Resources from the 2016 Texas Conference on Introductory Courses

On Friday and Saturday, August 5-6, 2016, the American Historical Association held a two-day conference for history educators from high schools, community colleges, and four-year universities across the state of Texas. The conference was hosted by San Antonio College, one of the Alamo Colleges. Featured guest speakers will include Raymund Paredes, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, Ricardo Romo, president of the University of Texas at San Antonio, and James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association.

Over 60 attendees and speakers gathered to discuss both disciplinary pedagogy and public-policy issues that inform the teaching of lower-division college history courses in a large and diverse state. Currently, all students who pursue a bachelor's degree at a public college or university in Texas are required to take six credit-hours of history. What kind of learning should that entail in the 21st century? How can it support student learning and success across the curriculum?

We have collected here a number of open resources from the conference, including audio of several plenary sessions and slides from presentations, as well as the detailed final conference program. We will continue adding to these over the coming days.

Conference Program (PDF)

Conference Reports

AHA Holds Second Conference on Introductory History Course in Texas

By Jonathan Lee (San Antonio College)

Conference Report 

By Nancy E. Baker (Sam Houston State University)

Presentation Slides

Academic Course Guide Manual (PDF)

By Rebecca Leslie (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board)

Learning outcomes for history courses and their role in core objectives for general education in Texas colleges and universities; data on dual enrollment programs in Texas

Resources and Programs of LEAP Texas (PDF)

By Jeffery Roberts (LEAP Texas, Sam Houston State Univ.)

The Work of Tuning and the Degree Qualifications Profile (PDF)

By Daniel McInerney (Utah State Univ.)

Approaches and resources from National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)

What Makes a Good Assignment? (PDF)

By Daniel McInerney (Utah State Univ.)

Lessons from NILOA's nationwide, faculty-driven work on undergraduate student assignments as tools to advance, as well as assess, learning

Collaborating to Assess Texas Core Outcomes (PDF)

By Randi Cox (Stephen F. Austin State Univ.)


Panel discussion: What are the purposes of introductory history courses in college?

Chair: Julia Brookins, AHA. Panelists: Jonathan Lee (San Antonio College), Linda Salvucci (Trinity Univ.), Penne Restad (UT Austin).

How have faculty members rethought the survey course over time? What can students get from it? How do we know if they have? How can history instructors better collaborate to support students in these courses?

AHAHistorians · Panel discussion: What are the purposes of introductory history courses in college?

Remarks by Ricardo Romo, historian, President, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (Introduced by James Grossman)

Why should today's college students study history? What are the benefits in terms of marketable skills and democratic citizenship?

AHAHistorians · Remarks by Ricardo Romo, historian, President, Univ. of Texas at San Antonio

History in Higher Education Policy

Featuring Raymund Paredes, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education, introduced and facilitated by Trinidad Gonzales

What are the policy issues for college history in the state?

AHAHistorians · Raymund Paredes on College History and Public Policy

Reflections on Dual Enrollment, and on Introductory Courses vs. 'The Survey.'

James Grossman, AHA Executive Director

AHAHistorians · Reflections from James Grossman on Intro Courses, Marketable Skills, and Dual Enrollment

Questions or comments about this event? Email Julia Brookins, AHA Special Projects Coordinator, at