Saddleback College Course Syllabus

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Saddleback College

Course Syllabus

Course Title: U.S. History from 1877 Course number: HST 17

Class Meetings: INTERNET Session/Year: SPR 2010

Ticket #: 12385 Dates: 10/18-12/19
Instructor Name: Mr. Menzing

Email Address:

Phone: None

Instructor Availability Outside of Class: Via email or Student Discussion Board Course Websites:

  • Menzing Faculty Website:

  • Blackboard Website:

  • A Biography of America:

U.S. History

Course Description: This course is designed to provide a survey of the political, social, economic, and cultural development of the United States from pre-European contact through reconstruction. Specific attention will be directed to the colonial era, establishment of the new nation, sectional problems, national growth, disunion and reconstruction. In keeping with the name of your text, we will focus as often as possible on the history of the United States through the lives of the people who created the new nation and the new society. Particular attention will be placed on the interaction between Europeans, Americans, and the Native Peoples of the "New World."

Course Length: 9 Weeks

Anticipated Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Articulate the changing definition of American democracy.

  • To obtain a basic understanding and knowledge of the various contours within the history of the United States from the 1877 to the present.

  • To question "history" in order to understand that history emanates from subjective positions that shape the stories that are told, presented, or remembered.

  • To explore how we construct our knowledge of the world from our diverse experiences and backgrounds within American culture.

  • Examine the effects of technology on American development.

  • Analyze the effects of immigration on American history.

  • Explore contemporary American issues and determine their historical origins.

Course Prerequisites: College English

  • Course Materials (Three books + website)

    1) Author: Steinbeck

Title: The Grapes of Wrath
Required: This novel is in the campus bookstore

2) Author : Nash

Title : American People: Brief (v.2)
Publisher : Longman
Edition : 6th
ISBN : 0321316428 (at campus bookstore)
Required?: Required
3) A Biography of America Video Series (free streaming video series)
Recommended Readings: None
Method of Instruction: Lecture
Estimated Homework Hours/Week : 6-9
Technology Needed: Access to a computer, word processing program, disks, and printer

Grading Scale: A 100-90

B 80-89

C 70-79

D 60-69

F 60 or below

  • Grades are never “rounded up.” A grade of 79.9 is a “C.” Unless there is a mathematical error, please do not ask the instructor to change a grade.

  • The Blackboard Gradebook is correct. Please note that the final grade is not based on a simple point system. The categories are weighted

Process for Evaluation:
9 Discussion Boards (5% each) 45%

4 Exams (11% each) 44%

Essay 11%


  • Exams will be taken through the Blackboard site. Exams are timed. There are no make-up exams. If students have problems with taking the exam they must notify me immediately by email.

  • The essay should be 4-5 pages in length, double spaced and typed. The essay must be submitted to Your essay will not be accepted if it contains more than five (5) spelling errors. Your thesis is completely up to you but if you want to know what your essay should “look like” (structure, citations etc) you should follow a basic academic essay structure (introduction, thesis, body paragraphs, conclusion + parenthetical references to the text, e.g., (Steinbeck, 47), (Nash, 45), etc.

    • Class ID:  3194152

    • Password: Grapes

  • The study guides are posted only to help students keep track of the lecture/discussion. They are not part of the grading system and do not need to be turned in.

  • The text book companion website is available with powerpoints, practice tests and other study aids

  • Students will go review the video series “A Biography of America.” This series will be especially important for both the midterms and final exams. The episodes are approximately 30 minutes each. You will have to register before streaming the episodes (takes about five minutes). This website is listed above, on Blackboard (under resources) and here:


    • Please review episodes 12-18 for exams 1-2

    • Please review episodes 19-26 for exams 3-4

Incomplete Grades: I do not issue incomplete grades

Late Work: I do not accept late work for any reason

Homework and late assignments: Students must keep pace with the reading schedule
Extra Credit Assignments: There is no extra credit

It is crucial to the success of this course that there is constant communication between students as well as each student with the instructor. There is a student discussion board forum for weekly questions (it is, and will remain, the first forum on the discussion board). This question forum is for students to post their specific questions regarding the course or assignments. The instructor, as well as fellow students, can respond to these questions. It is very likely that if one student has a question other students have the same question as well. This will help to clarify instructions as well as facilitate collaborative problem solving. It is required that each student check this question forum frequently. Also note: it is extremely important that each student contact the instructor via e-mail with concerns or questions that are not appropriate for the question forum or that the student does not feel comfortable posting on the forum. It is important that there is constant and open communication with the instructor throughout the semester.

