Erik S. Schmeller, Ph.D., Department Chair
216 Hubert Crouch Hall (Graduate Building)
Faculty: G. Bekele, M. Bertrand, S. Browne, T. Corse, E. Dachowski, D. Gibran, H. King, J. Miglietta, M. Monanabela, A. Oyebade, D. Padgett, J. Paruchuri, A. Patrick, B. Russell, E. Schmeller, L. Williams., W. Yefru.
Purpose: The Department of History, Political Science, Geography, and Africana Studies seeks to expand students’ awareness of their world, its history, and its political institutions. The Department offers general education courses for all students of the University, minor concentrations in each of its four disciplines, and full undergraduate degree programs in History and Political Science.
Admission and Retention: The undergraduate degree in History is a Bachelor of Arts degree, which means that History majors complete at least one foreign language at the intermediate level. The undergraduate degree in Political Science is a Bachelor of Science degree and does not include the requirement of a foreign language. Students pursuing either degree must obtain a grade of C or better in all courses used to satisfy major requirements. The minor in Geography consists of 18 hours including physical, systematic, and regional geography courses. The minor in Africana Studies consists of 18 hours. The minimum grade point average for receiving either baccalaureate degree is 2.0.
Pre-Law Studies: Although any major is acceptable for law school, Political Science and History are the most popular majors of all students entering law school. Our classes provide excellent preparation for law school, both for Political Science and History majors, as well as for students in other disciplines considering law school. Students interested in law school should take course that help to develop their analytical and communication skills. In addition to Political Science and History courses, upper-level courses in English, Philosophy, and Business are highly recommended. Students who are interested in law specific courses should consider the following Science courses: POLI 4210 - Judicial Process (3) ; POLI 4300 - Introduction to American Law (3) ; POLI 4310 - Constitutional Law: The Federal Government and Separation of Powers (3) ; POLI 4320 - Constitutional Law: The Bill of Rights (3) ; POLI 4340 - Legal Research and Writing (3) ; and POLI 4350 - International Law (3) . Students interested in pursuing law school should meet with TSU’s pre-law advisor, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, as soon as possible.
Teacher Licensure: The curriculum for this program includes the University’s general education requirements, the requirements for the major, and series of professional education courses culminating in a student teaching internship during the second semester of the senior year-and an entire year beginning in Fall 2013. Majors in History and Political Science who wish to seek teacher licensure for grades 7-12 in History, Government, and Geography should apply in writing to the College of Education for admission to the Teacher Education Program, usually during their sophomore year. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or better and must pass the Praxis Series Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST) or the Computer-Based Academic Skills Assessment Tests (CBT). Students who have previously earned a score of 22 on the ACT or Enhanced ACT, or a combined score of 990 on the verbal and mathematical portions of the SAT are exempt from the PPST and the CBT. Admission to the Teacher Education Program is a prerequisite to all upper-level courses in the professional education curriculum. For a complete description of admission and retention requirements for the Teacher Education Program, see the College of Education section.
The Tennessee Board of Regents Teacher Education Redesign Initiative, Ready2Teach, will officially begin in the fall semester of 2013. Ready2Teach requires residency in K-12 schools during the senior or final year (fall and spring) of undergraduate teacher licensure programs. The residency year includes Residency I during the fall semester and Residency 2 during the spring semester. Residency 1 will include methods courses and 90+ hours field study in K-12 schools. Residency 2 requires a full semester (16 weeks) of student teaching. Residency 1 will only be offered in the fall while Residency 2 will only occur in the spring. This initiative applies to all undergraduate teacher education candidates pursuing teacher licensure. All programs of study will be changed to reflect the new program beginning in the fall semester of 2013. Students are required to seek advisement regarding their licensure programs as early as possible during their academic career at Tennessee State University to ensure that all prerequisite courses and Praxis exams are complete in preparation for Residency.
Accreditation: The teacher licensure programs in the Department are approved by the Tennessee Department of Education. The University’s teacher education program is accredited by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
WRITE Programs: The history and political science majors, as participating WRITE Programs, are committed to providing students with the opportunity to develop the written communication skills necessary to succeed in their discipline and vocation. Working in partnership with the WRITE Program, the history and political science majors build on and promote the transference of writing skills from the general education curriculum through specifically sequenced core courses.
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