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.

By William Paquette

Institution: Tidewater Community College
Degree Name: Associate of Science in Social Sciences, History Specialization
Location: Norfolk, VA
Year: 2014


Purpose of the Degree

The aim of this grant, a three-year nationwide project, is to reorient post-secondary history teaching toward a more intentional and articulated focus on student skills and under-
Standing and to deepen faculty members’ professional engagement with communities beyond the campus. Participating faculty members are to propagate these core elements in two directions: inward, by aligning their own program requirements, courses, syllabi, and individual assignments; and outward, by promoting the value of our students’ education in terms of personal development, civic engagement, and career potential.

Characteristics of the Program

The proposed program requires the following curriculum changes to the AS degree in Social Sciences:

  • Specification of approved History electives in Semesters One and Two will no longer allow for His 101 and His 102
  • Replacement of Social Science Elective in Semester Three with a History elective (His 111,112, 121, 122)
  • Replacement of Approved Elective in Semester Four with a History Elective (His 111, 112, 121, 122)
  • Replacement of Approved Elective in Semester Four with option of His 141 or His 281
  • Footnote number four for the courses that can be used as Approve Electives to include the following statement: “History 290 (Coordinated Internship in History) is strongly recommended.”

Career Pathways for the Graduate

It is expected that graduates of this program will have greater civic engagement, thus increasing their career potential. Students will develop the ability to: investigate problems, analyze information, identify reliable sources, contextualize complex questions, and communicate conclusions in a clear and thoughtful manner. Students will be encouraged to consider careers in the following fields, in addition to teaching and law school: curators, archivists, research, setting up exhibitions, classifying and preservation of materials, work with historical societies, editors and researchers in publishing, film consultants, genealogists, and journalism.

Educational Style

See Section on Characteristics and separate file on the detailed program being submitted to Tidewater Community College’s Board for approval. Transfer programs will be established with Norfolk State University and Virginia Wesleyan College in Virginia and Elizabeth City State in North Carolina to facilitate TCC students with a history specialization directly into a History major program at these schools. Once established and running, TCC will consider opening a dialogue with Old Dominion University and Christopher Newport University to establish comparable programs.

Program Competencies and Outcomes

Tidewater Community College’s History Specialization with develop understanding and competency in:

  • Historical knowledge by developing the ability to express change over time over many geographic and political areas, to explain historical continuity and change, to describe the influence of political ideologies, economic structures, social organization, cultural perceptions, and natural environments on events. Discuss will center on how race, gender, class, ethnicity, region, and religion influence historical narratives.
  • Historical thinking recognizes how people have existed, acted, and thought in the past, the influence of the past on the present, and develop international perspectives. Students will recognize that a range of viewpoints can exist, be able to compare competing historical narratives, challenge arguments of historical inevitability, and analyze cause and effect relationships.
  • Historical skills: Critical thinking and reading, research skills, and to construct reasonable historical arguments.