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Why Choose Saint Rose for Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies: Adolescence Education?

The Social Studies Education Program prepares students to engage creatively and critically with the shifting demands of the contemporary secondary classroom. Working with diverse faculty in the History/Political Science Department and the School of Education, Social Studies Education majors learn practical pedagogical and literacy strategies while mastering coursework in economics, geography, political science, and history. Progressive field experience in area schools is complemented by mentored research opportunities on campus. We prepare graduates to be successful teachers who are ready to make a transformative difference in their communities through engaged pedagogy and a comprehensive knowledge of social studies materials and practices.

The major in Social Studies 7-12 qualifies students for initial certification by New York State to teach Social Studies in grades 7 through 12. Students may opt to seek certification for grades 5-6 by completing six credits of additional coursework.

Program Highlights

A Saint Rose Social Studies education degree offers distinct advantages:

  • Our program provides students with a clear introduction to the content knowledge and skills they’ll need to have successful careers.
  • Students learn to move confidently in a global curriculum, gaining a solid foundation in multiple teaching areas (history, economics, geography, government and civics).
  • Students work with engaged faculty to produce research about our society, its history and its institutions, its diversity and its challenges.
  • Students progress from classroom observations in their sophomore year to full semester-length student teaching placements in their final semester.

Course Requirements, Faculty, and Learning Objectives

Our courses are designed to mold students into educated citizens, thinkers, and problem solvers by instilling in them rigorous habits of critical inquiry. Learning objectives are aimed at making students proficient in research and analytical methods –developing skills of close, critical reading, reasoning, written and oral communication and argument. Students taking our courses to meet both liberal education and major requirements refine these skills through various methods. We train them to attend to detail, and to separate the significant from the tangential; to follow instructions and model strategies and solutions for others as potential future leaders and problem solvers. In groups and individually, students learn to closely examine and evaluate different genres of source material and forms of evidence – quantitative and qualitative- and to discern valid knowledge from invalid in digital and physical formats, in order to imbibe a healthy critical outlook, and good judgment by learning to distinguish between fact, perspective, and opinion. They learn to elaborate knowledge, ideas, and claims in convincing ways by refining rhetorical skills.

In this way, our programs prepare students for a wide range of postgraduate paths, including advanced graduate study and a wide array of careers in the public and private sectors: education, law, business, administration, public and private service, government, and non-governmental organizations. Undergraduates can choose from four specialized major degree programs the department offers: History (BA), Political Science (BA), Interdisciplinary History/Political Science (BA), and Social Studies 7-12 Adolescence Education (BA). We also offer an interdisciplinary MA focused on US history and politics in international context which students can pursue part-time or full-time in our evening seminars.

The Department of History and Political Science supports the cause of human freedom, equality, and dignity. We are a community of scholars committed to seeking truth, producing knowledge, and advancing the education of students dedicated to those pursuits. Students achieve the broad cultural and civic literacy and social awareness needed to communicate and thrive personally and professionally in today’s world. Our mission is to teach departmental majors to critically examine the forces behind historical change, international engagement, and institutional development, to foster in them an understanding of the diverse historical actors, events, belief systems, material realities, different perspectives and cultural values that have shaped the world we live in. Our curriculum is designed to give students with a wide diversity of future career and vocational goals – the abilities and outlook of fully educated persons who can understand and navigate the complexities of modern social and economic life. To know the historical processes and events that have produced it and continue to inform its future course, always with a view toward the potential moral and human implications of the pursuit of knowledge and its many possible applications.

Learning Objectives

  1. Content knowledge of History and Political Science
    • contextual knowledge of historical and political conditions and major events
    • knowledge of local/regional/global change
    • Knowledge of individuals, groups, and societies
    • Ability to synthesize primary and secondary source material
  2. Analytic reading and use of evidence
    • Ability to interpret and integrate primary and secondary source material
    • Appropriate selection of source material
    • Sufficient evidence from appropriate documents
    • Ability to formulate questions or problems from critical consultation of related sources
  3. Thesis-driven argumentation/causation
    • Thesis statement – position clearly stated
    • Persuasive logical argument sustained
    • Overall cohesion and flow of argument
    • Introduction clearly stated
    • Conclusion – significance of the argument
  4. Rhetorical skills, citation, and form
    • Paragraph formation, sentence fluency academic language
    • Spelling, punctuation, usage, grammar
    • Pagination, margins, fonts, spacing
    • Proper citation method, length
    • Works Cited page properly formatted
  5. Social studies – integrated knowledge
    • Maps and human interaction with environment
    • Migration and global interconnections
    • National and global economy
    • Economic decisions, exchange, markets
    • Civic/Political institutions, Processes, Rules, Laws
    • Democratic Principles, Deliberation, Participation
  6. Advanced Interpretation of evidence
    • Inference
    • Strategic use of evidence
    • Ability to separate the significant from the tangential
  7. Research skills
    • Ability to independently locate sources
    • Ability to discern valid, scholarly sources
    • Ability to evaluate and distinguish between different genres of sources
  8. Evaluation of scholarly arguments
    • Ability to evaluate competing schools of thought
    • Ability to identify revisionist arguments
    • Ability to identify contributions to existing arguments