Class Discussion: History 15A: The Essentials of U.S. History

Helping Students Connect with the Past

Photo illustration created by Monica Bosque and Alex Martinez using historical photos from the library of congress digital collection.

Pop quiz! How do you identify with history? San Jose State history lecturers Laura Guardino, ’03 MA Social Science, Robert Cirivilleri, ’86 BS, ’00 MA, Social Science, and Katherine Chilton challenge students to examine American history through a multicultural lens in History 15A: The Essentials of U.S. History. Approximately 1,000 students take the course each year and, for many of them, it is their only window to American history at the college level. Thanks to a 2015 Proven Course Redesign grant, 60 percent of students reported feeling that the course reflected their personal identity, compared to 25 percent who had felt similarly about previous history courses.

How do you identify with the following American history essentials?

  • How did Mexican-American farmworkers experience the Great Depression?
  • What impact did World War II have on women?
  • How did the movement of settlers out west affect Native Americans?

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