Emory & Henry history classes are distinctive for two reasons. First, history is taught in a comparative, analytical way. You do more than memorize a series of dates and events — you learn to see patterns and relationships in events of the past and the implications those events have for the present.
Another distinctive aspect of our history program is an emphasis on student participation. Our classes are small—usually 10 to 20 students—and in virtually every class there is a great deal of discussion. You also pursue original research, make oral presentations, and write papers that in some instances are read at professional meetings. The history curriculum has recently expanded to include studies in Latin American, African, Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Islamic histories.
At Emory & Henry, we believe that history is exciting because of the variety it offers—the challenge of trying to comprehend the impact of a civilization and the insights gained from focusing on a single individual or event.
Our course offerings will provide a foundation in the broad understanding of history while focusing on specific themes, periods, regions and ideas.
The program offers a B.A. degree in history, and also includes a minor in history or a minor in history with an emphasis in African-American Studies.
You may encounter history through projects ranging from internships and research papers to hands-on work with a large collection of Cherokee and Mississippian artifacts.
Students travel to the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta, or the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and gather oral histories from throughout the Virginia Highlands for the Appalachian Oral History Project. Some students study in England, Italy, China and Brazil. Internships and directed studies are available through the Washington County Historical Society and the Holston Conference Archives here on campus. A history day for high school students also is held each spring at the college.
Students have participated in internships at Harpers Ferry National Park, Library of Virginia, Gray (Tenn.) Natural History Museum (Gray Fossil Site), Whites Mill, Museum of the Middle Appalachians, and the Library of Congress.
Southwest Virginia is rich with history. The college itself is a designated Virginia Historic Landmark, one of many in the immediate area. The cemetery near campus has 206 Civil War graves and the original construction of the college administration building served as a Confederate barracks and hospital. Other historic sites in nearby Abingdon include the Martha Washington Inn, the Cave House and Barter Theatre.
The M.A. Ed. in American History is an important opportunity for those currently teaching, and it is making good school teachers into great school teachers. The new M.Ed. program enables a college student to earn a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree and to be fully certified and endorsed in more than one branch of social studies, and all within five years.
E&H history professors believe that we should help each of our students in moving from undergraduate studies to a career or to advanced study. We help students find jobs and internships and help them in their preparations for advanced study.
Our fastest growing sector of job opportunities is in public history. More traditional careers in the ministry, public school education, and private sector business remain well traveled by our graduates. The successes of our graduates reflect the strength of Emory & Henry’s history program. The M.Ed. in American History is an important opportunity for those currently teaching, and it is making good school teachers into great school teachers. The new M.Ed. program enables a college student to earn a master’s degree and a bachelors degree and to be fully certified and endorsed in more than one branch of social studies, and all within five years.