Event Type

AHA Regional Conference, Conference

AHA Topics

K–12 Education, Teaching & Learning, The History Major, Undergraduate Education


  • Dallas, TX

Event Description

The American Historical Association held the 2019 Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses on September 20-21 at the University of Texas at Dallas.

This two-day, statewide conference was for anyone who teaches college-level introductory history courses whether in high schools, community colleges, or four-year universities, and others with an interest in the courses. Conference participants explored disciplinary goals and approaches to teaching and learning history at the college introductory level; shared experiences in each of the course topics; discussed the state policy context that sustains them as a graduation requirement for every student at a public college or university in Texas; and considered the challenges and opportunities for high-quality student learning in the state’s expanding dual-enrollment programs. There were opportunities for participants to share and to receive feedback on their own classroom assignments in an assignment “charrette,” or to workshop their program assessment strategies.

The AHA extends its thanks to co-organizer Kimberly Hill, as well as the Historical Studies track, the School of Arts and Humanities, and the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas at Dallas for their work and support in making this event possible.


Featured Speakers

Rebecca Leslie is a Program Director in the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)’s Academic Quality and Workforce Division. Primary among her responsibilities is the coordination of the Lower-Division Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) Advisory Committee and the maintenance of the ACGM database of courses. She facilitates the annual Learning Outcomes Project with faculty workgroups to develop courses intended for transfer. Her twenty years of experience in higher education include being director of transfer admission at Texas A&M-Commerce and the coordinator of the Texas Common Course Numbering System during its statewide implementation. She holds a Master of Business Administration and BA in History. Rebecca is the mother of twin daughters; Hillary, a 2018 graduate from Texas A&M University with a PhD in history, holds a tenure track position at University of Central Arkansas. Jessica is a bi-lingual kindergarten teacher with three children, including a set of twins.

Trinidad Gonzales is a history and Mexican American Studies instructor at South Texas College. He is a co-founder of the award winning public history project Refusing to Forget that aims to bring wider awareness to state sanctioned violence against Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Texas during the 1920s. Gonzales is also a former American Historical Association Teaching Division Councilor.

Jeffrey A. Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University.  A Senior Fellow of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, he studied at Cornell University, Oxford University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, from which he received his PhD in American History in 2001.  Having previously taught at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Texas A&M University where he was the Kruse ’52 Professor, Engel is author or editor of twelve books on American foreign policy and the American presidency, including his latest, When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War and the co-authored Impeachment: An American History.  In 2019 SMU’s Resident Life Students named him their campus-wide Professor of the Year.

Drew Koch is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. Drew has been with the Gardner Institute since 2010. From 1998-2010, Dr. Koch held a variety of student persistence and completion-related roles at Purdue University including serving as the founding director of the nationally acclaimed Department of Student Access, Transition, and Success Programs. During his tenure at Purdue, the University increased first-to-second year retention rates by over 8 percentage points and six-year graduation rates by more than 6 percentage points. Before working at Purdue, Dr. Koch served as the Director of Freshman Advancement and Associate Dean at Hofstra University, and he also served as Assistant to the Dean of Summer College at the University of Richmond. Dr. Koch holds a BA in history and German and an MA in European history from the University of Richmond, an MA in higher education from the University of South Carolina, and a PhD in American Studies from Purdue University.

Resources from the 2019 Annual Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses

2019 Conference Program & Recommended Readings (PDF)

What Historians Talk About When We Talk About General Education (PowerPoint)
by Daniel McInerney, Utah State Univ.

The Contexts of our Introductory Courses: Questions to Consider (PDF)
by Norman Jones & Daniel McInerney, Department of History, Utah State Univ.

Overview of the Texas Academic Course Guide Manual (PowerPoint)
by Rebecca Leslie, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB)

The History for the 21st Century Project (PDF)
by Steve Harris, San Francisco State Univ.

The Gateway Course Completion Line: Unjust Outcomes in History and Historical Context (PowerPoint)
by Drew Koch, Gardner Institute

Many Thousands Failed: A Wakeup Call to History Educators
by Drew Koch, Gardner Institute

Big Inequity in Small Things: Towards an End to a Tyranny of Practice (PDF)
by Drew Koch, Gardner Institute

Digging Into the Disciplines II: Failure in Historical Context Report (PDF)
by Drew Koch, Gardner Institute and Brent M. Drake, University Nevada, Las Vegas

How do historians teach marketable skills? (PowerPoint)
by Jonathan Lee, Alamo College

Online Teaching and Opportunities for Professional Development (PDF)
by Scott Williams, Weatherford College

Creating and using podcasts and activities workbooks in intro courses (PDF)
by Susan Stanfield, UTEP

Teaching with Primary Sources
by Erik Anderson, San Antonio College and Gene Preuss, University of Houston Downtown

Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Rubric (PDF)
2016 Discipline Core

Measuring College Learning in History (PDF)
by Lendol Calder and Tracy Steffes