Personal Responsibility
Students should pace themselves according to the course syllabus. Students should not have to spend more than 4-6 hours per week studying. Online courses require a great deal of self-discipline when it comes to studying. Students must be prepared to accept personal responsibility for their own performance in this course. While the instructor will maintain an active presence in the course you are essentially on your own. If you have any questions or comments please either post in the Questions and Comments forum or email the instructor (especially regarding grades and other personal matters. Please do not post personal information regarding grades, student ID, etc in the Questions and Comments forum.

Hst 17 is a transferable course within both the CSU and UC college systems. This course is a university-level survey of world history. This instructor does not believe in lowering academic standards because this is "just a community college course." On the contrary, the standard for this course is at a CSU/UC level. If students are not prepared to engage the course at this level they should consider dropping the course.

Remember, as Cheech Marin once said:

 "[Personal] responsibility is a heavy responsibility"

Please complete your readings and assignments on time.

Due dates are clearly marked on the syllabus and discussion board forums

Course Requirements

Student Expectations: It is expected that each student is online a minimum of five days a week, however, I suggest that you check in daily. Each student is expected to check announcements, check e-mail (your Saddleback e-mail via Mysite as this is how I will contact you if need be), get assignments, participate on the discussion board, read lectures (lectures can be found under “Course Materials”; make sure you read the weekly lectures as assessments are based on these as well as the required readings), read assigned readings, turn in paper assignments, and take online exams on a weekly basis and/or according to the set deadlines. Each student should anticipate devoting approximately eight hours per week to this course. In order to be successful in the course each student must have access to a computer with a modem, internet, and e-mail capability. It is important that each student have basic knowledge of Microsoft Word s well as be knowledgeable in navigating the web.
Participation: Your participation and virtual attendance will be essential to your overall success in the class. Each student is expected to log-on to our course website at least five times per week, check for announcements and assignments, and participate in the discussion board. Research shows that students who participate regularly tend to earn better grades than those who do not. Exams and assignments regularly cover material that may not be contained in the textbook.
NOTE: If you are no longer participating in the class it is your responsibility to drop or withdraw yourself from the course. It is not the instructor’s responsibility to drop students who are no longer participating in the class.
Blackboard: The Blackboard system is our virtual classroom. The system includes such features as: announcements, e-mail, discussion board forums (our class discussion forum), lectures, links, additional handouts, additional readings, study guides, exams, assignments, and grades.
Course Website Address:
Your username is your Saddleback College e-mail address given to you at registration (first initial of your first name and your last name plus a number; DO NOT included the and your password is either your pin number plus two zero’s or the last four digits of your social security number plus two zero’s.
Technical Difficulties:

If a student is experiencing difficulties with the website, which extends beyond a few hours as the website could be temporarily down, he or she must immediately contact me. Questions regarding navigating the website usually can be found by reading the Blackboard instructions found through the campus website:

Students should also contact Sheri Nelson at with any technical difficulties (related to accessing Blackboard only!)
Online Etiquette: It is essential that each student be polite and respectful at all times. When posting on the discussion board, responding to other student’s postings, and throughout written assignments courtesy and respect must be maintained. A good thing to keep in mind is, “would I say this to the person’s face?” or “would I say this to my grandma?” Also note that offensive language will not be tolerated. If a student is found to be disrespectful and/or providing a negative learning environment for others he or she will receive a warning or immediately be dropped from the course according to the instructor’s discretion.

Please go to the following websites for information on “Netiquette”:
Village Computer Lab Information:


M-TH 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

F 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sat 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Special Services

“Special Services provides support services and specialized instruction for students with disabilities.”

If you feel that you are in need of special services please contact the Special Services office:


Office location: SSC113 (Student Services Center 113; first floor)


Note: please feel free to discuss special services issues with me. If you have already been assessed through Student Services please discuss accommodations with me and get the paperwork to me as soon as possible.
This course meets the requirements set forth in the accessibility checklist and universal design grid provided by special services. The Web pages, video presentations, textbooks and class materials used in this course are accessible to students with disabilities. If you have questions on how to make accommodations please contact Special Services-Mike Sauter

Grading Criteria for Writing Assignments:

Please note that grading is an inherently subjective process. The instructor uses the following rubric to help determine grades on discussion forums and essays. The instructor reserves the exclusive right to determine grading thresholds. The instructor will never “negotiate” grades.

"A" range work is:

Outstanding achievement; significantly exceeds standards. Unique topic or unique treatment of topic; takes risks with content; fresh approach. Sophisticated/exceptional use of examples. Original and "fluid" organization; all sentences and paragraphs contribute; sophisticated transitions between paragraphs. Integration of quotations and citations is sophisticated and highlights the author's argument. Confidence in use of standard English; language reflects a practiced and/or refined. Posts also effectively integrate all of the course resources (Nash, Zinn, and Biography of America) with proper in-text citations.

