Published Date

January 1, 2015

Resource Type

For Departments, Program of Study

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, Teaching & Learning, Undergraduate Education

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

Institution: North Seattle Community College
Location: Seattle, WA
Year: 2015


Not just dates, facts, and stories. But training that allows you to:

  • Think critically
  • Investigate issues, ideas, and people
  • Do solid research in libraries, archives, and online
  • Evaluate and analyze sources
  • Understand and explain chronology, cause and effect, and what makes people different and what can bring them together
  • Organize ideas, break down problems, and come up with viable plans
  • Make effective oral presentations
  • Write clear and effective analytical papers, position papers, and case studies
  • Tailor your presentations and position papers to very specific and very general audiences
  • Oh yes, tell great stories that offend none and entertain many


Do history classes help you meet any graduation requirements at NSCC?

Yes! For the AA and AAS degrees, and for many of our Professional & Technical Certificate programs, as they meet requirements for: US Cultures, Individuals and Society, Global Studies, and in a few rare cases, Interdisciplinary Studies. They also meet HS graduation requirements, and WA State Teacher Credential requirements.


What can you do with a history degree?

You use it as a springboard to many careers, not just in teaching, or working in museums, libraries, archives, or other research facilities. Many history majors go on to practice law; join the US foreign service, intelligence communities, the military, and law enforcement. Some history majors, like Teddy Roosevelt and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, ended up as US President. Others have served and are serving in the US Congress, in state and local governments, running colleges and universities (like Harvard), and serving on boards of major corporations. Still others run non-profits, work as consultants, or move forward in marketing, finance, and other areas of business. You would be amazed at how many CEOs have undergraduate history degrees! Many think tanks welcome historians, because historians get the big picture while working on particular scenarios-they can figure out causes and effects, identify multiple audiences and engage them, and they can write!

The skills you develop as a historian-researching, writing, critical thinking, understanding cause and effect, understanding cultural, social and other differences, organizing materials and yourself, using the web and databases productively, and presenting your work in ways that make sense to general audiences, even storytelling-all those help you move forward in the work force. They also give you a life! And they make you more interesting than most other people.

Maureen Murphy Nutting
Maureen Murphy Nutting

North Seattle Community College