Public History Practicum – Spring 2007


Dr. Wettemann

Office Hours:  MW 9-12:00, T 9-12:00, OBA

Office:  207 Old Main

Phone:  793-3864, 677-6640 (emergencies only)



This course is designed to allow you to apply the concepts explored in History 3340:  Public History, in a practical setting through the development and prosecution of a significant out of class public history project, designed to take between 90-100 hours of work.  The vast majority of this course will be an independent study, with periodic updates with the instructor to ensure that you are making sufficient progress towards a final project which will be completed by the end of the semester.

Final grades will be awarded based upon the scale outlined in the McMurry University catalog, and will correspond with the following point totals:  


558-600 points






















less than 360 points


Grades will be assessed based upon the satisfactory completion of the following assignments:


1)  At the beginning of the second class period (18 January), you will submit a brief preliminary project proposal outlining the dimension and scope of your project concept.  This will be developed in conjunction with another public history entity or sponsor in the community, and should represent the establishment of a significant partnership between you ant that entity/sponsor in the prosecution of your project.  The proposal will include the following elements:

  1. A Brief Description of the Proposed Project
  2. Project Sponsor (an outside third party who will agree to submitting a written evaluation of your project at the conclusion of the semester) and relevant contact information (name, address, phone, email).
  3. Preliminary Bibliography (if applicable) 

This proposal will be reviewed and revised by the professor, and will be returned to you with recommendations during class on 23 January.  This preliminary proposal will be worth 50 points.


2)  On 30 January, you will submit a revised project proposal in writing, outlining any changes suggested or developed since the initial project proposal, as well as a revised bibliography or list of resources appropriate to your project.  This proposal will also require the signature of the project sponsor, signifying their agreement to assist you in the further completion of this project.  The format for this project proposal will be provided at the second class meeting.  The final project proposal will be worth 50 points.  Upon submission of the final proposal, you will be assigned a day for your final project presentation, a second reviewer from within the class, and schedule your first progress meeting with Dr. Wettemann.


3)  Immediately following the return of the approved project proposal, you will begin maintaining a weekly written log of the work that you do, the developments made, and the approximate time required to complete the elements of your project.  At four times during the course of the next 10 weeks (Week of 12-16 Feb., week of 26 Feb.-2 Mar., week of 19-23 Mar., week of 2-6 Apr.) you will hold a progress meeting with Dr. Wettemann. At each meeting, you are expected to bring an up-to-date log and demonstrate the work that has been accompshed thus far. This log will contain a detailed, written progress report on your project, detailing what you have done, what new insights you have developed, what new directions your research or work has taken you, and how cooperation with the project sponsor has shaped your project.  Failure to meet with the professor at the scheduled time will result in the automatic loss of one letter grade on the FINAL grade in the course.  At each meeting, Dr. Wettemann will review your log and grade you on your progress thus far, offering as many as 50 points per meeting. These weekly meetings will be worth 200 points total.

4) In addition to the individual meetings, the class will meet as a whole on 6 March to provide a short (5-10 minute) update to the class of the work that has been done, the progress that has been made, and any difficulties that have been encountered thus far. This report will be worth 50 points.

5) Field Trip: An optional field trip of Texas museums and historical sites will be conducted beginnign on 11 April and concluding 15 April. The cost will be $100 in addition to food. Additional details will be forthcoming.

6)  Beginning in week 14, the class will meet again on its regular T-Th schedule.  Over the course of the next four class sessions, students will make a formal presentation of their project, describing the project goals, what was accomplished, how they worked with the sponsoring entity, how the project was completed, and how the project will be implemented in the future (if applicable).  Each student will be allotted thirty minutes for this formal presentation, and will be expected to make effective use of the time allotted.  Should the class need to meet elsewhere to see the completed project, you are responsible for notifying the other members of the class, as well as the instructor and project sponsor, who should be invited to view the finished project (as is practicable).  This final project presentation will be worth 100 points.

7)  In addition to your oral presentation, each project will also be reported in written form, outlining how all the goals and objectives outlined in the final proposal were met or modified based upon progress made during the course of the semester. This written report will also include a letter of recommendation from your project sponsor outlining your work that you performed during the completion of your project.  This letter will be included in your Public History Portfolio that you will retain upon completion of the Public History Certificate.  In this letter, the project sponsor should briefly discuss the nature of your project, the steps you took towards its completion, and review your performance.  The written report, coupled with the letter of recommendation, will be worth 100 points.

8)  In addition to offering your individual project presentation, you will also be required to submit, in writing, a critical evaluation of a project completed by one of your classmates.  Complete details regarding the scope and content of this evaluation will be provided when review assignments are made during week 3.  This formal critique will be worth 50 points.




Week 1 -- 16 January – CLASS -- Course Introduction; 18 January – Preliminary Proposal Due in Dr. Wettemann's office by 5:00 p.m.
Week 2 -- 23 January – CLASS – Comments on preliminary proposal available -- Begin work on revisions, working in conjunction with your project sponsor.
Week 3 – 30 January --  CLASS -- Final Project Proposal due (hard copy), set individual appointment for first project update, assign project presentation dates and presentation reviewers.
Week 4 -- 5-9 February --  NO CLASS -- Work on Project
Week 5 -- 12-16 February -- First Progress Meeting (scheduled on 30 January), next meeting scheduled
Week 6 -- 19-23 February -- NO CLASS -- Work on Project
Week 7 -- 26 Feb.-2 Mar. -- Second Progress Meeting (scheduled Week 5), next meeting scheduled
Week 8 -- 6 March -- CLASS -- