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Academic & Science ►American History & Government Specialist Certificate Program with Externship


Program includes National Certification & an Externship Opportunity



The American History & Government Specialist

American history offers one of the most unique and interesting portraits of a successful nation built from the humblest of beginnings. The great experiment that is American democracy and government encapsulates fundamental lessons in constitutionalism, federalism, checks and balances, bureaucracy, civil rights and civil liberties as well as the importance and effects of political participation and behavior as it impacts policy formation. All of these concepts combine to produce one of the most unique government institutions in the world and a comprehensive understanding of its inner workings, strengths and limitations ensures public policy professionals, elected officials, community organizers, public officials and their staff at all levels have an educated and informed view of American government as a whole.


The American History & Government Specialist Program

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of American government and politics focusing on the historical evolution of government and policies, the major institutions, and the major processes. Throughout the course, students will evaluate the various characteristics unique to American government through the critical lens of history and current international developments with a constant eye toward the future. Alongside and in-depth look at American government, this course delivers a broad survey of American history from New World exploration and settlement through Independence, the Civil War, Reconstruction, Manifest Destiny, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and two World Wars all colored by shifting social, political and cultural developments that shape the nation as it stands today.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Outline the institutional structures and how these structures interact with each other to explain the processes of government
  • Apply an understanding of government processes to analyze contemporary politics
  • Explain how the historical development of the United States affects the contemporary political environment
  • Analyze the formal and informal processes by which public policy is made
  • Explain how individual actors impact the contemporary political environment
  • Apply informational literacy skills in the study of politics
  • Pre-colonial history to the establishment of the seventeenth century English Colonies
  • American Revolution – Civil War & Reconstruction
  • Manifest Destiny – Industrial Revolution and Progressivism
  • World War I through the Great Depression, World War II
  • The Cold War – Present Day
  • Use Microsoft Office

THE FOUNDATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

  • Discuss the reasons and resulting compromises that led to the Constitution
  • Identify significant events in history that have impacted the development of and amendments to the U.S. Constitution
  • Analyze how the historical events shaped the U.S. Constitution
  • Discuss the reasons and resulting compromises that led to the Constitution
  • Outline the arguments for and against ratification of the U.S. Constitution
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

FEDERALISM

  • Define federalism
  • Provide examples for the way in which state, local, and federal governments interact in the formation of public policy
  • Explain how federalism has changed over time
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

CIVIL LIBERTIES

  • Identify the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights
  • Analyze how civil liberties in the United States have changed over time from the debates over ratification through today
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

CIVIL RIGHTS

  • Explain the struggle for civil rights within the broader historical context
  • Explain the processes and strategies by which marginalized groups attain civil rights in the United States
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

THE CONGRESS

  • Explain the structure of Congress
  • Distinguish between the formal process and the real-world process by which a bill becomes a law
  • Differentiate between the four models of representation
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH

  • Identify how the presidency has evolved over time
  • Identify the powers afforded the president
  • Explain how the federal bureaucracy has developed over time
  • Explain the role of the federal bureaucracy in the public policy-making process
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

THE JUDICIARY

  • Outline the structure of the federal judiciary
  • Explain the process of appointing federal judges
  • Define judicial review
  • Explain the origins of judicial review
  • Explain the process whereby a case makes it to the Supreme Court
  • Compare the philosophies of judicial activism and judicial restraint
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION AND THE MEDIA

  • Analyze how the media affects public policy
  • Define political socialization
  • Identify agents of political socialization
  • Explain the key components of American political culture
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

INTEREST GROUPS AND PUBLIC OPINION

  • Describe the roles and purposes of the various kinds of interest groups
  • Analyze the role of interest groups in the public-policy process
  • Differentiate between inside and outside lobbying
  • Explain the historical evolution of interest groups over time
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

PARTIES, CAMPAIGNS, AND ELECTIONS

  • Differentiate between the roles of political party-in-government, party-in-electorate, and party organization
  • Differentiate between the different kinds of elections
  • Explain the changing role of political parties over time
  • Explain how campaigns have changed over time
  • Explain the role of money in elections
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC POLICY

  • Identify the stages in the public policy-making model
  • Analyze the processes by which public policy is made
  • Identify key areas of revenue and expenditure in the federal budget
  • Apply the public policy-making model to selected cases
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

