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Area IV Academic Committee

Composition & Terms of Appointments

  • The Council of Chief Academic Officers appoints the 14 four-year members.
  • The Community College System Office appoints 14 two-year members.
  • Each member serves a 3-year term with the first group’s membership with staggered terms (1-year, 2-year, and 3-year) so that a new 3rd rotates on each year.
  • Each committee elects a Chair and a Vice-Chair (one would be from the 4-year reps and one would be from the 2-year reps). The chair and vice-chair will serve 3-year terms.
  • The members must have experience teaching in at least one of the fields in history or the social sciences.
  • The members should also have some broad knowledge of the discipline areas (history and social science).
  • The member could be a college dean or department head, but it is not a requirement.
  • Recommendations of course approvals and template ratifications from the committee to the AGSC require 15 YES votes to move the item forward to the AGSC for final approval or ratification. Members may vote by written proxy or by representative.

Roles & Responsibilities


The AREA IV History & Social Sciences Academic Committee shall:

  1. Review/make recommendations for courses and review/establish templates in the following discipline areas:
    1. Anthropology
    2. Area & Ethnic Studies
    3. Communication Studies (Interpersonal Communication)
    4. Economics
    5. Geography (Human)
    6. History
    7. Political Science
    8. Psychology
    9. Sociology
    10. Other discipline areas considered to be in History or Social Sciences
  2. Review and recommendation for approval or disapproval of new courses from two-year and four-year institutions. NOTE: (In evaluating a course, a committee is not to mandate a specific model, but to determine that the course is within the general parameters that the committee has established and that it is broad enough in scope to meet the general studies designation.)
  3. Review of revised courses proposed by institutions as general studies courses in the discipline.
  4. Review previously approved courses under the following conditions...
    • When there is a significant change in the content of a course.
    • When the institution wishes a course to be considered for approval for a different AREA.
    • (or) When AGSC deems it appropriate to review a course.
  5. Review of the established discipline specific guidelines for their discipline.
  6. Review discipline templates and development of new discipline templates (transfer guides), as necessary.


Email Members

Chairperson

Vice Chairperson

Voting members

4-Year Members

Institutional Points of Contact

14 votes from this group.

2-Year Members

Alabama Community College System Office

14 votes from this group.

WSCCS  · TBA by Wallace State Community College - Selma

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Course Requirements

Course guidelines for courses submitted in discipline areas covered in Areas I & II. Note if you do not see the specific disicipline area that you are looking for, please contact our office and we will help direct you.

Anthropology

Specific guidelines and criteria in the social sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences. General studies courses in Anthropology must:

  1. Discuss the unique quality of the discipline with respect to others in the social sciences;
  2. Present a holistic perspective about key issues of social structure/stratification and individual/society relationships;
  3. Illustrate application of knowledge in the discipline to human concerns, drawing examples from geographically diverse settings;
  4. Illustrate the application of scientific, comparative, and interpretive methods;
  5. Employ critical evaluation of descriptive accounts of social phenomena in their physical settings.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Language and Culture
  • Introductory Archaeology

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Southeastern Indians
  • Gerontology
  • Exploring Primate Behavior
  • Cultures of India

Area & Ethnic Studies

Specific guidelines and criteria in the humanities and fine arts require that courses should be broad in scope and content rather than specific. Courses should incorporate the methods of inquiry, appropriate to the humanities and fine arts. Courses in Area/Ethnic Studies must consider the uniqueness of various Area and Ethnic groups while emphasizing and affirming connections among all people and specific groups.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Introduction to American Studies
  • Survey of African-American Studies
  • Introduction to Women's Studies
  • Introduction to Latin American Studies

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • The Writings of Chinua Achebe
  • Contemporary Rio Grande Studies

Communication Studies (Interpersonal Communication)

Specific guidelines and criteria for Interpersonal Communication courses in Area IV are as follows:

  1. Courses should deal primarily with the study of human communication behavior and social structures, presenting the essential characteristics and basic processes of inquiry and analysis in communication studies.
  2. Courses should encourage the development of critical thinking skills, employing critical evaluation of communication behaviors.
  3. Courses should be broad in scope, not limited to majors.
  4. Courses should not focus on professional skills but should consider human communication in relation to other disciplines and in application to other human concerns.
  5. Courses should survey or provide an overview of the course content for students.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Principals of Human Communication
  • Introduction to Mass Communication
  • Introduction to Media Literacy

