The History department at College of the Ozarks offers students the exciting opportunity to explore the development of world civilizations and cultures and to study the foundation of the American heritage. Wide-ranging survey courses on Western Civilization and the American Experience—all part of the general education core—provide students an informational and conceptual introduction to these fields.
Students who major in History will select different upper-level courses from American and European history. In upper-level, seminar, and special topics courses students work closely with faculty to achieve in-depth knowledge of important times, trends, and themes from history and the powerful as well as ordinary people who have shaped the past and influence the present and future. All classes place a premium on a close liaison between students and teachers and among students.
Students majoring in History may choose from the following programs:
History Education (double major with Education).
Opportunities within the Department and College
History students compete for several scholarships awarded for exceptional achievement, and they have an impressive assortment of internships and job opportunities available to them. Many history majors have worked on special projects in the Ralph Foster Museum on campus, including the permanent exhibit on America’s war; some have done internships at presidential libraries, such as the Harry S. Truman Library, and at historic sites, parks, and battlefields, including Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield outside Springfield, Missouri. These sorts of history internships can lead to exciting career opportunities. One graduate did an internship at the White House and now works in the Office of the Vice President of the United States.
Students also have travel opportunities available to them, with many of the trips connected to academic courses. History students have traveled to Europe to study World War II and to experience cultures in Scotland and The Netherlands; they have visited Civil War battlefields and national parks; they have traveled through the South to see key sites in the history of the civil rights movement. Students in the senior-level seminar have done primary research at the Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson presidential libraries. History students also travel to state and regional history conferences where C of O students can hear historians from a variety of colleges, libraries, and museums present their research. These trips also afford students an opportunity to meet and network with historians in graduate programs that might interest them for future advanced study in history.
The history department faculty are outstanding teacher-scholars. Recipients of numerous teaching awards such as the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in College Teaching and the Eugene Charles Wittick Teaching Award at C of O, our faculty ably introduce students to the complexities of historical research and provide context for a variety of historical periods. The faculty have also received numerous research fellowships from a variety of institutions including Yale University; The Institute of Historical Research in London, UK; Newberry Library in Chicago; the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; and the University of Warwick. Other notable distinctions include a nationally televised appearance on CSPAN.
Dr. C. David Dalton (19th Century American history, South)
Dr. Stephen Kneeshaw (American Diplomacy, Modern America, History Education)
Dr. Brad Pardue (Western Civilization, Early Modern/Modern Europe, Reformation, Church History)
Dr. David Parrish (Western Civilization, Eighteenth-Century Britain, Early Modern/Modern Europe)
For department tours and other information about the History Department, contact:
Dr. Stephen Kneeshaw
History Department at College of the Ozarks
P.O. Box 17, Point Lookout, MO 65726
One of the questions that students often ask themselves when they consider a major or minor in history is, “What can I do with a history major?” Although the numbers might vary from year to year, about a third of our graduates add a second major in Secondary Education and become teachers of history and social studies in public or private schools; perhaps another third attend graduate and professional school after they leave College of the Ozarks, working on advanced degrees in history, law, and seminary; and the remaining third go right from college into a variety of careers.
The study of history places a premium on life skills such as reading, writing, information management and analysis, small-group working, and critical thinking. Thus, our history graduates can go with confidence into diverse fields such as business management, law, government, parks and conservation, libraries and museums, ministry, and more.
Departmental Activities and News
The History department sponsors and coordinates several activities for students outside the classroom and for the College community at large. As an example, Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society, functions as a history club that sponsors historical programs and speakers—sometimes in cooperation with the Ralph Foster Museum at the College, offers film series—such as Western and war films, and organizes informational forums to discuss important events—such as a series of programs after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The department also works with the College Democrats and College Republicans to exchange and debate political views during election years.