FOREIGN POLICY AND NATIONAL SECURITY

  • Explain the role of the president, the federal bureaucracy, and the Congress in making foreign policy
  • Apply the public policy-making model to selected cases
  • Explain how the key tenets of American culture are expressed in foreign policy
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze data
  • Analyze a current issue for impact on and influence by the current political environment

AMERICAN ORIGINS AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT

  • Compare major civilizations in pre-conquest America
  • Discuss the effects of the Agricultural Revolution on pre-conquest American societies
  • Explain how world events between 600 and 1600 influenced New World exploration
  • Identify important European explorers of the New World
  • Explain the significance of the Protestant Reformation on the English New World settlements in North America

COLONIAL RELIGION, ECONOMICS, AND DIVERSITY

  • Discuss the motivation and rationale for early European settlement
  • Examine the role of religion in the colonies
  • Describe the diversity among the three colonial regions (South, Middle Colonies, New England) in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
  • Describe the effect of the world market economy on the American colonies
  • Explain how the diversity of each colony affected its role in the world economy

COLONIAL OPPORTUNITY AND OPPRESSION

  • Describe the challenges faced by immigrants during the eighteenth century
  • Analyze race and freedom in British America in regard to labor and law
  • Describe the economic effects of England's actions on the American colonies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
  • Discuss the demographic growth of British American colonies
  • Locate the Spanish borderlands of the eighteenth century
  • Explain how the Enlightenment impacted American culture
  • Discuss religious revivals in American society
  • Describe the effect of imperial war on the British American colonies

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

  • Examine the political structure of colonial society
  • Identify the steps toward colonial independence
  • Describe the significance of the key battles during the American Revolution
  • Describe the effect of Loyalists on the American Revolution

THE REPUBLICAN EXPERIMENT

  • Describe the effect of the states' experiments with representative democracy on the Articles of Confederation
  • Discuss the emergence of a new national government
  • Discuss the struggle over and path toward constitutional ratification

THE VIOLENCE OF PARTY POLITICS

  • Examine the tension between the Federalists and the Democratic Republicans in the 1790s
  • Discuss the early presidents' roles in forming the new government
  • Describe America's differing opinions on foreign affairs during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
  • Explain the importance of the election of 1800
  • Label a timeline with significant historical events from pre-conquest America to America in 1800

NATIONALISM AND WHITE MEN’S DEMOCRACY

  • Describe the ways in which America expanded and migrated into the vast lands of North America
  • Analyze the effects of transportation on migration
  • Analyze the role of politics on nation building during the nineteenth century
  • Discuss the effects of the emerging market economy on the new nation

RACE, GENDER, AND CLASS IN THE OLD SOUTH

  • Examine the social, economic, and political relationships within southern society
  • Discuss the role of gender in Southern society
  • Discuss the role of class in Southern society
  • Examine the "profitability" issue from 1793 to 1860
  • Describe the role that slavery played in the antebellum Southern economy and the national economy

PURSUIT OF PERFECTION AND AGE OF EXPANSION

  • Identify the common themes among antebellum religious movements
  • Describe the effect of the cult of domesticity on the American family
  • Examine the effects of institutional reform on antebellum America
  • Analyze the effects of westward expansion on antebellum America
  • Discuss the role of Manifest Destiny in the Mexican-American War

THE SECTIONAL CRISIS

  • Analyze how the pre-war U.S. government attempted to alleviate sectional tensions through legislation
  • Discuss the effects of the Second Party system on government policies in the 1850s
  • Discuss the different views on slavery
  • Identify the differences between the cultures of the North and South

SECESSION AND THE CIVIL WAR

  • Identify the events leading to the Civil War
  • Examine the wartime strategies and expectations of the North and South
  • Describe the effect of the North's plan to free the slaves on the war effort
  • Describe the stages of the conflict between the North and South
  • Describe the immediate effects of the Civil War on American society

THE AGONY OF RECONSTRUCTION

  • Differentiate between advocates of a minimal versus radical reconstruction policy
  • Describe the political, social, and economic challenges generated by the Reconstruction
  • Describe the reorganization of the postwar South
  • Examine the transition from slavery to sharecropping in the South
  • Describe the Jim Crow laws
  • Label a timeline with significant American historical events from 1800 to the postwar Reconstruction

