Tuning the Transfer Student: Making History Education a Seamless Experience between Two-Year and Four-Year Academic Institutions
Wendy Gordon, Plattsburgh (State University of New York)
Daniel Murphree, University of Central Florida
Michele Rotunda, Union County College
One of the central difficulties of ensuring a focused and coherent program of history education is that such programs are often divided between two-year and four-year institutions. Students today take many of their first college-level history courses at community colleges before transferring to a four-year institution. Often there is a disparity in history education across these different academic environments. This roundtable explores ways to make history education a 'seamless' experience for transfer students.
Central to the discussion will be the History Discipline Core developed by the AHA Tuning Project. These “key reference points” seem to offer a primary tool to ensure that students moving from one college to another will be able to remain on a single academic path and will learn a fairly coherent set of skills, methods, and principles. The round table will address how we can incorporate (or have incorporated) the Tuning concepts and core across a student’s college career when that career bridges different academic settings.
Among the questions we will address are:
- How does the experience of transfer students play out across the two types of institutions currently?
- How can we establish “explicit transfer paths” for students across academic environments.
- How can we discourage “course overlap and redundancy?”
- How can we implement principles and practices that are relevant across academic environments?
- What does it mean to major in history at a community college versus a four-year college?
- What does the Discipline Core offer for maintaining the continuum of education for transfer students?
The roundtable brings together a diverse group of history educators who work in both two-year and four-year colleges, some have served in both. Roundtable panelists from community colleges generally see transfer students at the beginning of their academic career, while those from four-year schools see transfer students at the end of their undergraduate education. Some panel members teach within general education programs, while others are members of a formal history department. Some work mainly with fellow historians, while others work with faculty from other disciplines or from administration. Each will bring his or her own perspectives, prescriptions, and questions that pertain to the experiences of transfer students.