May 29, 2023  
2018-2019 Winona Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Winona Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History and Social Science

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Tycho de Boer, Ph.D., Chair

The history department supports the mission of the university by providing education in history, a discipline which is a core component of the liberal arts. As such, it seeks to instill in students a thirst for lifelong learning; a commitment to participation in the civic culture of a democratic society; an appreciation for context and contingency; an inclination towards critical thinking and an appreciation for evidence in making judgments; and the ability to communicate those judgments and other ideas.

The department seeks to enhance the personal and professional lives of students who major or minor in history or take history courses as part of the General Education Program. Through a study of the past, students develop an understanding of the national and global societies of which they are members. The goal is that students, for example, come to understand the forces which mold the institutions of their own society and of the global community. The department also hopes that students discover where their generation fits in the historical development of the human race, and come to an appreciation of what is of value and therefore to be preserved.

History and history/social studies majors develop not only knowledge of the past, but also a variety of skills, including the ability to analyze and explain complex issues, the ability to research and present new information, and the ability to effectively communicate research and analysis in written and oral form. Through the social studies education major, the history faculty—as scholar-teachers and in cooperation with the School of Education—contribute to the formation of elementary and secondary school teachers through the instruction of history content and academic advising.

General Department Goals

Students demonstrate a strong foundation in historical thinking by successfully completing the history or history/social studies majors, whose goals are:

  • To develop students’ ability to think historically, that is, to use historical methods in analyzing problems;
  • To develop students’ ability to critically read and analyze historical works (secondary sources);
  • To develop students’ ability to find and interpret historical evidence (primary sources);
  • To develop students’ ability to construct an evidence-based interpretation of the past and communicate it effectively both in writing and orally; and
  • To develop students’ ability to navigate from the academic world of the university to the world of work, professional development, and lifelong learning.

International Semester

History majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a semester, preferably during spring semester of sophomore year or fall semester of junior year. Advanced consultation with one’s academic advisor relative to major requirements is recommended.

Language Study

The history department encourages all students to study foreign languages. Students who are planning to attend graduate school are strongly advised to pursue language study.

History Department Distinction & Awards

The history department grants departmental distinction to graduating seniors who have earned a department GPA of 3.700 or higher, a cumulative GPA of 3.300 or higher, and at least an AB in H470 Senior Thesis . Departmental distinction is reserved for students majoring in history, history/social studies, or social studies education who perform academically at the top level of all graduates from the department. The Brother J. Robert Lane Historical Essay Prize is awarded to students for excellence in historical research and writing whenever applicable. The history department book prizes are awarded each semester to outstanding students in each history class.

The history department sponsors the Lambda–Lambda Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. It also sponsors a student-funded History Club. Both the department and the club are active in inviting speakers to campus to discuss topics of interest and use to both majors and the entire university community. 


Social Science

The social science department houses the following programs: criminal justice, human services, political science and sociology. The department’s programs examine various elements of society, as described in the major descriptions below. All departmental programs include a mixture of theory and practice, and stress clarity in written communication, oral communication and critical thinking.

The social science department also offers a major in educational studies jointly with the education department. The major is appropriate for students interested in providing education services in non-traditional contexts such as child and family services, corrections, health education, human services and other non-profit settings. Students may choose from concentrations in adult learning contexts, child and family contexts, religious education, and youth development and leadership. See Education   section of this catalog for course requirements and additional information.

Criminal Justice Program

Tricia Klosky, Ph.D., Coordinator

The criminal justice program is an applied interdisciplinary program in the social sciences emphasizing a liberal arts approach to the administration and understanding of and the practice in the criminal justice system. The program is designed to prepare students for a variety of entry-level positions in criminal justice and to provide them with knowledge of the causes of crime, as well as the workings of the criminal justice system (police, courts and corrections) and law in society.

General Goals for Learning/Students:

  • Have an understanding of the principles underlying the functions of the criminal justice system and its relationship to society at large;
  • Have a thorough understanding of the role of criminal justice professional in the fields of law enforcement, corrections and the courts;
  • Possess the skills necessary to think clearly, independently and critically about the fundamental issues in criminal justice; and
  • Possess the foundations necessary for professional careers in the criminal justice fields, successful graduate study or law school.

Human Services Program

Valerie Edwards Robeson, M.S.S.W., Coordinator

Human services is a complex social system designed to prevent, identify and respond to the problems people can experience in daily living, such as poverty, abuse, illness and social isolation. The human services program prepares students for entry-level human services employment and for graduate study in related fields.

General Goals for Learning


  • Understand the interactive nature of persons and their environments;
  • Select, plan, implement and evaluate interventions designed to improve daily life, and promote human well-being;
  • Possess the range of communication and information management skills necessary for various professional human services roles; and
  • Engage in reflective ethical practice, guided by self-awareness and professional self-management.

Political Science Program

David Lynch, Ph.D., Coordinator

Political science is devoted to the study of the individual as a political being acting in association with others to accomplish public ends. As an academic discipline, it deals primarily with the description and analysis of political systems and political behavior.

General Goals for Learning


  • Develop the ability to think critically and write clearly about important political questions or cross-cultural and global issues;
  • Enhance their global citizenship through an awareness of the global dimensions of personal choices and public policies;
  • Enhance an active democratic citizenship through the development of practical political awareness and experience at political activism; and
  • Enhance their analytical and presentation skills devoted to political and global topics through class presentations.

Sociology Program

Wesley Miller, Ph.D., Coordinator

Sociology focuses on “the analytical study of the development, structure and function of human groups and societies.”

General Goals for Learning:


  • Develop what C. Wright Mills called a “sociological imagination”;
  • Are able to differentiate and apply the three dominant sociological paradigms; and
  • Are able to examine social reality from a scientific perspective.



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