Published Date

January 1, 2014

Resource Type

For Departments, Program of Study

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, Teaching & Learning, The History Major, Undergraduate Education

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Tuning project.

Institution: North Seattle Community College
Degree Name: Associate of Arts and Associate of Science in History
Location: Seattle, WA
Year: 2014


Purpose of the Degree

The History courses we teach at North satisfy AA and AS degree requirements in Individuals and Society, U.S. Cultures, Global Studies, and depending on the term, Integrated Studies. Our courses with US cultures designations also meet certificate and credential requirements for many professional and technical degree and certificate programs.

Students taking some of our courses can earn 10 of the 45 credits they need for Washington’s four-year college 45 Credit Direct Transfer program. Other courses satisfying requirements for a history or interdisciplinary studies major or minor at transfer institutions. Or they serve as electives for student transfers majoring in other fields.

Many prospective teachers take our history courses to meet Washington state elementary and secondary teacher credential requirements. Local K-12 teachers also take them to keep up with their teaching fields while meeting school district continuing education requirements. Many local and international students take our US and Pacific Northwest History courses to earn college credit while meeting high school graduation requirements in Washington State and U.S. History. Others take courses just because they sound interesting.

North’s fulltime history faculty require that students doing serious research papers, to be prepared for the research and writing they will be doing in most field at transfer institutions. Our history graduates have a strong transfer track record, and those who report back say we have prepared them well, and that the grades they earn in our history courses are good predictors of grades elsewhere.
History courses transfer to state public and private universities under the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA), but our history students have also earned credit by challenging courses at other universities that do not honor that agreement.

Characteristics of the Program

We only teach 100 and 200 level history transfer courses, most Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) courses, and most are surveys. Our most heavily enrolled courses (all are DTA) are the US and World History surveys (taught in three segments) and Pacific Northwest History. We occasionally offer the Latin American and Asian surveys. American Women’s History (not DTA) is usually reserved for a women’s studies instructor.

For the last five years we have offered a Service Learning course that places six solid history students at the National Archives and Records Administration Seattle Branch for one term.

Career Pathways for the Graduate

Some recent alumni have reported back that they are small business owners, teachers, lawyers, programmers, military personnel, journalists, fishermen, and baristas. Others include a current Fulbright scholar; a newly-minted PhD in history, on tenure track; a border patrol officer; a medical doctor, and a horse veterinarian. Others are earning undergraduate degrees in geography, statistics, Japanese, French, art, international studies, economics, English, education, and even history.

Educational Style

On-campus classes are usually a combination of interactive lectures and small group discussions. Most hybrid courses use the same format for four of the five weekly class meetings, but reserve the fifth session for intensive student writing. We also offer fully online distance learning courses, which differ by instructor.

Program Competencies and Outcomes

Students who successfully complete history courses at North will be able to:

  • Identify and work with competing historical narratives.
  • Describe how events, issues and people cause transformations over time.
  • Locate, effectively use, cite, and interpret appropriate history resources.
  • Write clear, comprehensive, well-supported, and effective history papers, essays, and reviews.
  • Explain the connections between local, national and global issues.
  • Work and communicate effectively and productively with classmates from different populations, with different experiences and
  • perspectives.
Maureen Murphy Nutting
Maureen Murphy Nutting

North Seattle Community College