HEP News SPRING 2020 Edition (Vol 1, No.4)

Welcome to the weirdest semester at App State!

In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the closing of the ASU campus, we know this is a challenging moment for all our majors. Some of you are going through some quite serious issues with your family (health, jobs and incomes), and many of you are likewise experiencing difficulties with your own health, jobs, and income. Making matters even more difficult is the process of moving back home, finding places to study, and doing your best in your courses.

If you are experiencing a problem, contact us via email at historyeducation@appstate.edu and together we can figure out how to help you get through the semester successfully. Most important, we hope you are safe and able to dwell on what you're thankful for each day. (A bit of humor along the way helps too.)

In this edition of HEP News:

  • Registration Information (Summer/Fall 2020)
  • University Updates - COVID-19 (and what it means for History Ed majors)
  • Going on the Job Market (in a pandemic)
  • Course Offerings Fall 2020
  • Apply to Teacher Ed
  • Praxis CORE & Praxis II (9-12 Social Studies)
  • CBCs & Field Experiences
  • Reminders: Upcoming Dates
  • Apply to Student Teach! (Deadline April 30)
  • Some Good News ... (introducing Eliza Morris)
  • Graduate Spotlight: Shannon Furr

Registration Information (Summer / Fall 2020)

By now, almost all of you have met with either Ms. Morris or Dr. Sibaja for your official advising appointment and to receive your registration PIN number. Advising began on April 8; for an up-to-date schedule for advising, visit this page on the Registrar's website.

HISTORY COURSES: Depending on your year (Sophomore, Junior, etc.) and when you officially declared the BS History/Social Studies Education major, you have either five (5) or six (6) course in the HIS major that can be taken at the 2000-level. [We upped the number to six (6) beginning Fall 2019.] Because you already have HIS 2201, HIS 2204, and HIS 2208 as required, that leaves either two (2) or three (3) courses at this level.

We recommend using the remaining slots for Non-Western HIS courses when possible as these 2000-level "survey" courses in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Middle East provide more relevant material for the 9-12 social studies curriculum. As you pick HIS Electives, consider thematic courses focused on human rights, gender, race, or teaching (like Dr. Fredette's HIS 3634 Teaching Controversies in History — one of our History Ed elective courses).

University Updates - COVID 19

In the midst of the state-wide COVID-19 shutdowns, the university has made some significant changes to policies that affect your courses this semester. Here are some changes and how they might affect you in the BS History/Social Studies Education program:

  • Enhanced Pass/Fail: If you decide to opt-in to a P/F option, you will still receive a grade but it will not count towards your GPA. If you decide to stay "as is" then you will receive a letter grade and it will count to your GPA. In others words, a "P B+" does not count towards your GPA, while a "B+" does. More info: https://registrar.appstate.edu/coronavirus-updates
  • For those of you needing to "up" your GPA to a 2.7 for Teacher Education Program admission, or as a final check to advance to Student Teaching (or, those of you needing a 3.6 or higher when considering our Accelerated Master's in History program), you have to decide if the grade you will receive in a course will improve your GPA. You have until May 17 to opt in to a P/F. If not, you will receive the grade "as is" and it will count towards your GPA. [Remember: DegreeWorks has a GPA calculator tool; more info: https://registrar.appstate.edu/faq/170]
  • Withdraw (WC): You can take a Withdrawal Without Penalty this semester, and it will not count towards a career drop. Deadline is May 12; more info: https://academicaffairs.appstate.edu/news/change-withdrawal-policy
  • Summer Courses: All of the HIS summer courses are now exclusively online. This is not a major change for HIS courses as we usually offer summer courses online with 1 or 2 exceptions.
  • Field Placements: If you are taking a professional education core class over the summer that requires a field placement, the Criminal Background Check (CBC) will be waived. Either Dr. Peacock, Dr. Moore, or any of the instructors in RCOE will contact students about Virtual Field Placements.
  • Follow the History Ed program on twitter (@AppState_HistEd) and Instagram (@appstate_histed) for up to date information and reminders on Professional Development opportunities you can complete over the Summer. If you have yet to do so, request membership with RCOE in AppSync for the latest PD offerings.

