Student Syllabus Cover Sheet

Revised 3/27/15


Semester and Year – Fall 2015

CRN (Course Reference Number), Course Prefix, Number and Title – CRN  10879 - HIST 1301-404 - United States History I

Course Meeting Days, Times and Location (Campus, Building, and Room number) –Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,  12:00-12:50 PM,  FBTC211

Instructor’ Name – C.J. Bibus, Ed.D.

Instructor’s Telephone number(s) –281-239-1577

Instructor’s email

Instructor’s webpage - Click on US History I Resources (on the left) - Provides documents such as your Syllabus & Schedule.

Instructor’s Office Hours and Office Location Richmond, 240G: 9:50-11:50 AM (MWF); 1:00-2:00 PM (MW). Sugar Land, 234: 12:15-1:15 PM (T); 8:45-9:15 AM; 12:15-12:45 PM (Thursday).

Course Catalog DescriptionA survey of the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual history of the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the Civil War/Reconstruction period. United States History I includes the study of pre-Columbian, colonial, revolutionary, early national, slavery and sectionalism, and the Civil War/Reconstruction eras. Themes that may be addressed in United States History I include: American settlement and diversity, American culture, religion, civil and human rights, technological change, economic change, immigration and migration, and creation of the federal government.

Instructor’s Grading System – Objective work consists of 4 instructor’s quizzes, 15 InQuizitive sessions, 3 Unit Exams, and a Departmental Final Exam. Written work consists of 1 Essay for each Unit, a brief practice Comparison, two anonymous peer reviews, and a Major Comparison. See the syllabus for course policies, exam dates, grading policies, points for each type of assignment, and points required for the final letter grade.

Instructor’s Attendance Policy – Attendance will be taken daily at the beginning of the class.

Last day to “Drop” course with grade of “W” – Nov. 20, 2015


* The college will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.  Students wishing to receive accommodations must contact the Office of Disability Services at (979) 532-6384; located in the Pioneer Student Center, Room 313, at the Wharton campus Students must request accommodations from the Office of Disability Services prior to each semester.  Please note that accommodations provided are not retroactive.
** Misconduct for which discipline may be administered at WCJC includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the college (plagiarism and cheating refer to the use of unauthorized books, notes, or otherwise securing help in a test, copying tests, assignments, reports, or term papers).

American History 1301

Syllabus – Fall 2015

Instructor: C.J. Bibus, Ed.D.

U.S. History to 1877

Wharton County Junior College

Course Website:; US History I Resources

Office at Fort Bend Tech Center (FBTC) 240-G

Office Phone: 281.239.1577 – On TTR, checked once a day after my last class.

Location at Sugar Land: SUGUH 234, faculty area

Email:   - Checked once a day after my last class.

Campus Office Hours: Richmond, 240G: 9:50-11:50 AM (MWF); 1:00-2:00 PM (MW). Sugar Land, 234: 12:15-1:15 PM (Tuesday). 8:45-9:15 AM and 12:15-12:45 PM (Thursday).Or by appointment.


Course Overview and Goals

Prerequisite: TSI satisfied in Reading and Writing


Course Description: A survey of the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual history of the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the Civil War/Reconstruction period. United States History I includes the study of pre-Columbian, colonial, revolutionary, early national, slavery and sectionalism, and the Civil War/Reconstruction eras. Themes that may be addressed in United States History I include: American settlement and diversity, American culture, religion, civil and human rights, technological change, economic change, immigration and migration, and creation of the federal government.


Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

1)     Create an argument through the use of historical evidence.

2)     Analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources.

3)     Analyze the effects of historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on this period of United States history.


Academic and Personal Integrity: WCJC’s Student Handbook explains student responsibilities and provides examples of misconduct. It states “plagiarism and cheating refer to the use of unauthorized books, notes, or otherwise securing help during a test; copying tests [or] assignments….” The Handbook provides details on college-level policies. In this course, copying any part of an assignment from the Internet or another source is a zero (0) on the assignment.


Classroom Civility: Disruptive behavior that is a consistent problem will result in the student’s dismissal from this course. The term “classroom disruption” means behavior a reasonable person would view as substantially or repeatedly interfering with the conduct, instruction, and education of a class. Examples include resorting to physical threats or personal insults, coming to class under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance other than prescriptions, or abusing students or instructors with offensive remarks. They also include repeatedly leaving and entering the classroom without authorization, making loud or distracting noises, persisting in speaking without being recognized. (See WCJC’s Student Handbook.)


