The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


Invitation to attend an AHA sponsored conference for history educators in October

In 2014, the American Historical Association, in collaboration with several area NY and NJ colleges, hosted a gathering of historians and history educators in Brooklyn, NY. (A summary of that meeting can be found in the September 2014 issue of AHA’s Perspectives).  The goal at that meeting was to begin an ongoing conversation among history educators in the Northeast region about our shared expectations for student learning at the undergraduate level.


We would like to invite you and your colleagues to join us for the second of these regional forums which will be held October 29, 2016, from 9am to 1pm. As in the past, we hope to have at least one representative from every college in the region attend the conference so we ask that you please share this invitation with the rest of your department including the adjunct faculty. The conference is sponsored by the American Historical Association and NJCCC, is organized by AHA members from colleges in the region, and is hosted this year by Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst, NJ.


There is no registration cost, but we would ask that you please register before October 15 on the conference website. More information about the conference agenda, the keynote speaker, and the assignment charrette will be made available on the website and will also be provided over email in the coming weeks to those who have registered by the October 15 deadline.


This year, there will again be a keynote address and a short panel discussion, but the central feature of the conference will be the Assignment Charrette. The Assignment Charrette is workshop that has been run with great success at both the 2016 National Council for Social Studies conference and the American Historical Association’s annual meeting. The charrette requires participants to provide, in advance of the workshop, an assignment that they have given or plan to give their students. The assignment could be anything from a small daily group activity to a larger research paper. In small groups, the participants then share their assignments with their colleagues and, using a series of prompts and questions, collaborate with them on ways to improve student learning outcomes from the assignment. This collaborative reflection on our assignments allows us to discuss, in a very concrete and practical way, how we approach learning in our discipline. It helps us to reconsider what we want students to learn from the study of history and how our instruction and assignments can be altered to better achieve that outcome.


We hope that you and your colleagues will attend this second forum of history educators in the Northeast region and participate in the assignment charrette on October 29. Please do not hesitate to send an email to Sarah Shurts at if you have any questions about the conference or the charrette.



Peter Burkholder, Fairleigh Dickinson University Christine Eubank, Bergen Community College Michele Rotunda, Union County College Sarah Shurts, Bergen Community College Emily Tai, Queensborough Community College And the staff of the American Historical Association



Dr. Sarah Shurts

Associate Professor

History Department

Bergen Community College



Historia testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, magistra vitae est History is the witness of time, the light of truth, the life of memory, the teacher of life –Cicero