Topics in History

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 290

       Course Name: Topics in History

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Varies depending on the specific topic

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores major historical issues and/or periods of history that are related to history courses taught at the College.  Course will have a different focus and/or scope than the courses currently offered in the department and can be repeated on different topics up to three times for up to nine credit hours.  Prerequisites may vary by topic.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will identify, compare, and contrast major historical concepts, movements, and periods relating to the specific topics being studied.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

One major topic or several minor topics relating to an overall theme will be selected for study.  Examples of possible topics and themes are:

•    The history of U.S. economic development
•    The United States as an immigrant nation
•    The Vietnam War and its impact
•    The rise and fall of European Empires
•    Twentieth Century Ireland
•    Colonization and its impact on the Third World

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture and class discussion will be used extensively.  Occasionally, small group work and reporting will be used.  Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:
1.    Read a standard textbook and research materials related to the topic.
2.    Write outside of class the equivalent of 12-14 double spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of Journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least one exam will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Writing assignments will be evaluated based on how well they conform to the assignment and on how well they employ the methods of the discipline.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at