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History

For information, contact Professor James J. Ward, jjward@cedarcrest.edu, 610-606-4666, 3402.

Program Description

The history program at Cedar Crest emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge and skills applicable across a broad spectrum of careers and professions and an engagement with values, ethics, and choices that will prepare students for responsible democratic citizenship and fulfilling lives. Many of the skills acquired in history courses are shared with other disciplines, among them critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, and mastery of an ever-widening range of sources of information. Particular to history, however, are other skills essential for engaged citizenship and for participation in a global society. History teaches the importance of understanding change over time and of knowing how to place events, individuals, and experiences in the context of time and place. These objectives are highlighted in the 2008 report of the National History Center Working Group entitled “The History Major and Undergraduate Liberal Education.” To quote from the report, “History as a discipline contributes to civic engagement by focusing on citizenship and how shared civic ideals have developed over time. History provides important knowledge of the development of public policy, the institutions of civic society, and how individuals constitute societies and relate to one another.”

A student’s progress in studying history is measured by the grades she earns in individual history courses, her grade point average in the major, and her grade in the senior research seminar. As the final measure of how well a student has mastered advanced levels of knowledge and skill, the research seminar is designed to demonstrate the ability to conduct research, to interpret primary and secondary sources, to draw conclusions, and to produce an original, independent, and literate piece of scholarship.

Program Mission Statement

The history major provides excellent undergraduate preparation for students who will pursue careers in education, government, law, communications, business, and many culture-related fields. The major provides students essential experience in learning to express themselves effectively in speaking and writing. Students learn to employ new information technologies in effective and efficient ways. A major in history prepares students to participate as leaders and engaged citizens in the world around them in its multiple dimensions, local, national, and global.

The minor in history introduces students to the discipline, including its key components of research, scholarship, and the illumination of situations and problems in the contemporary world. As such it provides a valuable complement in both knowledge and skills to majors in other fields, from politics and business to the arts and the sciences.

Program Requirements

To count toward the history major or minor, all courses must be passed with a grade of “C” or higher. At the time of graduation, a student must have a history grade point average of 2.0 or higher. If the student is completing a concentration in history within the secondary education major, Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations stipulate that the student earn a 3.0 minimum grade-point average in her content area coursework for certification.

To apply transfer credits toward the completion of major requirements, students must have earned a grade of “C’ or better in each course to be transferred. Courses completed more than ten years ago will not be accepted for purposes of completing the requirements of the major. All history majors must complete successfully a minimum of 18 credits of Cedar Crest College history courses (i.e., not including courses offered by affiliated providers).

Total number of credits required by program: history major—36 credits; history minor—18 credits

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to deal intelligently and logically with facts and interpretations drawn from the historical record of human experience over time.
  2. Students will demonstrate the capacity for original thought and the ability to express their thought both orally and in writing.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to research topics and problems, to locate and evaluate relevant evidence, and to reach conclusions supported by reason and logic.
  4. Students will recognize the continued need to rethink the past, evidenced by their ability to identify ahistorical interpretations and judgments, and to think critically about the origins of the world they inhabit.
  5. Students will demonstrate their ability to apply the contributions of other disciplines—e.g., geography, economics, anthropology, archaeology—to comprehend history as a process of change over time.

History Major

Core Requirements for the History Major—All Majors (15 credits)

HIS 107 European Civilization I 3 credits
HIS 108 European Civilization II 3 credits
HIS 121 Survey of US History I 3 credits
HIS 122 Survey of US History II 3 credits
HIS 350 Research Seminar (Capstone) 3 credits

Requirements for the History Major— Concentration in American History (21 credits)

Required courses:
HIS 221 The Revolution and the Early Republic 3 credits
HIS 223 The Civil War and Reconstruction 3 credits
HIS 224 America as a World Power 3 credits
HIS 232 The African-American Freedom Struggle 3 credits
PSC 110 American Politics 3 credits

Plus choose two of the following:
HIS 214 Topics in Political History 3 credits
HIS 231 History of American Popular Culture 3 credits
HIS 207 History of American Women 3 credits
HIS 2XX Native American History 3 credits
HIS 2XX Topics in American History 3 credits
PSC 210 American Public Policy 3 credits
PSC 312 American Foreign Policy 3 credits

