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History Department at Lehman College

Learning Goals & Objectives: B.A. in History

Upon completion of a B.A. in History, students will be able to achieve the following:

Goal 1: Critical Thinking

Measurable objectives for this goal:
  • Students will describe historical events from multiple perspectives.
  • Students will formulate, sustain, and justify a historical argument using original ideas.
  • Students will support arguments with historical evidence drawn from primary and secondary sources.
  • Students will place historical arguments into a larger scholarly narrative.
  • Students will analyze a primary source of medium difficulty. “Analyze” means to describe its biases and situate it in a historical context.

Goal 2: Cite Sources Correctly

Measurable objectives for this goal:
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate source materials.
  • Students will incorporate ideas from sources
  • Students will avoid plagiarism and state in their own words why it is wrong.
  • Students will cite sources as appropriate in the format indicated on the History Department style sheet (available on our website).

Goal 3: Information Literacy in Historical Research

Measurable objectives for this goal:
  • Students will frame research questions.
  • Students will access appropriate primary and secondary sources.
  • Students will assess the reliability of sources and evaluate their content.
    Students will use sources to contextualize historical events and describe change over time
    Students will produce written evidence of research competence.

Goal 4: Professional Competence

Measurable objectives for this goal:
  • Students will apply their skills to diverse areas and time periods of study. At minimum, their programs will include courses from three separate areas: (1) the Ancient World and Europe; (2) Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central and South America, or the Middle East; and (3) the United States.
  • Students will utilize the crucial vocabulary of political, social, intellectual, and economic history.
  • Students will be able to pursue graduate studies in history or social studies teaching should they so choose.

 

Learning Goals & Objectives: M.A. in History

Upon completion of an M.A. in History, students will be able to achieve the following:

Demonstrate Historical Knowledge

  • Write a bibiliographic essay reviewing the major debates surrounding a particular topic in history.
  • In discussion, distinguish political, cultural, economic, and social approaches to the study of history, valuate the different ways they might be applied to different contexts, and appraise the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Pose Historical Questions

  • In consultation with a faculty advisor, formulate in writing a proposal for a thesis or capstone project. The proposal will justify the question by explaining how it contributes to a debate in the field.
  • Modify the question as necessary to limit or expand its scope, relevance, and fit with the available primary sources.
  • Critique one's own work by explaining to one's advisor the implications of different ways of wording the question or of framing the problem.

Master Information Literacy in Historical Research

  • Demonstrate mastery of relevant databases to locate secondary literature on a given historical question and refer to this literature as appropriate in one's own research.
  • Locate primary sources relevant to a given research question, identify the time period a given source was produced, describe its author, genre, and likely biases, and use the source as evidence as appropriate to one's own research.
  • Cite sources according to History Department guidelines.
  • Write a thesis or complete a capstone project.
  • Defend one's choices in the research project by answering orally questions posed by two members of the faculty.