The History Department at PC is intentional in its endeavors. Striving to create a high-quality, student-centered program, the faculty approach their work in a manner that builds relationships with students which emphasize trust and excellence.

It is believed that in this setting, the liberal arts educational experience bears the best fruit as faculty mentor students through accountability, high standards, and mutual respect. Helping students become individuals, citizens, and leaders of wisdom and integrity, the history faculty have articulated the following mission, values, and goals:

Mission Statement:

The study of history is foundational to the liberal arts and the formation of the whole person. To this end, the Department of History at PC cultivates in its students a critical understanding of the past and develops in them the skills of historical research, analysis, and communication. In addition, the Department of History encourages its students to be active and ethical global citizens.

Values:

  1. We value the student: The faculty believes that their primary emphasis is the student and his or her well-being, growth, and success.
  2. We value the liberal arts to which history is foundational: The faculty believes that history supplies an essential context for personal reflection and the study of other disciplines.
  3. We value the goals of a liberal arts education: The faculty believes that the pursuit of truth, effective communication, and ethical leadership are the attributes of the liberally educated person.
  4. We value the contributions of the world’s peoples: The faculty believes that the diversity, complexity, and achievements of human cultures through time deserve engaged study through classroom and study-abroad experiences.
  5. We value the ‘beauty’ of history*: The faculty believes that the study of history inspires and fascinates through its stories of peoples and times past that give a richer perspective on life.
  6. We value the pursuit of excellence: The faculty believes that the practice of striving for one’s best in all facets of life creates a habit of mind that enriches the whole of life.

* Peter N. Stearns, ‘Why Study History?’,  AHA, 2008.

Student Learning Outcomes:

General Education students:
  1. The student will understand, within the historical, global, and interdisciplinary contexts, the origins and progress of cultures and civilizations from the ancient to the modern eras by identifying key figures, events, movements, achievements, and eras and connecting these with larger historical themes.
  2. The student will interpret, within the historical, global, and interdisciplinary contexts, the origins and progress of cultures and civilizations from the ancient to the modern eras by analyzing and utilizing numerous sources, perspectives, and actors.
History Major students:
  1. The student will understand historical research within its historical context by connecting their research to relevant facts and themes and placing their research into the larger historical context.
  2. The student will conduct historical research by formulating valid research questions, identifying source materials, organizing data, and demonstrating proper citation practices.
  3. The student will analyze historical research by evaluating sources, synthesizing data and sources, and formulating conclusions.
  4. The student will develop arguments based on historical research by formulating and supporting a thesis and creating a paper and presentation that justifies the arguments.
  5. The student will demonstrate advanced communication skills in writing and public speaking and the effective use of technology.

Additional Goal:

  1. The Department of History wants its students to be active and ethical global citizens. Hence, we encourage students to pursue further education and/or a fulfilling career and to value service to others in the community and around the world.

Student Satisfaction:

The History Department at PC has set for itself some ambitious goals and in order to know if these are being achieved, we ask students and alumni for their opinions about their experiences as history majors using anonymous surveys.
Although alumni surveys are not as frequent (every five years), surveys for graduating seniors occur annually. From the results of these evaluation tools, the department develops plans and strategies designed to strengthen areas students and alumni identify as needing attention.

The most recent senior survey indicates a high degree of student satisfaction. The department is very pleased with this as it has worked hard but it has also devised exciting new ways to address student concerns which, in turn, have resulted in continued student satisfaction.

The chart below gives an overview of the results of the senior surveys for the last few years.

Satisfaction Survey Results for Major Goals for Student Learning, 2014-2018

  • Gained better critical thinking skills
  • Gained better critical reading skills
  • Gained better communication skills
  • Gained better research skills
  • Gained an appreciation for other peoples and culture
  • Gained a broader historical context about the world

The most recent alumni survey from 2016 yielded similar results on the items noted in the chart above. This survey, however, also generated different kinds of data that would only be true of graduates who have gone on to further education and careers. This additional information speaks to the successes and activities of our majors after graduation, specifically as it relates to the department’s goal of students becoming active and ethical global citizens by furthering their education, pursuing fulfilling careers, and valuing service to others.

Additional Education

(by percentage)

  • Career did not require further education
  • Doctoral degree or equivalent
  • Other
  • Specialized certification
  • Masters degree or equivalent

Current Employment

(by percentage)

  • Full-time: non-history
  • Full-time: history
  • Other
  • Unemployed but by choice
  • Part- time

Service Activities

(by percentage)

  • Active church member
  • Active church leader
  • Active professional organization member
  • Active professional organization leader
  • Active civic organization member
  • Active civic organization leader
  • Other

As a department, we are pleased with these results and are working to ensure that the PC History Department continues to have the positive impact that it has had to date.