"B" range work is:

Commendable achievement; exceeds minimum standards. Specific, original focus; content well-handled. Significance of content is clearly conveyed; good use of examples; sufficient support exists in all key areas. Has effective shape (organization); effective pacing between sentences or paragraphs. Quotations and citations are integrated into argument to enhance the flow of ideas. Have competent transitions between all sentences and paragraphs. Conveys a strong understanding of standard English; the writer is clear in his/her attempt to articulate main points, but may demonstrate moments of "flat" or unrefined language. The work contains very few mechanical errors. Posts also integrate at least two of the course resources.

"C" range work is:

Acceptable achievement; meets minimum standards for course. Retains over-all focus; generally solid command of subject matter. Subject matter well explored but may show signs of under-development. Significance is understood; competent use of examples. Structure is solid, but an occasional sentence or paragraph may lack focus. Quotations and citations are integrated into argument and references are provided. Transitions between paragraphs occur but may lack originality. Competent use of language; sentences are solid but may lack development, refinement, style. Occasional minor mechanical errors may occur, but do not impede clear understanding of material. The work contains few serious grammatical or spelling errors. understanding of syntax and usage. Sentences vary in structure; very few if any mechanical errors. Posts also effectively integrate at least one of the course resources.

"D" range work is:

Marginal in achievement; it fails to not meet minimum standards. Significance of content is unclear. Some ideas may lack support, elaboration. Lacks sufficient examples or relevance of examples may be unclear. Support material may not be clearly incorporated into argument. Expression is occasionally awkward (problematic sentence structure). Mechanical errors may at times impede clear understanding of material. May have a few serious mechanical errors. Posts do not integrate any of the course resources.

“F" range work:

Ignores assignment. Lacks significance. Lacks coherence. Lacks focus. Difficult to follow due to awkward sentence or paragraph development. Mechanical errors impede understanding. Problems with writing at the college level. Any work that is plagiarized.

Academic Dishonesty
Students are expected too maintain the highest standards of academic honesty while pursuing their studies at Saddleback College.  Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: plagiarism and cheating, misuse of academic resources or facilities, and misuse of computer software, data, equipment or networks.

Plagiarism is the use (copying) of another person’s ideas, words, visual images, or audio samples, presented in a manner that makes the work appear to be the student’s original creation.  All work that is not the student’s original creation, or any idea or fact that is not “common knowledge,” must be documented properly to avoid even accidental infractions of the honor code.

Cheating is to gain an unfair advantage on a grade by deception, fraud, or breaking the rules set forth by the instructor of the class.  Cheating may include but is not limited to: copying the work of others; using notes or other materials when unauthorized; communicating to others during an exam; and any other unfair advantage as determined by the instructor.

Students who cheat and/or plagiarize will be failed out of the course (absolutely and without question). Also, students who violate the terms of academic honesty will have an Academic Dishonesty Report filed with the Dean’s Office.

Weekly Outline
Week 1(10/18-10/24): The Union Reconstructed/Rural America

READ: Nash, 16-17

VIEW: A Biography of America: 12-13


Week 2 (10/25-10/31): The Rise of Smokestack America/Politics and Reform

READ: Nash, 18-19

VIEW: A Biography of America: 14-15


Exam 1 (Due 10/31)
Week 3 (11/1-11/7): Becoming a World Power/The Progressives

READ: Nash, 20-21

VIEW: A Biography of America: 17, 19


Week 4 (11/8-11/14): The Great War/Affluence and Anxiety

READ: Nash, 22-23

VIEW: A Biography of America: 18, 20


EXAM 2 (Due 11/14)
Week 5 (11/15-11/21): The Great Depression/World War II

READ: Nash, 24-25

VIEW: A Biography of America: 21-22


Week 6 (11/22-11/28): Post War America/The Cold War

READ: Nash, 26-27

VIEW: A Biography of America: 23-24


EXAM 2 (Due 11/28)
Week 7 (11/29-12/5): The Sixties/Disorder and Discontent

READ: Nash, 28-29

VIEW: A Biography of America: 23


Week 8 (12/6-12/12): The Revival of Conservatism

Read: Nash, 30

View: A Biography of America 25


Week 9 (12/13-12/19): Post Cold War America

Read: Nash, 31

View: A Biography of America 26


ESSAY DUE (12/17

EXAM 4 (Due 12/19)

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