Citizenship minor introduced

Citizenship++minor+introduced

Jamie Glenn

A new citizenship minor has been implemented into the history department. The minor is composed of a variety of political science and history courses.

History professor Alan Willis is spearheading the minor as an opportunity for students to become more civically involved, he said. The curriculum was molded from a program that was started at Syracuse University. The minor consists of a series of history, political science courses and one psychology course along with optional Native American studies electives.

“We were looking at possible curriculum issues that would make our department different from other history Departments around Michigan, and also something that would tie a couple of disciplines together,” Willis said, “This citizenship focus came up a few times so we decided as a Department to look at what could be put together. It became clear that all of the pieces were there. They just needed to be brought together into a clear path and a clear program.”

The minor has been active since fall of this year but the history department hopes to increase enrollment in the future.

“It just went on the books this year, so our main goal this year was to get word out so people actually know about it. Our primary goal as far as the minor goes is to get it up to what we would consider a sustainable number of students on a regular basis going through it. For most minor programs I’ve seen in the 20-25 student range. It would be great if we could have more than that but that’s kind of an immediate target for the next couple of years,” Willis said.

This new minor is looking to provide students with tools to become more well- rounded citizens.

“The more you understand about how it’s supposed to work, the easier to see where there are issues to address. We certainly hope to encourage engagement at some level,” Willis said. “There’s all kinds of ways that people can get engaged in promoting good citizenship, there’s all kinds of
possibilities.”