What is Social Studies? The Social Studies Department equips students for jobs with a history degree. Students who study Social Studies become contributing citizens of the world while undergoing preparation for the world to come. The Social Studies department teaches students how to acquire and demonstrate informed decision making for the public good while living in a culturally diverse and interdependent world.
The mission of the Social Studies Department is to equip students with sufficient skills to be contributing citizens of the world while undergoing preparation for the world to come. This will include - but is not limited to - the acquisition of and a demonstrated ability to make informed decisions for the public good while living in a culturally diverse and interdependent world. We teach history as HIS-story - and, it never changes.
Why Study History?
Why study history? The answer is because we virtually must, to gain access to the laboratory of human experience.
When we study it reasonably well, and so acquire some usable habits of mind, as well as some basic data about the forces that affect our own lives, we emerge with relevant skills and an enhanced capacity for informed citizenship, critical thinking, and simple awareness.
The uses of history are varied. Studying history can help us develop some literally “salable” skills, but its study must not be pinned down to the narrowest utilitarianism. Some history - that confined to personal recollections about changes and continuities in the immediate environment - is essential to function beyond childhood. Some history depends on personal taste, where one finds beauty, the joy of discovery, or intellectual challenge. Between the inescapable minimum and the pleasure of deep commitment comes the history that, through cumulative skill in interpreting the unfolding human record, provides a real grasp of how the world works." - Peter Stearns
"History should be studied because it is essential to individuals and to society, and because it harbors beauty.” - Peter N. Stearns
"Historical knowledge is no more and no less than carefully and critically constructed collective memory. As such it can both make us wiser in our public choices and more richly human in our private lives." - William H. McNeil
Careers for History Majors