History Majors: Upcoming Course Changes

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History Majors: Upcoming Course Changes

Lisa Hess, Staff

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History majors will be glad to know that there are some fresh new changes coming for the history department here at Marian! Dr. Adrianna Ernstberger and Dr. Wesley Bishop have been hard at work adding courses and mapping out future schedules. I got the chance to interview the wonderful two professors, who explained the changes in great detail. I, for one, as a history major, am excited about these upcoming changes, and hopefully, after reading this article, you will be too!

Many of you are probably wondering, “Why are there changes? What was wrong with the previous courses/history program?” Well, first off, the two professors wanted Marian University’s history program to be more contemporary and competitive in comparison to other universities and their history programs. Secondly, they wanted courses that matched their expertise. For example, Dr. Ernstberger’s expertise lies in women’s history as well as African history. It would only make sense to create courses based on that knowledge. Another goal for the history program was to globalize the courses. Before, the history program focused primarily on American and European history. I am pretty sure that history occurs all around the world, not just on those two continents. Instead of having to go through the U.S. history courses again, students can choose more internationally-focused courses such as Native North American Culture History, History of Global Slavery, African History, and Women’s and Gender History.

So, what should history majors expect? History majors should expect more of a global perspective, as the history courses have become more diverse and inclusive. Students should also expect more “practical application of history,” as Dr. Ernstberger puts it. Wait, history has a practical use for the average person in real life? Sign me up! In the interview, the professors commented that they wanted to make the history program more open to history majors who were not necessarily education majors. This is a huge relief for me because I am personally not interested in becoming a teacher. Perhaps the institution of this new kind of curriculum will help change the stigma that all history majors go into education. History majors should also be on the lookout for internship opportunities with museums! The professors have been searching hard for museums who will offer these unique experiences and have been preparing them to be available to Marian students.

During the interview, I asked Dr. Ernstberger and Dr. Bishop where they would like the history program to go. They would love to see more people decide to major in history (so everyone, go change your majors! History rules!). As the courses are planned to do, they would like the program to continue to be student focused with plenty of application. As classes are introduced, student input will be greatly appreciated. They are also searching for another historian to expand their historical coverage of the world, and, speaking of the world, they also hope to expand study abroad for history majors.

Overall, the history program is transforming in a positive and progressive way. The new curriculum provides a broader global perspective, creating a much more diverse and inclusive student learning experience. The new courses will also focus more on practical application, as opposed to mere memorization of historical trivia. History majors will find a wider selection of occupations to train for, and internships are becoming more available. These wonderful and exciting additions to the history program are sure to be successful and joyfully welcomed by history majors, minors, and other students alike!

Below are some links to check out the full new course list, four-year plan, and minor checklist!