THE WEST: EXPLOITING AN EMPIRE

  • Analyze the collapse of Native American society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  • Explain the motivation for settling the West
  • Describe the new technology that revolutionized farming in the 1870s
  • Describe the way of life in the newly settled West

INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY

  • Explain the importance of the railroad in communication and transportation
  • Analyze the impact of technological innovation on late nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S. society
  • List the innovations leading to the Industrial Revolution
  • Describe the working environments of the early 1900s
  • List the innovations leading to the Second Industrial Revolution

TOWARD AN URBAN SOCIETY AND POLITICAL REALIGNMENTS

  • Describe the effects of cities on U.S. society
  • Describe social and cultural changes from 1877 to 1900
  • Explain the political tensions of the late nineteenth century
  • Identify the causes of the depression of the 1890s

TOWARD EMPIRE AND THE PROGRESSIVE ERA

  • Examine the effects of America's foreign policy on the world in the 1890s
  • Identify the causes of the war with Spain
  • Explain the changes in society resulting from the innovation of the Model T
  • Describe working conditions for women and children after the 1890s

FROM ROOSEVELT TO WILSON IN THE AGE OF PROGRESSIVISM

  • Define Progressivism
  • Analyze the social movements of the late 1800s and early 1900s
  • Describe the reforms taking place at the municipal and state level
  • Examine the Roosevelt presidency as it relates to Progressivism
  • Compare the political ideologies of T. Roosevelt and Wilson

THE NATION AT WAR

  • Identify the factors leading up to America's involvement in World War I
  • Describe America's preparations for and participation in World War I
  • Analyze the peace treaty process in relation to World War I
  • Label a timeline with significant American historical events from 1870 to 1920

MODERN AMERICA AND FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

  • Discuss the changing role of women in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Discuss the major changes in society in the 1920s and 1930s
  • Identify the events leading to the Great Depression
  • Evaluate the effects of the Great Depression on American society
  • Analyze the challenges for F. Roosevelt and the New Deal

WORLD WAR II AND THE COLD WAR

  • Analyze America's role in the world between the two World Wars (1918–1941)
  • Describe the tensions leading to American involvement in World War II
  • Discuss the effects of World War II on American society and America's place in the world
  • Identify the causes of the Cold War
  • Explain how the end of World War II led to the Cold War

AFFLUENCE AND ANXIETY IN THE 1960s

  • Describe post-World War II prosperity
  • Discuss changes in American culture during the 1960s
  • Compare and contrast life in the 1950s with that in the 1960s
  • Analyze the challenges of black equality in the twentieth century
  • Explain the effects of the Cold War on the United States' domestic policy and foreign policy
  • Discuss the events leading to the Vietnam War

A CRISIS IN CONFIDENCE, 1969-1980

  • Describe the politics of Nixon's presidency
  • Discuss the Watergate scandal
  • Analyze the role of energy in the U.S. economy, with specific reference to oil
  • Describe how American society changed during the 1970s
  • Discuss the continuation of the Cold War

THE REPUBLICAN RESURGENCE, 1980-1992

  • Define Reaganomics
  • Analyze the impact of Reagan's policies at home and around the world
  • Analyze the impact of social dilemmas, such as AIDS and drugs, on society
  • Compare and contrast the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies

AT THE END OF THE AMERICAN CENTURY

  • Describe how America's population changed in the 1980s and 1990s
  • Discuss the "culture wars" and technological innovations of the 1990s
  • Analyze the Clinton administration's economic, foreign, and domestic policy initiatives
  • Describe the relationship between the Cold War and terrorism in the twenty-first century
  • Discuss the 9/11 terrorist attacks
  • Discuss the reasons why Bush's popularity declined
  • Label a timeline with significant American historical events from 1920 to 2008

Note: This program can be completed in 6 months. However, students will have online access to this program for a 24-month period.

Education and National Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There is a National Certification exam available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.

National Certification

Upon successful completion of this Auburn University program, students would be eligible to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Although there are no state approval, state registration or other state requirements for this program, students who complete this program at Auburn University will be prepared and are eligible to sit for this national certification exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the externship option with their program. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the MOS national certification exams and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so. Auburn University works with each student to complete the exam application and register the student to take their national certification exam.


Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in an externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and will be placed with a participating organization near their location. Auburn University works with national organizations and has the ability to place students in externship opportunities nationwide.