Supporting Department Chairs

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Annual Department Chairs' Workshop

Since 2018, the AHA has offered an in-person workshop for history department chairs each summer. This interactive two-day workshop provides a productive space for new and experienced chairs to hold thoughtful discussions and share insights about the issues and challenges facing historians and history departments. The workshop is an opportunity for chairs to share resources, learn from one another, and build a cohort The workshop is an opportunity for chairs to share resources, learn from one another, and build a cohort to support their professional development,

AHA 2020 Council Meeting
Online Programs for Department Chairs

Since 2020, AHA has hosted a regular series of online webinars to support the work of history department chairs. The webinars are small group discussions facilitated by experienced department chairs on topics related to the faculty-facing, student-facing, and administrative-facing work of chairs. Department chairs are encouraged to attend as many webinars as are of interest.

AHA 2015 Dessert Rec. #003
Department Advocacy Toolkit

What do students learn in history? What is the value of a degree in history? The AHA has assembled this toolkit to help departments, administrators, advisers, and students navigate the AHA's library of resources in order to better articulate the value of studying and majoring in history. If you're looking for data, personal narratives, or department strategies, this guide is for you.

AHA Conversation on Navigating teh Landscape of Teaching "Divisive Concepts" - Friday - January 6, 2023
AHA Advocacy

The AHA advocates for departments and programs that are threatened with elimination, supports tenure, and defends academic freedom and the teaching of history with integrity.

Institutional & Student Memberships

The AHA is committed to helping leaders navigate the challenges facing the discipline of history at colleges and universities, as well as in libraries, archives, and K-12 schools. Institutional membership provides critical support for these efforts. Institutional members can purchase discounted student memberships for only $30 each, a discount of nearly 30% off the regular rate. Help your students enjoy all the benefits of AHA membership in an easy, affordable way.

Undergraduate Education

Teaching and learning are at the foundation of the AHA’s mission to promote historical thinking in public life. What do students learn in undergraduate history courses? How and why are history majors so successful in a variety of careers? AHA initiatives substantiate the value of history, convene communities of practice, create resources for educators, and amplify creative and effective approaches. We invite you to join the conversation, whether in person, in print, or online.

Undergraduate Poster Session - Hilton
Core Learning Outcomes in History

What do students learn in history courses? The culmination of years of collaboration and research, this statement summarizes key skills, knowledge, and habits of mind at the core of our discipline.

Hallways and Registration - Hilton - Humbolt State Students
Reconsidering the Introductory History Course

The AHA’s History Gateways initiative explores strategies for improving introductory college-level history courses to better prepare students from all backgrounds for success in a complex society.

Committee on Minority Historians' Reception - Saturday, January 5, 2019
Community Colleges

The AHA supports two-year college history faculty and students through relevant online and in-person programming, publications, advocacy, and member benefits. Check out how our initiatives amplify the efforts of this vital constituency.

Graduate Education

Many historians will pursue graduate training at some stage in their career. To meet the needs of both students and graduate programs, the AHA creates resources, provides platforms, and convenes conversations about student success from application to completion. The AHA has played a leading role in graduate education reform, working to better prepare historians to excel in a wide range of careers, both within and beyond the education sector.

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Graduate Education Resources

This collection of resources is intended to help faculty and students integrate the ideas generated from the AHA’s Career Diversity for Historians initiative into graduate teaching and advising.

Career Fair - Saturday, January 5, 2019
Five Skills

The AHA worked with focus groups of historians with PhDs working in careers outside the academy to identify five skills that may not be honed in graduate school but that are necessary for success in a variety of career paths, including as professors. Click through to learn more about the five skills and how historians can develop them.

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Where Historians Work

Where Historians Work is an interactive, online database that catalogs the career outcomes of historians who earned PhDs at universities in the United States from 2004 to 2017.

Guidelines for Broadening the Definition of Historical Scholarship

Historical scholarship is a documented and disciplined conversation about matters of enduring consequence. Taking a cue from the sciences, history as a discipline has traditionally valued the creation of “new knowledge” as the primary (if not singular) aspect of that conversation worthy of consideration in personnel decisions. The AHA has concluded that it is time we also look to the Smithsonian Institution’s mission, articulated in 1846, which advances a broader aim: “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Publications & Resources

Undergraduate Orientation to the Meeting - Thursday, January 3, 2019
Careers for History Majors

Learning history lays the groundwork for future success. We’ve gathered data, advice, and personal stories to show what a degree in history can do for you.

Strategies for Redesigning Introductory Courses in History: Innovative Ideas from the History Gateways Project
Standards and Guidelines for the Discipline

As a leader for the historical discipline, the AHA supports the work of historians in all fields and professions by setting guidelines and standards for excellence in professional behavior, research, and teaching.

AHA 2015 Digital Pedagogy For History Lightning Round #012
Directory of History Departments and Organizations

Our Directory of History Departments and Organizations features comprehensive information about historians and programs. The AHA Directory Online provides for detailed searching of faculty/staff and their field specializations, as well as the ability to do benchmarking comparisons between departments.

Improving the Status of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: Recommendations for History Departments

These recommendations are designed for department chairs, many of whom can influence change in such important areas as the integration of NTTF into departmental life and cultures. A chair can often ensure that NTTF receive the resources and mentoring they need to develop and thrive as teachers and as professional historians.

Events & Programs

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Regional Conferences on Introductory History Courses

What do students learn in introductory history courses? How can historical thinking support student learning and success across the curriculum? Our regional conferences endeavor to strengthen the community of practice focused on introductory history courses, both in secondary and higher education.

AHA, 2020, New York, January 3, 2020, Plenary: The Anthropocene
Faculty-Student Group Rate at the AHA Annual Meeting

Faculty members: Help your own students attend the AHA annual meeting through the AHA’s deeply discounted faculty/student group rate. For an additional fee of only $15 for each K-12, undergraduate, and graduate student ($30 after December 15), AHA members can bring students to the annual meeting. The AHA’s faculty/student group rate is a great way to mentor students, nourish their interest in history, and encourage their professional growth.

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AHA Learn

Established in 2023, AHA Learn is a series of online programs that serves as a forum for compelling ideas in history education. Individual sessions showcase new resources, revisit enduring concerns, or highlight innovative strategies to ensure student success in today’s classrooms.

Resource Library

Check out the AHA’s Resource Library for teaching and learning resources, AHA Online recordings, professional development, and much more.

Further Reading in Perspectives on History

Dana Schaffer, "Supporting History Department Chairs," Perspectives on History (May 2024).

Shawna Williams, “Essential Networks: The Value of Professional and Personal Networks for Adjunct Faculty,” Perspectives on History (October 2021).

Lauren Araiza, “Remote Reflections: Chair of the Apocalypse,” Perspectives on History (July 2020).

Kathy Callahan, “Leadership during Crisis: Advice for the Department Chair,” Perspectives on History (March 2020).

Kevin Boyle, “Departmental Service with a Smile . . . Maybe! The First AHA Chairs’ Workshop,” Perspectives on History (September 2018).