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Our Mission and Goals
The Department of History at UMD is devoted to understanding the past in global perspective. The aim of the department is to assist students in becoming:
- Better equipped to effectively do research on their own using various historical sources
- More effective citizens of the global community and more able to think critically and analytically by using the past as a model.
The department offers a major and minor by integrating categories of historical thought, diverse in both their geographic as well as chronological breadth.
The history major and minor provide a foundation for the liberal arts curriculum. They also contribute to a broad range of programs within education, business, social sciences, humanities and the fine arts. Our mission is to instruct students in the historical discipline in order to prepare them for citizenship in the future and to facilitate not only their university education but to make them life-long learners of the social and historical process and equip them with the tools they need to succeed after graduation. To this end, the History Department has identified eight Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) that map to the nine Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) identified as the core components of UMD's Assessment of Student Learning program. They are:
- Historical Significance (SLO 1)
- Evidence (SLO 3)
- Continuity and Change (SLO 1)
- Cause and Consequence (SLO 3, SLO 8)
- Methodologies (SLO 3)
- Arguments (SLO 2)
- Ethics (SLO 4)
- Prose (SLO 6)
Students awarded a Bachelor of Arts in the Department of History will have therefore attained competencies in the following areas as a result of successful completion of our program:
- A knowledge base in all five areas of specialization within the historical discipline which include Africa, E Asia, Europe and Russia, The Middle East and The U.S.
- A skill set to facilitate oral and written expression and independent research which includes the ability to: Utilize evidence and sources, construct a bibliography, develop a thesis, organize oral and written presentations and, employ correct grammar in all communications.
- Analytic skills of the historical discipline which include the ability to: Employ proper historical methodology, formulate a research question in the discipline, develop a narrative from oral and written primary and secondary sources, and to understand different historiographical perspectives and use them as a tool of analysis.
In order to maintain and further enhance the quality of our instruction, the Department will compile, discuss, and assess data each semester for the purposes of:
- Modifications to the program
- Position and funding requests
- Faculty and programmatic development by utilizing the following direct and indirect measures
Direct Measures of Assessment
- Course mapping to Department Learning Outcomes every other year
- Department discussion of Internship (Hist. 3097) evaluation forms
- Test, papers, and presentations in individual courses
Indirect Measures of Assessment
- Survey of Seniors (exit survey)
- Alumni surveys (frequency to be determined) with emphasis on how to make improvements to the major in the light of work place and professional experience of graduates within for example, the past five years.