Attendance Policy: WCJC’s Student Handbook explains responsibilities for attendance and when a student should withdraw from the course. Attendance will be taken daily at the beginning of the class. I will consider active attendance throughout the course favorably when computing final grades that are borderline. Active attendance means 1) using Check Your Knowledge quizzes to determine what you need to read, 2) reading carefully and determining what you need help on before class, and 3) using that preparation before class to participate positively in problem solving in class. Using a cell phone or a computer during class makes active attendance improbable. Place cell phones, computers, or similar devices off your desk before class starts. If you have a family emergency or equivalent event that requires your being able to respond to cell phone messages during class, then see me before class so we can make arrangements. Your self-management in this class during each of the 3 Units is measured for a grade. (Details provided in class.)


Attendance Policy and Due Dates and Your Responsibilities: It is your responsibility to talk to me if you do not know what to do or need help. The earlier we talk, the better your chances.


With due dates for any assignment, including high-point assignments such as Unit Objective Exams or Comparisons, there are no extensions unless it is appropriate to make an extension available to all of you. You have these responsibilities:

1)     If your planning at the beginning of the term shows you cannot do your required Exam or Comparison on time, such as having previously scheduled a trip, tell me immediately and suggest an earlier date for you do the assignment.

2)     If something happens that you cannot plan for, such as suddenly becoming very ill (doctor’s note required) or having a death in the family, call and email me immediately and provide a valid, written excuse. With a valid, written excuse, these rules apply.


Six Course Drop Limit: Under section 51.907 of the Texas Education Code, “an institution of higher education may not permit a student to drop more than six courses, including any course a transfer student has dropped at another institution of higher education.” This statute was enacted by the State of Texas in spring 2007 and applies to students who enroll in a public institution of higher education as a first-time freshman in fall 2007 or later. See WCJC’s current catalog for details.


Dropping a Course with a Grade of “W”: In the History Department, instructors may not drop students. Students must drop their course. WCJC sets the last date for a student to drop a course. That date is on the first page of this syllabus and also on the Course Schedule at the end.


Method of Instruction

History is not only a required course, but it also provides useful information that can help you in all of the roles you will have in your life—family member, student, worker who may have to retrain many times in a rapidly changing world, and decision maker about your own life and about your own vote. Learning history not only provides useful information, but also useful skills. It requires the types of skills in reading and analysis and writing that are necessary for all of those roles. (See Course Orientation for ways you can make the course match your needs and email or talk to me if you need help.)


Required Textbook – Required When You Write about History and Used When I Grade

This textbook is required. You use it as your source of facts when you write; I use it when I grade your evidence: David E. Shi and George Brown Tindall, America, The Essential Learning Edition. It is the one-volume edition containing 30 chapters. The ISBN is 978-0-393-93587-5.


You must also have InQuizitive (an interactive aid to reading well and figuring out history). For this term, however, WCJC students may use the 180-day free trial.

Blackboard and Its Use in This Class

In this course, you need to use Blackboard for four things:

1)     Using resources including links, maps, and readings

2)     Seeing your grades throughout the course

3)     Use InQuizitive (covered in class) and the instructor’s quizzes. These quizzes let you determine what you know (and do not need to read) and what you do not know (and must read).

4)     Submitting Comparisons to Turnitin within Blackboard


If you have limited Internet or computer access, see me for ways to work with less time online or with alternatives for assignment instructions and for the essential resource that you cannot get from class. The schedule includes an overview of what is available to you in Blackboard. Orientation includes logging into Blackboard and using the first quiz to check your own knowledge and submitting a short, informal paper/form in Blackboard Turnitin. I am also willing to help you individually.


Organization of the Course

United States History I covers from the 1500s to 1877.The course is split into three Units, or major time periods, that reveal shifts in our history. The three time periods are:


Each Unit is divided into chapters. The Unit Roadmap at the top of each unit shows you what to do.


Course Evaluation and the Grading Scale for the Final Letter Grade

This is a 1000-point course, with points added as you earn them. You can see your current total in Blackboard.  At the end of each Unit, I post an Announcement in Blackboard to help you determine your current letter grade. If the grade is lower than you want, please ask for help.


The Final Letter Grade is determined by this scale:

895 – 1000

A (exceptional)

795 – 894

B (above average)

695 – 794

C (average)

595 – 694

D (below average)

Below 594

F (failing)


Course Evaluation, Points for Objective and Written Work, and Rubrics Used

The 1000-point course consists of objective work (such as multiple choice or matching) and Getting Started activities. It consists of written work, including 9% of your grade for self-management/participation—a way of working that improves all skills especially writing with evidence.