Going on the Job Market (in a pandemic)

Current Student Teachers: This is a difficult moment for all, including school system administrators. For most school districts, just trying to get this year completed, and ensure that children are educated and fed, is the most pressing issue. Hiring may not be a priority for most school systems until June. Be patient!

Bookmark your top choices' HR page or wherever a particular school system posts their job vacancies. If possible, follow the school system and/or HR director's Twitter accounts (often you will see vacancies post there first). And of course use websites like NC Teacher Match, but keep in mind not all school systems use this website (and systems use different titles, such as "9-12 Social Studies," "9-12 History," "HS History," "Secondary Social Studies," etc.)

In the meantime, polish up your resume, philosophy of teaching, cover letters, and your professional digital portfolio website. Tell a compelling story and reason to hire you. Include images of your student's work (not the students), sample unit maps and lesson plans, and some assessment samples. Be smart. Look professional. App State has a great reputation, so make it count! Check out our Career page for more tips.

• Course Offerings Fall 2020 •

There are a number of HIS courses available for Summer (all online) and Fall 2020. Be smart when choosing by looking for courses that will provide relevant and helpful materials & information for teaching 9-12 social studies. If you have done a good job diversifying by regions, save one HIS elective for "fun" (i.e. a topic like cinema, sports, music) if there's a course you're interested in. What we don't recommend is loading up on one region like US or Europe. Here are few example of thematic courses:

NOTE: HIS Special Topics courses have assigned course numbers from 3530-3549

Apply to Teacher Education

APPLICATION WINDOW IS NOW OPEN! Deadline is Aug 1 for Fall Admission.

COVID-19 update: At this time, RCOE is freezing the applications to Teacher Ed IF your final requirement is to take the PRAXIS Core. Why? Testing sites are closed and we do not know when the PRAXIS will be offered again. We recommend that you sign up to take PRAXIS Core as soon as you can, wait for the testing sites to reopen and receive your testing date, and, meanwhile, try to register for courses that move you along in your program of study (History major, Social Studies courses, Gen Ed, RCOE courses that do not require admission to the Teacher Ed Program). If you have room, you might even consider a minor.

Please read this letter on COVID-19 and PRAXIS Core from RCOE

[PRAXIS Core as a requirement for Teacher Ed programs is mandated by the NC Legislature. The legislators in Raleigh are aware of the situation and hopefully we will receive updated information soon.]

Admission into the Teacher Education program is required to take upper-level courses in your Professional Education Requirements section of your degree. The application is accessed through your AppalNet account. You should apply as soon as you are eligible to do so. Once your application is processed you will receive an email from Jenny Morris or History Education to that effect. Upon completion of your application, a new “ATCH” attribute will be added to your DegreeWorks page.

Eligibility is based on the following:

  • Passing Praxis CORE test or test exemption (based on SAT scores)
  • Attendance at a First Steps to Teaching Information Session (emailed invitation)
  • A current Criminal Background Check
  • A minimum 2.7 GPA or higher
  • 45 earned semester hours
  • A “C” or better in RC 1000, FDN 2400, & CI 2300. No grades of incomplete.

PRAXIS Core Help

Satisfactory PRAXIS CORE scores are required for admission into the Teacher Education Program. The test is very important for course progression.

Contact the James Center (jamescenter@appstate.edu) or the History Education Program (historyeducation@appstate.edu) if you have questions regarding which tests to take or general questions. The James Center puts on workshops once a semester to prepare students for all three test sections. For complete information, visit the James Center PRAXIS Core webpage.

Praxis II

COVID-19 Update: App State is waiving the PRAXIS II test requirement to pass CI 4900 (Student Teaching) for Spring 2020 graduates. However, all student teachers are encouraged to register (if you have yet to do so) or wait on ETS to update your testing date. You will be expected to take the PRAXIS II during your first year of teaching, and pass the exam by your third year of teaching. It makes sense, then, to take PRAXIS II as soon as possible to apply for a full NC 9-12 Social Studies teaching license.

