Dec 01, 2022  
2004-2005 Springfield College Undergraduate Catalog 
2004-2005 Springfield College Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Studies Home Page

American Studies

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(130 semester hours) Requirements are subject to change.

There are two primary goals of the American Studies major. The first goal is to help students acquire an understanding of American thought, institutions, and culture, utilizing a historical and cultural approach. A knowledge of history, society, politics, and culture will enable students to better comprehend the world they live in, the problems of their society, and their own lives. This core of historical and cultural understanding will help students to function as educated and informed citizens in a democratic society. In addition, students will learn about the diversity and “meaning” of the American experience. A knowledge of the ethnic and cultural diversity which has created the present will help students to communicate and cooperate in a multicultural society.

The second goal of this major is to assist the student in developing his or her critical thinking skills: analysis, problem-solving, research, writing, and evaluation. The major not only emphasizes content and information, but is designed to foster the transferable skills and attitudes which will increase the ability of American studies majors to find employment, no matter what their occupational goals. The ability to make decisions, to solve problems, and to hold informed opinions are characteristics desired by employers everywhere. American studies majors may also opt to seek licensure as an elementary teacher. For more information about the American Studies major, contact Professor Herbert Zettl, chairperson of the Social Sciences Department, at (413) 748-3213 or the Admissions Office at (800) 343-1257.

Download an American Studies Program Checksheet


I. General Education Program (41 s.h. in addition to courses taken for the major)

To integrate the humanics philosophy into their lives, Springfield College students engage in the search for knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of values through a variety of courses in the sciences and humanities. In addition to those General Education courses, students must complete 6 s.h. of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) courses. For more information see the General Education Program and WAC courses. In the major requirements listed below, selected courses which fulfill General Education categories are marked with an asterisk; selected WAC courses are marked with a “W”.

In addition, select one of the following:

III. Required Concentration (15 s.h.)

Select one of the following concentrations:

A. U.S. History and the Political Process (15 s.h.)

Select five of the following courses (at least three courses must be at the 300- or 400-level):

B. American Social Issues (15 s.h.)

Required for this concentration:

In addition, select four of the following courses

(at least three courses must be at the 300- or 400-level):

C. American Literature (15 s.h.)

Select five of the following courses, providing that they have not already been taken as a core requirement (at least three courses must be at the 300- or 400-level):

IV. Electives

Non-licensure students must complete 56 s.h. of electives to total 130 s.h. Elementary teacher licensure students must complete 2 s.h. of electives to total 130 s.h.

V. Option to complete the Elementary Teacher Licensure Program (80 s.h.)

American studies majors may elect to seek licensure as an elementary education teacher (grades 1–6). Advisement is provided by a member of the American studies faculty and a member of the Education Department. Students seeking licensure should begin their program upon their admission to the College, but in order to be considered teacher candidates and to complete the professional preparation requirements, they must apply for official admission to the teacher preparation program and be accepted. Application to the teacher preparation program typically occurs prior to the junior year. More information about requirements for admittance to the teacher preparation program can be found in the elementary teacher licensure section. American studies majors seeking licensure must complete all requirements for the major, including a concentration, plus the additional requirements listed below.

Recommended, but not required:

VI. Sample Program By Year

The program listed below is a sample—courses are not guaranteed to be offered during the year listed. It is the student’s responsibility to insure that all requirements are met on a timely basis and that needed prerequisite courses are completed before taking upper-level requirements; therefore, they should consult carefully with an advisor when planning their program. Students must average a minimum of 16.25 s.h. a semester to complete this program in four years.

Non-licensure students will need to insure that the following General Education categories are fulfilled: Natural Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, Health, Physical Education, Second Language/ Culture, History, and Philosophy. Elementary licensure students will need to insure that Computer Science, Physical Education, Second Language/Culture, and Philosophy are fulfilled. Courses marked with an * fulfill or partially fulfill a General Education category. Courses marked with a ‘W’ may fulfill a WAC requirement, depending on the year taken.

A. Sample First Year

All American studies majors

B. Sample Second Year

All American studies majors:

C. Sample Third Year

All American studies majors:

D. Sample Fourth Year

All American studies majors:

  • ENGL ____  Literature of diversity selective (see list of options)
  • Concentration selective #4 and #5 (6 Credits)
  • Any uncompleted General Education courses, program requirements, licensure courses (if applicable), or electives to total 130 s.h.

In addition, for students seeking elementary licensure:

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