Requirements for the History Major—Concentration in European and World History (21 credits)

Required courses:
HIS 211 20th-Century Dictatorships 3 credits
HIS 218 The City as History 3 credits
HIS 250 Germany and the Path to European Union 3 credits
HIS 251 Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia 3 credits
PSC 120 Introduction to International Relations 3 credits

Plus choose two of the following:
HIS 224 America as a World Power 3 credits
HIS 270 The Pacific World: China, Japan, and the Pacific Islands 3 credits
HIS 278 Terror: The History of an Idea 3 credits
PSC 206 Topics in Comparative Politics 3 credits
PSC 250 Political –“isms” 3 credits

While it is anticipated that most majors will choose to concentrate in American or European and world history, it is possible for a student to design an individual concentration that combines elements of the two, based on her future academic or career aspirations. To do so, she must present a persuasive rationale together with a coherent sequence of courses to accomplish her educational purposes. In every case, she is expected to work closely with her faculty advisor and she must obtain approval by the department. The core requirements (100-level courses and 350) and the total number of credits required for the major (36) remain the same.
Students planning graduate study and/or a career in museum or archival work should take HIS 135: Introduction to Museum Studies.

Cognate Courses

All majors are encouraged to take one or more of the following cognate courses, which would complement her study in history. Taking any of these courses is optional on the student’s part and is not required to complete the major.

ECO 222 Economic Geography 3 credits
PSC 202 Law and Justice 3 credits
PSC 207 Law and Women’s Rights 3 credits
PSC 211 The New Global Economy 3 credits

History Major for Students Completing Secondary Education Social Sciences Concentration (36 credits)

Students will be able to complete a history major with a secondary education social studies concentration, with the addition of the 3-credit research capstone. Below are the requirements for the history major with the secondary education social sciences concentration:

Required Courses (24 credits):
HIS 107 Survey of European Civilization I 3 credits
HIS 108 Survey of European Civilization II 3 credits
HIS 121 Survey of U.S. History I 3 credits
HIS 122 Survey of U.S. History II 3 credits
PSC 110 American Politics 3 credits
PSC 122 Introduction to International Relations 3 credits
PSC 211 The New Global Economy 3 credits
HIS 350 Research Seminar (Capstone) 3 credits

Plus choose one:
HIS 221 The American Revolution 3 credits
HIS 223 Civil War and Reconstruction 3 credits

Plus choose one:
PSC 210 American Public Policy 3 credits
PSC 312 American Foreign Policy 3 credits
HIS 214 Topics in Political History 3 credits
HIS 224 America as a World Power 3 credits

Plus choose one:
HIS 250 Germany and the Path to the EU 3 credits
HIS 251 Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia 3 credits
HIS 270 The Pacific World: China, Japan, and the Pacific Islands 3 credits
PSC 206 Presidents and Parliaments: Topics in Comparative Politics 3 credits

Plus choose one:
HIS 207 History of American Women 3 credits
HIS 232 African-American Freedom Struggle 3 credits
HIS 2XX Native American History 3 credits
PSC 207 Law and Women’s Rights 3 credits

Notes:

  1. To apply transfer credits toward the completion of the concentration, students must have earned a grade of “C” or better in each course to be transferred.
  2. Ordinarily, courses completed more than ten years ago will not be accepted for purposes of completing the requirements for the Social Studies concentration.
  3. The GPA for the content area courses in the concentration must be 3.0 or higher.

Fulfillment of LAC Requirements

Students can fulfill the college’s technology and information literacy requirement by successfully completing the history major’s advanced required courses.
Students will satisfy the college's mathematics and logic requirement by taking two of the following courses: MAT 102 College Mathematics, MAT 110 Probability & Statistics, or PHI 131 Introduction to Logic.
Students will satisfy the College's oral presentation requirement by successfully completing the history major's advanced required courses.

History Minor

Requirements for the History Minor (18 credits)

Two history courses at the 100-level and at least four courses at the 200-level. In selecting the courses that will constitute her minor, the student should develop a well-thought-out combination that reflects her intellectual interest in the discipline of history, the skills she wants to master, and how the history minor will add strength to her overall undergraduate education.



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