Students selecting this major may also major in Education and seek licensure as an elementary and/or special education teacher. 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.
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.
For more information on the American Studies / Elementary and/or Special Education Teacher Licensure Program, click here.
Degree: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in American Studies
(123 credit hours) Requirements are subject to change.
For more information about the American Studies major, contact Professor Thomas Carty of the Social Sciences Department, at (413) 748-3254 or the Admissions Office at (800) 343-1257.
General Education Program (40 - 46 credits)
The General Education program at Springfield College is informed by its century-old Humanics tradition of educating the whole person in spirit, mind, and body, for leadership in service to humanity. These requirements have the goal of developing literate, thoughtful, socially responsible students, and instilling in them a spirit of inquiry into the nature of humankind and the universe. Towards those ends, the requirements emphasize and encourage: the acquisition of knowledge, understanding, and competency essential for the improvement of the human condition in a diverse society; a search for personal and spiritual values; and the development of an understanding and appreciation of physical well-being.
For specific requirements, see the General Education Program (40 - 46 credits) section.
II. Major Requirements (American Studies)
In addition, select one of the following Literature of Diversity courses:
B. Concentration Requirements
Select one of the following concentrations:
1. U.S. History and the Political Process
Select five of the following courses (at least three must be at the 300 or 400 level):
2. American Social Issues
3. American Literature
Select five of the following courses, at least three must be at the 300 or 400 level (if not already used as a core requirement):
III. Elective Courses (to complete a minimum of 120 credits)
Completion of the following requirements ensures successful completion of the Education major with a specialization in Elementary and/or Special Education Teacher Licensure.
Recommended but not required:
B. Elementary and/or Special Education Teacher Licensure
Admission to Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs
Once admitted to Springfield College, the student must meet the following requirements in order to become an official candidate for licensure and get formally admitted to a specific teacher preparation program. This typically occurs prior to the student’s junior year or the equivalent for transfer students.
- Follow the appropriate course of study based on the field the student is interested in teaching. This includes majoring in an acceptable major for that licensure area and taking the required teacher preparation courses. This enables the student to fulfill the prerequisites needed to gain admission to a teacher preparation program. Examples of acceptable majors and licensure areas are psychology for early childhood; American studies, English, or mathematics and computer technology for elementary and/or special education; biology, English, history or mathematics for secondary; movement and sports studies for physical education or dual health & physical education; art or art therapy for art education; and health promotion for health education.
- Complete, or be in the process of completing, all prerequisites identified for the specific program.
- Earn a minimum 2.750 (3.250 MOST-PHE) cumulative grade point average for all designated licensure courses. This includes all subject matter knowledge coursework as well as teacher preparation professional coursework. See educator preparation homepage on our website for specific lists of ‘Prerequisites and Program Requirements’ for each licensure program. [Note: In all programs except physical education and health, the grade point average for the student’s major is calculated separately from the grade point average for professional preparation courses.]
- Earn a minimum 2.500 (3.250 MOST-PHE) cumulative grade point average and minimum grades specified for designated courses
- Demonstrate the personal characteristics/professional behaviors needed to become a quality teacher (i.e., responsible, dependable, hard working, professional, committed to the teaching profession, etc.).
- Be recommended for admission into a teacher licensure program by the appropriate major department and the Education Department. For students in health and physical education, the only recommendation required is from the Physical Education and Health Education Department.
- Receive a passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Tests (reading and writing) of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL).
Note: Students who have been admitted to a teacher preparation program must maintain all the admissions requirements listed above through the semester preceding the practicum (student teaching) in order to be eligible to begin the practicum experience and must maintain cumulative GPA’s in order to successfully complete the program.
Once all admissions requirements have been met, the student must fill out the application for admission. Applications are available from advisors, departments, or the Educator Preparation Office.
The Director of Educator Preparation & Licensure will review the completed application and notify the candidate of the admission decision. If a student wishes to appeal this decision, a written appeal must be submitted to the Educator Preparation Council.