors Interactive Experience ApplicationDepending on the experience, a student will need need to find a mentor or contact an HIE liaison connected to that experience and obtain their signature. Email a copy of the application to The HIE Coordinator will inform the student whether or not the Interactive Experience has been pre-approved.

Step 3: Work on and complete their Honors Interactive Experience.

Step 4: Obtain final approval by submitting the HIE final reflection to the HIE coordinator at The HIE coordinator will notify the student that it has been received and whether or not the completed HIE has been accepted. If accepted, the experience can be used to fulfill either an honors H4, H5, or H6 requirement. If it is not approved, the coordinator will explain why and what remedial steps must be taken. At most two HIEs may satisfy an H4, H5, or H6 honors requirement.

Step 5: Once an HIE final reflection has been approved, the student's transcript will be annotated with a zero-credit Honors Interactive Experience course in the semester the experience was completed.


Components of an Honors Interactive Experience

All HIEs must have a reading, writing, and speaking component. Students will review all of these requirements with the HIE Coordinator, Erin Maitland, when they first meet with her. 

Reading: All students must conduct some reading relative to their HIE category. Certain HIEs have a reading list associated with them, and students will either be assigned a particular book or be allowed to select from a book list. Students doing research-based experiences should be reading articles or other sources pertinent to their research topic. Students doing the Honors College Symposium, Author Based Reading, or Theme Based Reading will automatically have texts to read as part of the overall experience. 

Writing: All students will need to complete a 2-3 page written, final reflection as part of their HIE. In this document, students will write about and reflect on their experience and/or research, how their readings tied in with their experiences, and how they connected with the Honors College Learning Outcomes. 

Speaking: All students must give a final presentation on their HIE. Presentations should only run about 15 minutes in length, and students should plan to touch upon the same things they are expected to write about in their final reflection.

Approved Categories of Honors Interactive Experiences

The Honors College Faculty Council approves categories of Honors Interactive Experiences.

For more information about each of the ten approved categories contact the HIE Coordinator

  1. The Honors College Symposium
  2. Mentor Guided Research/Creativity
  3. UMass Lowell Study Abroad (non honors trip)
  4. UMass Lowell Professional Co-op w/ Honors Add-On
  5. The Haitian Development Studies Center Trip to Les Cayes
  6. Honors College Community Engagement
  7. The Washington Center Experience 
  8. Mentor-Guided Author Based Reading
  9. Mentor-Guided Theme Based Reading
  10. BEST Program