Caution: Math shows that doing written assignments is essential to pass. Please ask if you do not know why.


Use of Rubrics: A rubric is a tool to both determine grades and provide detailed feedback. Rubrics focus on your following the 5 Good Habits for Evidence:

1. Reliable Sources Only

2: Factual Accuracy That You Verify with the Reliable Source Before You Write

3: Factual Accuracy That Is Verifiable for Every Statement You Make

4: No “Half-Copy” Plagiarism or “Patchwriting”

5: Quotation Changes Revealed Clearly


A Getting Started requirement covers these 5 Good Habits and shows you resources that are meant to match varied students’ needs.


Course Evaluation and Objective Work

The 695 points of objective work consist of:


15 InQuizitive Sessions to Help You Read and Figure Out Each Chapter: There is one InQuizitive session for each chapter. The folder for Registration of InQuizitive includes a demo of how InQuizitive works.

With InQuizitive:


4 Instructor’s Quizzes to Help You with Basics: With the instructor’s quizzes, you will be most efficient with your time and have the highest grade:

  1. If you take the quiz the first time to measure your knowledge and to identify what you do not know and what you did not realize you did not know.
  2. If you go read about the question in the textbook or use resources in Figuring It Out (Learning Is More Than Memorizing).
  3. If you can’t find the information, please ask in class or in person.
  4. When you understand what you missed, then take the quiz again and—if you miss a new question—repeat steps 1 through 4. Tip: the highest score counts.


3 Unit Objective Exams: The questions in the Unit Objective Exam are pulled from the content in the InQuizitive sessions and the instructor’s quizzes and are also about other sections in the course such as primary sources. The study guides for chapters and the unit provide details. The words used in questions are not the same as the sources, but the content is.


Departmental Final Exam—F for the Course If Not Taken: The 50 questions, at 2 points each, in the Departmental Final Exam were written by the History Department. Departmental policy is an F for the course if you do not take the Final. In other words, if you have an A average for all of the prior work in the course and if you do not take the Final Exam, I am required to enter an F for your final LETTER grade for the course. Also WCJC determines the date of the Final Exam, not the instructor. See the Course Schedule for the date.


Course Evaluation and Written Work (Both In- and Out-Of-Class Assignments)

The 240 points of specific written assignments and 90 points for self-management/participation are meant to help students learn history accurately and focus on evidence. Grades for written assignments are split in two parts:


Some written assignments help students observe evidence accurately about something such as an event, movement, or person so that they can answer a question. Each Unit has 1 written question @ 40 points. With the written question, you know all possible content, but not which question you will have to answer. The question is worth 20 points for the content and 20 points for following all 5 Good Habits for Evidence. You write your answer in class.


Some written assignments help students see how things changed from the beginning of a period to its end. With these comparisons of history, the points earned during Unit 1 are:


Some written assignments compare events in Unit 1 with Unit 2:


Details about Written Assignments That Answer a Question: Questions can be about such things as an event, movement, or person. Blackboard provides a study guide that covers not only facts but also what content is appropriate for the written assignments to answer a question.


You write your answer in class. You bring a pen, and you write your answer in class using the instructor’s paper and without your textbook or any other resources. You answer the question that you are given.


Details about Written Assignments That Compare 1 Period of Time with Another: Blackboard provides these things for written assignments comparing events within a unit or between units:


Self-Management as a Prerequisite for Success in Participation and Written Work: Factual accuracy is a key to success with any written assignment that is based on evidence, not opinion. Being able to focus on factual accuracy in class requires practicing self-management by the class. To encourage self-management, I will use the seating chart as a way to record distracted or distracting behavior and—the ideal—focused behavior. A mark on the seating chart in orange will mean a loss of the 30 points for the Unit; a mark in blue, a grade of 24 or above. (Details on points covered below.) For examples of distracted and distracting behaviors, see Classroom Civility and Attendance Policy on page 2. For examples of focused behaviors, see below. Each Unit has a Self-Management grade @ 30 points for a total of 90 points (9%) of your final grade.


If you read carefully before class, your focused participation can help the class dialog as part of the lecture. Good participation is useful to others and means such behaviors as:

1)     No guessing and no use of information other than from the textbook or sources within the course

2)     No answers that are off topic

3)     Asking questions that are on topic (You can always ask general questions at the beginning of class.)

