Resources for Tuning the History Discipline

Since the first phase of the AHA's Tuning project began in 2012, faculty participants from history departments around the country have reviewed many aspects of their home-department curricula. As a result of their efforts, the AHA is now able to offer examples of revised curricular materials from a broad range of institutions.

Here you will find different sorts of documents produced by faculty for their local needs. Resources include rubrics, assignments, statements of course outcomes and degree requirements, survey questions for history majors or alumni, and other types of materials. The most common format for these resources is the degree specification, a detailed statement about the history degree program at a particular institution.

For questions and feedback, please contact AHA Special Projects Coordinator Julia Brookins by email at jbrookins@historians.org. For a broader discussion of these and other teaching and learning issues in history, please join the Teaching and Learning community on communities.historians.org.

Finding What You Need

We have sorted this wealth of documents by the type of institution where they were developed. You can also navigate to each resource by individual faculty participant (alphabetically by institution name). We expect that these will serve as models and catalysts for conversation and curricular reform. We hope to add resources to these pages as faculty either complete new materials or revise preliminary efforts as a result of ongoing consultation with their colleagues.

What is a Degree Specification?

The degree specification communicates the purpose, characteristics, career pathways, and educational style of each program, as well as delineating core learning proficiencies for students who successfully complete the degree at that institution. The process of creating these statements differed from place to place, but in general faculty collaborated on identifying goals for their degree programs. Each degree specification, therefore, is the result of cooperation and discussion among disciplinary faculty about what their students understand, know, and are able to do at the end of that institution's history program. The language is intended for a general, non-specialist, non-academic audience, including beginning college students who may consider majoring in history. Many of the Tuners have contributed degree specification profiles to these resources, so check them out for ideas when crafting your own!

View contributed degree specifications

Texas Conferences on Introductory History Courses

What kind of learning should an introductory history course entail in the 21st century? How can introductory history courses support student learning and success across the curriculum?  Two years in a row starting in 2015, AHA and local partners have held a two-day conference on college-level introductory history courses to address these and other questions. Resources from the conference, including recordings of presentations and discussions, are now available online. 

2015 Conference

2016 Conference

Further Reading

Over the course of the AHA's project, it has built on a wealth of articles, guides, and reports from other efforts to clarify the disciplinary goals for higher education curricula. We've compiled lists of tuning-related readings, and put together video and audio from project meetings and sessions.

Tuning: Further Reading