Document Type

Program Change

Publication Date

Fall 2008


KEENE STATE COLLEGE 2007-2008 ACADEMIC PROGRAM PROPOSAL FORM DATE: 25 March 2008 SPONSORING PROGRAM AND CHAIR: Department of History, Dr. Gregory Knouff, Chair. PROPOSAL SPONSOR: Dr. Nicholas Germana, Assistant Professor of History. TITLE SUMMARY: HISTORY HONORS PROGRAM PROPOSED ACTION: Underline proposed changes. Program addition Change in requirements* Program redesign Program deletion Other: EXISTING (OLD) DATA: None PROPOSED (NEW) PROGRAM: Motivated history majors may have the opportunity to participate in an advanced program of study concentrating on professional research and writing skills. Students who meet the program requirements and high disciplinary standards as determined by the faculty of the Department of History will graduate with Honors in History. The program will require students to engage in an intensive study of relevant primary and scholarly secondary sources, formulate an original argument, and defend it in a substantial thesis project. Students who participate in the History Honors Program must complete all requirements for the History major including a sequence of Honors Independent Studies over the course of two semesters, beginning the first semester of their senior year. These courses may be applied for course credit within the History major. Admission to the Honors Program will be based on the following criteria: 2 1. Students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA overall, and a minimum 3.5 GPA in the major. 2. Prior to the end of their junior year, students will submit writing samples, which will be evaluated by the department as a whole; approval of the writing sample will be based on criteria agreed upon by the members of the department. 3. Students must have a thesis proposal approved by the members of their Honors committee before the end of the add/drop period during the first semester of their senior year. Each student’s honors committee will be composed of three members – one primary and two secondary advisors. The precise composition of the committee will be agreed upon by the student and faculty members. Participation in the History Honors Program will culminate in an oral defense of the Honors thesis, which will be adjudicated by the student’s committee members. Following the defense, committee members will meet privately to determine the outcome of the defense. Members can choose between three outcomes: pass with honors; pass with no honors; fail. Students whose defense of their Honors theses passes with honors, and who have maintained a minimum major GPA of 3.5 and a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, will graduate with Honors in History. Students taking part in the program will take two Honors designated courses in sequence, starting the first semester of their senior year. Honors students will be required to take Hist 498: Honors Thesis Research (4 credits) first semester senior year, and conclude with Hist 498: Honors Thesis Writing (4 credits) during the second semester of their senior year. These classes will be conducted under the current program rubric as Independent Studies. In Hist 498: Honors Thesis Research, students will conduct intensive research into their approved topic, being directed by and reporting progress to their Honors Committee, in a form deemed suitable by the members of the committee (e.g. bibliographical essays, annotated bibliography, scholarly book reviews, etc.). In Hist 498: Honors Thesis Writing, students will compose an honors thesis, under the supervision of their Honors Committee, which will be evaluated in accord with professional scholarly standards. Hist 498: Honors Thesis Writing will culminate, as explained above, in an oral defense adjudicated by the members of their Honors Committee. Both Hist 498: Honors Thesis Research and Hist 498: Honors Thesis Writing will receive letter grades. Under certain circumstances, to be determined by the Department, students can apply to the History Honors Program one semester early in order to complete the sequence of required courses before the final semester of their senior year. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES AND /OR LEARNING OUTCOMES: The Honors designated courses which students are required to take in this program are offered at the 400 level, within the department’s existing rubric for Independent Studies. As 400 level classes they will conform to the expectations for such classes as spelled out in the department’s assessment plan: 3 The primary outcomes in 400-level courses are an advanced written interpretation of a variety of texts, proficiency in evaluation and use of historical methods and theory, and proficiency in oral presentations of students’ written work and/or student critical discussions of texts. This program will afford students the opportunity to engage in the production of historical scholarship at an advanced level in a collegial setting with History faculty that is not otherwise available. RATIONALE: Students participating in the History Honors Program will have the opportunity to explore subjects of particular interest more intensively than in larger class settings, work more closely with department faculty members learning about the production of historical scholarship, and will have their accomplishments suitably recognized by the History faculty and the College. While the Honors program is in no way restricted to students who aspire to continue engaging in historical scholarship at the graduate or professional level, this program will provide qualified students with such aspirations a chance to prepare for future study in close collaboration with professional historians. RESOURCES: As the courses comprising the History Honors Program will be conducted as Independent Studies overseen, as at present, by History Department faculty members, there will be no need for additional resources. ADVISORY OPINIONS: 4


Senate Curriculum Committee




Keene State College

History Honors Program Final