4)     No hogging or bullying (examples available)


You have an alternative way to show focused participation because both InQuizitive and the textbook are new. New software, new textbooks, new products, and even a new set of instructions from an organization or company that you may go to work for will probably have problems like those I have found in InQuizitive and our textbook. These are examples:


In other words, InQuizitive and your textbook will be a lot like the information you will see for the rest of your life (including with information that can hurt your finances for decades or get you fired). If you use any source (especially a new one) and just repeat or click passively, you are not reading well—and you need to learn to do this. To use a word frequently in the research about our nations’ reading problems, you need to “engage” the content. Engaging the content means:


Given that InQuizitive and the Essentials edition are new, another way to demonstrate your focused participation is to help others. When you find a problem, make a screen print (instructions available) of the problem and try to include the date (frequently at the bottom of the screen). Then email your instructor the file of the screen print and bring a print of it to me so we can briefly talk about it. If what you have seen is accurate and therefore will help others in the class, I will:

1.     Place the file of screen print in a section where all can see it (Your privacy will be protected.)

2.     Mark the seating chart to record your focused participation.


Examples of how the 30 points work for each Unit:


Letter Grade

What Do You Do to Earn It?

Quantity Required

How Is It Measured?


C++ averaging as a B-

In class, no distracted or distracting behaviors

0 (Absolutely not 1 time during the Unit)

No orange dots in your seating chart for the Unit.


Averages as a mid-B

Does the above and also does focused participation either in class dialog within lecture or by the alternative of providing information as explained above this table

At least 1 time

1 Blue dot in your seating chart for the Unit


Averages as an A-

Does both things above

At least 2 times

2 Blue dots



Does both things above

At least 3 times

3 or more Blue dots


Objective Work and 34-point Extra Credit to Encourage Your Keeping Up with the Schedule

On the DUE date in the Course Schedule for each Chapter, I enter 2 extra credit points if you have started to work with InQuizitive. For the four instructor’s quizzes, if you have started work by the due date, I will enter 1 extra credit point. Self-management helps points but most of all keeping up (one aspect of what some researchers call “grit”) helps learning.


Tip: You can continue to earn points until the last day and hour of the Unit. On the instructor’s quizzes, the highest score counts; on InQuizitive, your percentage when the Unit ends determines the grade. (For example, if you score 100% on InQuizitive for Chapter 1 by the end of the Unit, you earn 15 points; if 80%, 12; if 60%, 9; if 40%, 6; and if 20%, 3.)


Caution: I will not enter points if you do something like clicking on an instructor’s quiz, submitting without answering, and making a score of 0. If you do this accidentally, email me the exact name of the quiz and I will reset it.


Written Work and Keeping the 30-point Extra Credit You Received at Getting Started

1.     If you did not follow all of the 5 Good Habits for Evidence with a written assignment, I record a temporary grade of 1.11—a placeholder, not a permanent grade—for the work. The feedback tells you exactly what to do so I can enter the actual grade (a low grade but not 1.11). The sooner you take care of this, the better things will be. If you don’t understand, ask.

2.     If, in the coming week, you have not acted or asked me for help, then I also temporarily replace your 5 points for the Good Habits for Evidence Personal Responsibility Form with 1.11 and your 30 points extra credit with 1.11. That 1.11 automatically causes Blackboard to block any Turnitin Assignment. You can still do what the feedback says, but act quickly before the next written assignment expires.

3.     Once you do what the feedback says, I enter the grade for that assignment. I also replace the 5 points for the Good Habits for Evidence Personal Responsibility Form so you can see the next written assignment. If you follow all 5 Good Habits for Evidence on the next written assignment, I also restore the 30 points extra credit.



Course Schedule – Holidays this semester: 9/07 (Labor Day), 11/26-11/27 (Thanksgiving) 10/05 change

1) All work is due at the beginning of class. For example, if you arrive after I mark the seating chart, you cannot hand in your paper copy of your Turnitin Assignment.

2) To get credit for a Turnitin Assignment, you must both bring the printed Comparison on time and submit the file before Turnitin closes. (Save your digital receipt.) Both the printed Comparison and Turnitin’s data about the file are used in determining your grade.

3) Unless specified in the schedule, all Turnitin Assignments and any instructor’s quizzes open at 12:00 AM on the date listed and close at 11:55 PM on the date listed.

4) The dates in the left column are the Sunday beginning the week. Those first dates in the week and dates informing you of things in class are in regular font. On the other hand, DUE dates are in bold and the word DUE is also in bold, such as an assignment that you must do on a specific date during the week. The dates for the extra credit are also in bold


Getting Started - Course Documents and Orientation Plus Content from Unit 1 Before Blackboard Is Open


8/30 Introduction to the Course and your required Course Plan DUE. Lecture/dialog on Evidence and History
9/04 Departmental Pre-Test. Bring a Scan-Tron and # 2 pencil. Sit where you plan to sit for this semester.


