U.S. History 1301-137 (61498)
Distance Learning


TEXTBOOK: H.W. Brands, American Stories vol. I, 4th ed. This is an electronic textbook and the cost has already been added to your tuition payment. I will send you an email "invitation" that provides a link to give you access to this online text. If you prefer not to use the online text you can opt out of this fee and receive a refund. You can then purchase a loose leaf printed version of the text for $20. Opt-out requests must be received prior to the official reporting date for a full refund. For more information on opting in and opting out go HERE. You can also find more information at www.austincc.edu/firstday Your text includes quizzes to check your knowledge of the material that you have just read. While I encourage you to take these quizzes they do not factor in to your grade.

COURSE ORIENTATIONS:  Each student MUST COMPLETE the Online Orientation within the FIRST WEEK of class. If you do not, your position in the course and your STUDENT AID MAY BE IMPERILED.

COURSE RATIONALE AND DESCRIPTION: This course surveys the major developments in the history of the United States and its people from 1492 to 1877  and partially fulfills the legislative requirement.  It also includes examples of conflicting interpretations of the progress of that history and a program of historical research. this course offers students opportunities to pursue historical topics of individual interest and enhance their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. You should be aware of the expectations that the History Department has for all students. See the History Department Webpage.

COURSE METHODOLOGY: This section is a self-paced version of the standard United States History survey course. We will not meet as a class, but students will be required to do the same amount of work and the same quality of work as students enrolling in the classroom equivalent of the course.   This self-paced course is designed for mature and capable students endowed with a great degree of self discipline and responsibility.  If this description does not sound like you, then you should consider dropping this section. YOU WILL NEED maturity, ability, and self-discipline to successfully complete the requirements of any self-paced  course. I will email reminders about Exams and post occasional notices on BLACKBOARD. I will also post your grades on Blackboard once I receive them. Consult the History Department Webpage for more information.


TESTING POLICY:  All exams are taken in ACC Testing Centers. The policies can be found here. Each unit has a 30 question test that focuses on the Learning Objectives found in the History 1301 STUDY GUIDE.   You may TAKE EXAMS AS SOON AS YOU ARE READY. You do not have to wait until the deadline to take exams. I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to take exams ASAP so you are clear about your position in the course.  (Remember it is your overall course average which determines your final grade.  In that sense, you may fail one test and still pass the course if the average of all 5 grades is 21 or better.) If you do not pass the test the first time you take it, then you may retest, but you may re-test only once per exam.  The highest grade possible on the retest is 70%.  Therefore, if you have passed the test the first time, there is no point in retaking it. YOU CANNOT make a score higher than 70% on the retest.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: The student's final course grade is determined by the quality and quantity of the student's work.   The following requirements are non-negotiable: For the grades of D, C, B, and A YOU MUST CONTACT ME, by email, phone, or in person TWICE during the semester: once after the completion of Test #3 and once after the completion of Test #5.  The purpose of these contacts is to make sure that you understand your position in this course. In your email  make sure to:
WHICH COURSE YOU ARE IN (History 1301-097 for example
Indicate whether or not you are clear about your position in the course and that  you understand what you need to do to make the grade that you are trying to achieve.
Anyone failing to make these contacts may not receive credit for the course. I will respond to ALL EMAILS as quickly as I can. In most cases, if you have not heard back from me in 24 hours you can assume that I did not receive your email. You should then re-send it.

For the grade of D:

In addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 tests and make an overall course average of 60% (an average of 18 correct out of 30 questions on each test which is a a total of 90 points for the 5 exams). Failure to meet these requirements will result in the grade of F.  There are no further requirements. but you should recognize that a D may not transfer to other colleges as a history credit.

For the grade of C:

In addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 tests and make an overall course average of 70% (an average of 21 correct out of 30 questions on each test which is a total of 105 points for the 5 exams).  There are no further requirements.

For the grade of B:

Option One:   In addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 tests, and make an overall course average of 80% (24 out of 30 questions on each test which is a total of 120 points for the 5 exams) AND complete one B-level objective: the Analytical Book Review.

Option Two: In addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 tests, and make 24 out of 30 questions or better ON EACH TEST.

For the grade of A:

In addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 tests, and make an overall course average of 80% (24 out of 30 questions on each test which is a total of 120 points for the 5 exams) AND produce one A-level Objective: Research Paper.

Recognize that GRADES ARE NOT ROUNDED UP. You must have a minimum of 105 points to earn a C in the class. You must have a minimum of 120 points on the 5 exams to be eligible to write either the A of the B papers.

DEADLINES:  All tests must be taken in the ACC Testing Centers.  I encourage you to take the exams BEFORE THE DEADLINE so you may re-test if necessary. You may take the tests as soon as you are  ready, however, YOU MUST take the tests by the following DEADLINES:

TEST  #1
September 14
October 5
October 26
November 16
December 7

YOU MUST have the topic for your A-Level Objective (the term paper) approved by me on or before  OCTOBER 29 Your topic must have WRITTEN approval from me before you may proceed with your paper. Any paper submitted to me on a topic that was not approved will not be graded.   

