Mission and Goals

Highlights

  • A curriculum that develops critical thinking, analytical writing, and oral communication skills that are highly valued by today's employers
  • A rigorous liberal arts foundation that emphasizes ethics and moral values
  • Opportunities for student-faculty research collaboration
  • Innovative teaching utilizing primary source research and enquiry-based learning
  • Internships and a Public History course to develop career options
  • Strong placement rates in law, graduate, and professional schools
  • Flexible major requirements with many electives, allowing students to double major and select minors
  • The History Forum student club, and Phi Alpha Theta honor society
  • Faculty recognized for their teaching and scholarship
  • Extensive geographic and thematic course offerings, including Early America, Women's History, Middle East, Civil Rights, Asia, Modern Africa, and Europe
  • Popular courses on Vietnam, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Civil Rights, and New York State
  • A friendly, supportive environment that builds lasting relationships among students and between faculty and students

Mission

History is one of the oldest academic disciplines known to mankind. For centuries it has been an important source of knowledge and wisdom. History serves as the collective memory of humanity – without it we would be like amnesia patients unable to comprehend the past, present or future.

A serious study of history allows us to learn from the mistakes of the past, to understand other cultures and peoples, and to gain new perspectives on the past, present and future. Studying history develops skills in writing, speaking and analysis. In brief, history is a challenging discipline that can serve as the basis of a true liberal arts education as well as a preparation for graduate and professional studies in fields such as law, government, business, communications, and journalism.

Goals

The history department offers survey, theme, regional and special courses to reveal patterns of change and continuity in human thought, values, and institutions. Studying the past helps us in understanding the present and anticipating the future. Furthermore, students should better appreciate our multicultural society and their place in it.

The department believes that upon completing the curriculum, students will be able to:

  • read perceptively, think critically and write clearly;
  • use the library and computer technology to locate primary and secondary sources for any period of history;
  • synthesize historical materials for presentation orally and in writing;
  • explain the general characteristics of major periods in U.S. and European history and in some detail the central issues and major historical interpretations for at least two periods in each area;
  • explain the general characteristics of three major non-Western regions and in some detail the historical development and issues of each;
  • demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity issues both globally and within the United States;
  • and explain the historical background of current social, political, cultural and economic issues.