9/09 Lab. If not there, you do the Getting Started tasks on your own or with my help (help available just for asking).

9/11 Getting Started Tasks DUE: a) Blackboard login, b) register InQuizitive, c) within Blackboard, start Chapter 1 InQuizitive. - Show 2 purposes for Good Habits for Evidence and form required. – Complete Evidence and History.


Unit 1: From New World to New Empires – the 16th Century to 1776 (Chapters 1-4)

Last date for extra credit for InQuizitive/Instructor’s Quiz: Chapter 1 (9/11), Chapter 2 (9/18), Chapter 3 (9/25), Chapter 4 (10/02).



Begin and complete Chapter 1. - 9/16 Print of your Good Habits for Evidence Personal Responsibility Form DUE at the beginning of class (The form must be to Turnitin in Blackboard before 9/16.)


Begin and complete Chapter 2. - 9/23 Planning the Introductory Comparison (1620s-1676) opens; show the class the folder. Answer questions.


Begin and complete Chapter 3. - 9/30 Beginning to Submit the Introductory Comparison opens; show the class how to use Turnitin to revise and then resubmit before the Turnitin Assignment closes. Answer questions.


10/06 Unit 1 Exam Study Guide visible. – Begin Chapter 4


If necessary, complete Chapter 4. If not, start Chapter 5 on 10/12 but do not include any of its questions on the exam.-  - 10/12 Print of the Introductory Comparison DUE at the beginning of class (The file must be to Turnitin in Blackboard before 10/11 Save your digital receipt.) - 10/16 Unit 1 Objective Exam and Written Exam DUE.


Unit 2: From Making a Revolution to Making a Nation -1776 to 1830s (Chapters 5-10)

Last date for extra credit for InQuizitive: Chapter 5 (10/18), Chapter 6 (10/21), Chapter 7 (10/25), Chapter 8 (10/28). Chapter 9 (11/01), Chapter 10 (11/04). The focus will be on major transformations between the beginning and end of this era.



Complete Chapter 5. - Begin and complete Chapter 6. 10/19 Beginning to Peer Review 2 Other Students’ Introductory Comparisons opens at 9:00 AM; briefly show the class the folder and what is different about a peer review and how it can help both the reviewer and the reviewed. Answer questions.


Begin and complete Chapter 7. Begin and complete Chapter 8. - 10/28 Print of the Peer Reviews DUE at the beginning of class (the file must be to Turnitin in Blackboard before 10/21. Save your digital receipt.) Specific date to come: return of Introductory Comparison with general question and answer session and time for individual questions.


11/01 Unit 2 Exam Study Guide visible. - Begin and complete Chapter 9.


Begin and Complete Chapter 10. 11/13 Unit 2 Objective Exam and Written Exam.


Unit 3: Transforming the Nation - 1830s to 1877 (Chapters 11-16)

Last date for extra credit for InQuizitive: Chapter 11 (11/15), Chapter 12 (11/18), Chapter 13 (11/22), Chapter 14 (11/29), Chapter 15 (12/02)



Begin and Complete Chapter 11.  Begin Chapter 12. 11/16 Planning the Major Comparison (1500s-1830s) opens; show the class the folder. Answer questions.

11/20 Last day for you to “Drop” the course with grade of “W.”


Complete Chapter 12. Begin Chapter 13. 11/23 Print of the Major Comparison Proposal DUE at the beginning of class (File must be to Turnitin in Blackboard before 11/23. Save your digital receipt.) Submit earlier to get feedback earlier.


11/30 Unit 3 Exam Study Guide visible. Begin and complete Chapter 14.

Begin Chapter 15. 11/30 Beginning to Submit the Major Comparison opens; use Turnitin to revise and then resubmit before the Turnitin Assignment closes.


12/07 Print of the Major Comparison DUE at the beginning of class (File must be to Turnitin in Blackboard before 12/07. Save your digital receipt.) Complete Chapter 15.

12/11 Unit 3 Objective Exam and Written Exam.


Review for the Final Exam: 16th Century to 1877 (Chapters 1 to 15) (Early opening on 12/06


12/13 Review all grades. If you believe there is an error, contact me by email and phone DUE before 2:00 PM.

12/14 Monday 12:30-2:30 PM - Final Exam DUE. Departmental policy: F for the Course if not taken.

I reserve the right to modify the syllabus during the semester.


WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or

Last Updated:


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