YOU MUST turn in your B-Level Objective (the analytical book report) OR your A-Level Objective (the research paper) by DECEMBER 10. Papers submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.

All these DEADLINES WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED!  If an exam is taken after the deadline FOR ANY REASON the highest grade you can earn is a 21/30 (70%). Recognize that this is not a question of excused or not-excused. For this reason I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU TAKE EXAMS BEFORE THE DEADLINES. All exams must be taken by DECEMBER 7. Any exam taken after that date, FOR ANY REASON WILL NOT BE COUNTED. Recognize that Testing Centers get very busy at the end of the semester and there may be long waits to take exams. That will not be an excuse for not taking exams.

WITHDRAWAL POLICY:  If you determine during the course of the semester that you will not be able to successfully fulfill the requirements for this course, YOU SHOULD WITHDRAW FROM THE COURSE!   The deadline for withdrawing is NOVEMBER 26. No withdrawals or re-instatements may be made after this deadline. The instructor WILL NOT retroactively withdraw students from this course FOR ANY REASON.

COURSE COMPLETION VERIFICATION:  The contact after test #5 will serve as a course completion verification and must be done no later than DECEMBER 14.   FAILURE TO COMPLETE THIS CONTACT REQUIREMENT MAY IMPERIL THE PROMPT REPORTING OF YOUR GRADE!!!   This is as much a requirement of the course as any other grading requirement.

INCOMPLETES:  The grade of I (Incomplete) will only be awarded for medical reasons verified by a satisfactory letter from a physician. All Incompletes must be completed within four weeks in the following semester. There are no exceptions to this policy.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Academic dishonesty WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! The college policy states: "Acts prohibited by the College for which discipline may be administered include scholastic dishonesty. including but not limited to cheating on an exam or quiz, plagiarizing, and unauthorized collaboration with another in preparing outside work. Academic work submitted by students shall be the result of their thought, research, or self-expression. Academic work is defined as, but not limited to tests, quizzes, whether taken electronically or on paper; projects, either individual or group; classroom presentations, and homework." Any student found guilty of academic dishonesty (cheating or plagiarism) will automatically be assigned a failing grade for the course. No notes of any kind may be used when taking exams in ACC Testing Centers. See the Student Handbook for details on scholastic dishonesty. Recognize that students can not withdraw from the course when under investigation for scholastic dishonesty.

STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical or psychological disabilities.  Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Student Accessibility Services Office on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes.  Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the semester.

STUDENT PRIVACY: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that student privacy be preserved. Grades can not be given over the phone, through a fellow student, spouses, parents or by email.

USE OF ACC EMAIL: ACC sends all email communication solely to the student's ACCmail account and expects students to read the messages in a timely manner. So that means all important information and emergency details will go only to your ACCmail . Students should expect to receive from, and send email to, their instructors from their ACCmail account. To set up an account, students can go to ACCmail for instructions.

SAFETY STATEMENT: ACC is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. Students are expected to learn and to comply with ACC environmental, health, and safety procedures and to follow ACC safety policies. See the Environmental Health and Safety link for more details. The College also asks that each student become familiar with the Emergency Procedures and Campus Safety Plan map in each classroom. See ACC Emergency Alerts to sign up for electronic notices in the event of a serious emergency.

BUILDING REGULATIONS: ACC regulations prohibit smoking, drinking, and eating in classrooms. This prohibition includes e-cigarettes.

LEGAL NOTICE: All course materials, including the syllabus, study questions and exam questions are copyrighted material. Copying or posting all or part of these materials online to Facebook, Quizlet, or any other site is a violation of copyright and is expressly forbidden.

HISTORY TUTORING:  ACC History Department faculty are available for additional tutoring assistance at different Learning Labs at different times. See the schedule.

CAMPUS CARRY:  The Austin Community College District concealed handgun policy ensures compliance with Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code (also known as the Campus Carry Law), while maintaining ACC’s commitment to provide a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Beginning August 1, 2017, individuals who are licensed to carry (LTC) may do so on campus premises except in locations and at activities prohibited by state or federal law, or the college’s concealed handgun policy. It is the responsibility of license holders to conceal their handguns at all times. Persons who see a handgun on campus are asked to contact the ACC Police Department by dialing 222 from a campus phone or 512-223-7999. A short video can be found here.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Learning is a skill. The more you practice, the easier and more enjoyable learning becomes. Learn all you can. Ask questions. Challenge yourself. Stay informed. While we will not meet as a class I do want to remind you that in our discussions and conferences there are bound to be differing viewpoints. These differences enhance the learning experience and create an atmosphere where students and instructors alike will be encouraged to think and learn. On sensitive and volatile topics students may sometimes disagree not only with each other, but also with the instructor. It is to be expected that faculty and students will respect the views of each other when expressed in classroom discussions. We will, therefore, vigorously defend the principles of free speech so every student should feel comfortable in expressing his or her opinions.

LAST WORDS OF CAUTION:  If you use the RGC Testing Center for this self-paced course, please be sure to mark the Testing Center Student Request Form for "Distance Learning".  Otherwise, you may receive my classroom test that is all essay.


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