A reminder for future student teachers (Fall 2020 onward): In order to clear student teaching and graduate, you must take the Praxis II 9-12 Social Studies Content Knowledge exam (5081) and receive a passing score on the edTPA portfolio. As far as PRAXIS II (Social Studies), a passing score on this exam (158) is not mandatory for clearing student teaching, but you will need to pass it in order to obtain a full North Carolina Teaching License. So it's beneficial to try to pass PRAXIS II as soon as possible and thus make yourself more marketable when looking for jobs.

When should I take PRAXIS II? It is highly recommended to register for and take the PRAXIS II exam the semester (or summer) prior to your student teaching semester. Visit the ETS PRAXIS website for registration information and directions. Links to all PRAXIS exams and information can also be found on our Careers page (history.appstate.edu/historyeducation/careers)

Criminal Background Checks

Current Criminal Background Checks (CBC) are required for admission into the Teacher Ed program as well as all field internships. Background checks can be requested through AppalNet. A background check is good for six months and the cost is around $20. If you feel you have items that might appear on the background check you are welcome to reach out to us or the College of Education regarding any concerns. Update your CBC if you are taking a course with a field experience Fall 2020.

Field Experiences

You will complete three field experiences before your student teaching semester (CI 4900); PSY 3010, SPE 3300, and CI 3100. The field experience attached to PSY 3010 is frequently completed on campus. The experiences associated with SPE 3300 and CI 3100 are conducted off-campus in the surrounding school districts.

NOTE: The internship sites for SPE 3300, CI 3100 and CI 4900 cannot be repeated. For example, if one field experience takes place in Avery County, the following internships must be in different counties because Avery only has one high school [same for Watauga and Ashe]. One exception to this rule is taking SPE 3300 and CI 3100 together in the same semester, which will create a combined internship placement at one site. A second exception to this rule is if you have extenuating circumstances that require you to stay as local as possible for your field experiences.

Reminders: Upcoming dates

  • April - Apply to Student Teach (if student teaching Spring 2021). Last day to apply is April 30.
  • April 8 - Registration window opens
  • April 30 - Reading Day
  • May 1- Final Exams begin
  • May 12 - Last day to opt in for Course Withdraw
  • May 17 - Last day to opt in for a P/F option (window is April 20-May 17)

Apply to Student Teach! If you are planning to student teach Spring 2021, you must fill out a short application no later than April 30.

Some Good News...

On March 18, our fearless History Education Program advisor and associate, Jenny Morris, gave birth to a beautiful and healthy girl: Eliza. Jenny and her husband, Dr. Quinn Morris (Math Dept.), write: "Though she was delivered about 3 weeks early, she weighed in at a healthy 6 lbs. 13oz., and measured 18.5 in. Mom and baby are both doing well!" If you get a chance, please send them warm wishes at: morrisjf1@appstate.edu and morrisqa@appstate.edu.

Baby Eliza with Patton and Jenny

Graduate Spotlight: Shannon Furr

A native of Wilkesboro, NC, Shannon Furr (BS History/Social Studies Education '19) is currently pursuing her MA in History. She arrived at Appalachian State University as an undergrad with a passion for working with children in the classroom. "When I visited App State, it felt like home right away," she recalls.

Shannon credits two educators for her interest in teaching history/social studies. In high school, her Civics & Economics teacher at Wilkes Central HS, Heather Hahn (also an ASU History Ed alum), made social studies come alive in the classroom. During her freshman year at App State, a World Civilization class with Dr. Allison Fredette marked a turning point for Shannon. While speaking with Dr. Fredette about her interest in history and civics, it became clear to her that a social studies classroom would best match her passions, interest, and strengths. Shannon made the switch to the BS History/Social Studies Education program and minored in political science. In addition, she completed an international student teaching experience by spending ten weeks in Wilkes County, NC, before interning at a school in Germany for her last six weeks.

We asked Shannon why history/social studies education matters and how she envisions her role as an instructor:

"[My goal] is to help students become aware of the narratives of the past so that they can develop a deeper identity in this world and the nation."
History Department • Anne Belk Hall • history.appstate.edu/historyeducation