This degree will allow for specific career goals in government (Public Policy, Public Administration), secondary education in history or social science (with a post-graduate teaching certificate or master’s degree), and graduate work in law (pre-law), education, political science or history.
Beyond a basic foundation in political science and history, students will take one of the following concentrations:
Public Administration Concentration
The number and variety of positions available in federal, state and local government are too numerous to list thoroughly here. Careers can be found in city management, financial administration, federal and state courts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Fall 2013), federal, state and local governments fill 9.7 million positions (excluding education, hospitals and the US Postal Service. This degree and track will introduce you directly to these possibilities with a required internship, as well as prepare you for further study at the master’s degree level (and beyond) if you so wish.
Students should take EC 205: Microeconomics under the ACC Social World requirement. They should also consult with their advisor about specific PO courses under the core requirements that would support this concentration.
Students wishing to go to law school should understand that according to the ABA’s Section on Pre-Law Education, “the student who comes to law school lacking a broad range of basic skills and knowledge will face an extremely difficult task.” The ABA believes that good lawyering requires:
• Analytical and problem-solving skills
• Critical reading abilities
• Writing skills
• Oral communication and listening abilities
• General research skills
• Task organization and management skills
• Commitment to the values of serving others and promoting justice
• A good understanding of history, particularly U.S. history
• A basic understanding of political and legal institutions
• Familiarity with ethics and theories of justice
• A grounding in economics
• Basic mathematical and financial skills
• An appreciation for diversity and cultural interdependence
The ABA also maintains “taking difficult courses from demanding instructors is the best generic preparation for legal education.” For example, critical reading abilities “should include substantial experience at close reading and critical analysis of complex textual material. The particular nature of the materials examined is not crucial; what is important is that law school not be the first time that a student has been rigorously engaged in the enterprise of carefully reading and understanding, and critically analyzing, complex written material of substantial length.” Oral communication and listening abilities involve “basic speaking and listening skills, such as by engaging in debate, making formal presentations in class, or speaking before groups in school, the community, or the workplace.”
Furthermore, the ABA reports that “those wishing to prepare for legal education should select courses and seek experiences that will require them to plan a research strategy, to undertake substantial library research, and to analyze, organize and present a reasonably large amount of material.
The ACC and Core Program Requirements will provide a good basis in all of this. As indicated above, students should stretch themselves in reading, writing and research skills even in the open electives they choose (this should be done in consultation with their advisor).
Post-Graduate Study Concentration
Today it is often necessary to study beyond the bachelor degree level for certain professional goals, whether it is a master’s degree or certificate (such as a teaching certificate). Such careers include secondary teaching in Political Science, History or the broader Social Studies. Students should consider a master’s degree in political Science, History or Education. Other careers include government positions, political parties, Public History (museums, archives, historical societies), Higher Education Administration, and many others. Of course, students could also pursue their education even higher to the Ph.D. level. Students wishing to further their education with post-graduate work should expand both their base knowledge and research/writing skills.
Program Learning Outcomes:
Demonstrate the ability to discern, define, evaluate and explain the core cultural and social values of political institutions and history
Demonstrate the ability to talk and write intelligently about history and political science
Appraise and discern diversity and differences in people and theory vs. opinion in history and political debate, including differentiating between primary and secondary sources used by both disciplines
Demonstrate understanding of a core discipline or career application in Public Administration, Post-graduate Preparation (Political Science or History) or Pre-Law through a research project that will explore important issues and problems within the scope of a concentration in Public Administration, Political Science, History or Pre-Law, and defend this project both verbally and with the written word
- Write correctly and with clarity
- Speak effectively in groups or to audiences using technology correctly when appropriate
- Demonstrate critical analysis and use of research, correctly cited
Career and Graduate Study Options
This degree will allow for specific career goals in federal, state and local government, secondary education in history or social science (with post-graduate teaching certificate or master’s degree), and graduate work in law, education, political science or history.