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HIST 1700

American Civilization



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This is a Concurrent Enrollment Course, offering both high school credit through ______________ High School and college credit through Utah Valley University. Credit from this course is transferable to all colleges and universities. Contact the receiving institution for how the credits will be applied.
Stresses movements and developing institutions that are important for an appreciation of American History from the Pre-Colombian period to the present. Discussions include analysis of developing political, economic, and social institutions and their interrelationships with, and impact upon, the geographical features of the land. Includes book reports, oral response, research papers, media presentations and applications to current events.

Commentary: This is primarily a lecture course. However, students are encouraged to comment and question. The lectures are designed to supplement your reading of the text and hopefully to add to your understanding of America’s past. We will also watch several video clips from History Channel documentaries. Additionally, some PowerPoint slides will be incorporated to add to the visual learning experience.


This class is available to all high school juniors and seniors in good academic standing. High school prerequisites apply. There are no college prerequisites for this course.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives

Historical Knowledge

Range of historical information

  1. Identify the key events which express/define change over time in a particular place or region.

  2. Identify how change occurs over time.

  3. Explain historical continuity and change.

  4. Describe the influence of political ideologies, economic structures, social organization, cultural perceptions, and natural environments on historical events.

  5. Discuss the ways in which factors such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, region, and religion influence historical narratives.

Historical Thinking

Recognize the past-ness of the past.

  1. Explain how people have existed, acted, and thought in the past.

  2. Explain what influence the past has on the present.

Emphasize the complex nature of past experiences.

  1. Interpret the complexity and diversity of situations, events, and past mentalities.

  2. Compare eras and regions in order to define enduring issues.

Emphasize the complex and problematic nature of the historical record.

  1. Recognize a range of viewpoints.

  2. Compare competing historical narratives.

  3. Challenge arguments of historical inevitability.

  4. Analyze cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causation.

Historical Skills

Develop skills in critical thinking and reading.

  1. Evaluate debates among historians.

  2. Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations.

  3. Assess the credibility of primary and secondary sources.

Develop research skills.

  1. Formulate historical questions.

  2. Obtain historical data from a variety of sources.

  3. Identify gaps in available records.

Develop the ability to construct reasonable historical arguments.

  1. Construct a well-organized historical argument.

  2. Support an interpretation with historical evidence from a variety of primary and secondary sources.


America: A Concise History, 3rd. edition. Henretta, James A.
You may need to read chapters more than once to fully understand the material. If you come upon a term or event you do not know or understand, then LOOK IT UP in a dictionary or an encyclopedia etc. You should be prepared to read approximately 2-3 chapters per week. You are responsible for having the assigned reading completed prior to our class discussion for each day. You are encouraged to bring your textbook to class and follow along with the lectures. Some images can be better observed from your book than from overheads or power point slides. It is also highly recommend that you review your assigned reading prior to class in preparation for a possible quiz on each day’s reading assignment. All quizzes are taken before we discuss the information in class. In addition, the quizzes come solely from your textbook readings, and if you desire to do well in this course, and especially on the quizzes, then you MUST METICULOUSLY READ AND STUDY each reading assignment, and comprehend the major ideas, concepts, and the most significant people and groups in the reading.
You may also find the textbook’s website for each chapter informative. The textbook provides web links to a host of pictures, documents, journals, maps, video clips and expanded websites for each chapter. This information can be extremely useful if you have questions about what you have read. In addition, the text has links to detailed chapter outlines and practice quizzes for each chapter. If you do well on the on-line optional practice quiz(zes) that the textbook’s website provide, then you are probably ready for the required quizzes. The reading assignments are listed on the last page of this syllabus.



Regular attendance is necessary for the successful completion of this course. Research shows an unassailable correlation between class attendance and grades. I encourage you to attend class and take good notes. If you ever miss class, then I STRONGLY suggest that you get notes from another student. Your in-class notes will be your best and only review or study guide


Research Paper: There will be an 8-10 page research as well as a writing project due in this class. These papers are worth 100 points. Four pages of instructions regarding these papers are available on-line. Each student should down-load this information and thoroughly familiarize himself with all aspects of this assignment.

Exams: There will be one comprehensive final exam in this course. The final will be given in class on the last day of class. Test questions come primarily from the lectures – so take good notes. This exam will have approximately 75 questions. These questions will be matching and multiple choice. There are no true or false, or essay questions. There are also no questions that rely on dates. You are required to bring a number 2 pencil to the final exams. UVU will provide the ScanTron sheets.


There will be twenty online quizzes given during the semester. These are open book, open notes, but closed neighbor quizzes. Each of these quizzes is limited to 15 minutes. Each quiz will have 18 questions worth one point for each correct answer. However, only 15 questions count toward your grade, the other three questions are extra-credit. This makes a total of 360 possible online quiz points, but only 300 of them count toward your grade (20 X 15 = 300 points). These quizzes amount to the majority of your grade. The online quiz questions will be all multiple choice questions with four options. The questions come from your assigned textbook reading for the day. In addition, there will be 10 additional in-class pop quizzes.

Grading Scale

A = 100-95 B - = 83-80 D+ = 69-67

A - = 94-90 C+ = 79-77 D = 66-64

B+ = 89-87 C = 76-74 D - = 63-60

B = 86-84 C - = 73-70 F = 59-0

Grades and Credit

You will receive the same grade for your high school course as you receive for your college course. Your grade for this class will become part of your permanent college transcript and will affect your GPA. A low grade in this course can affect college acceptance and scholarship eligibility.


Academic Integrity

Utah Valley University expects all students to maintain integrity and high standards of individual honesty in academic work, to obey the law, and to show respect for others. Students of this class are expected to support an environment of academic integrity, have the right to such an environment, and should avoid all aspects of academic dishonesty.

Examples of academic dishonesty include plagiarizing, faking of data, sharing information during an exam, discussing an exam with another student who has not taken the exam, consulting reference material during an exam, submitting a written assignment which was authored by someone other than you, and/or cheating in any form. Violators of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. Cheating will not be tolerated. It will result in a FAILING grade for the course.

In keeping with UVU policy, evidence of academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade in the course and disciplinary review by the college. Additional information on this topic is published in the student handbook and is available on the UVU website.

Students with Disabilities

If you have any disability, which may impair your ability to successfully, complete this course, please contact the Accessibility Services office, 863-8747, BU 146. Academic accommodations are granted for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. All services are coordinated with the Accessibility Services office.

Dropping the Class

_________ is the last day to drop the course without it showing on your transcript.

_________ is the last day to withdraw from the class.
If you drop the high school class, you must also withdraw from the UVU class to avoid receiving an E or UW (unofficial withdrawal).


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