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Listening Techniques
  • Oral Communication of Literature
  • Gender Communication

Economics

Specific guidelines and criteria in history, social, and behavioral sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry appropriate to economics. Courses in economics that serve as prerequisites or required courses for majors in business must consider the general studies and pre-professional curriculum for students planning to major in any aspect of business or accounting. Business and accounting majors must take a course in both microeconomics and macroeconomics.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Economics
  • Introduction to Economics

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Consumer Economics
  • Economic History
  • Economic Geography

Geography (Human)

Specific guidelines and criteria in the social sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences. General studies courses in Human Geography must:

  1. Discuss the unique quality of the discipline with respect to others in the social sciences;
  2. Present a holistic perspective about key issues of social structure/stratification and individual/society relationships;
  3. Illustrate application of knowledge in the discipline to human concerns, drawing examples from geographically diverse settings;
  4. Illustrate the application of scientific, comparative, and interpretive methods;
  5. Employ critical evaluation of descriptive accounts of social phenomena in their physical settings.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Principals of Human Geography
  • Introduction to Human Geography

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Southeastern Indians
  • Gerontology
  • Exploring Primate Behavior
  • Cultures of India

History

Specific guidelines and criteria in history, social, and behavioral sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences. Guidelines and criteria for two possible course sequences in history are as follows:

World History: These courses are a survey of social, cultural, economic, and political developments which have molded the modern world. The first course in the sequence covers the ancient world through the era of world exploration, and the second course in the sequence surveys the development of the modern world from the era of world exploration to the present.

Western Civilization: These courses are a survey of social, cultural, economic, and political developments which have molded the modern Western world. The first course in the sequence covers the ancient world through the era of world exploration, and the second course in the sequence surveys the development of the modern Western world from the era of world exploration to the present.

U.S. History: These courses are a survey of social, cultural, economic, and political developments which have molded the United States of America. The first course in the sequence usually covers the colonial period through Reconstruction, including the Revolution, Constitution, Early National Era, sectional problems, and the Civil War. The second course in the sequence usually covers from post- Reconstruction to the contemporary era, including industrialization, emergence as a world power, World War I, Great Depression, World War II, Cold War, the expanding role of government, and global issues in the post-Communist era.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest contentAPPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • World History I or II
  • Western Civilization I or II
  • American History I or II
  • U.S. History I or II

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Alabama History
  • American Indians
  • Civil War Battles
  • Contemporary Europe
  • Southern History
  • History of Africa

Political Science

Specific guidelines and criteria in history, social, and behavioral sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include holistic or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences. Guidelines and criteria for general studies courses in Political Science are:

  1. Provide an overview of the major concepts and structure of the discipline;
  2. Develop and encourage informed participation in governmental and political processes;
  3. Develop political awareness, historical perspective, and critical thinking skills.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Introduction to Political Science
  • Introduction to American Government
  • Political Science
  • American Government

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Public Administration
  • City and County Government
  • Major Governments of Latin America
  • Political Systems of Eastern Europe

Psychology

Specific guidelines and criteria in history, social, and behavioral sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include holistic or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences. General studies courses in Psychology must be:

  1. Broad in scope covering a variety of theoretical perspectives and range of topics; and
  2. Grounded in scientific principles and methods.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Human Growth and Development*
  • Lifespan Development*

* Prerequisite: General Psychology or Introduction to Psychology

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Personal Development
  • Child Psychology
  • Adolescent Psychology
  • Psychology of Adjustment

Sociology

Specific guidelines and criteria in the social sciences require that courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences. General studies courses in Sociology must:

  1. Discuss the unique quality of the discipline with respect to others in the social sciences;
  2. Present a holistic perspective about key issues of social structure/stratification and individual/society relationships;
  3. Illustrate application of knowledge in the discipline to human concerns, drawing examples from geographically diverse settings;
  4. Illustrate the application of scientific, comparative, and interpretive methods;
  5. Employ critical evaluation of descriptive accounts of social phenomena in their physical settings.

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology: Global Perspective
  • Social Problems

In most cases, the following course titles suggest content NOT APPROPRIATE for general studies:

  • Police and Society
  • Minority Groups
  • Socialization
  • Sentencing and Corrections

Other

Other discipline areas considered to be in Social Sciences - Please contact our office for assistance.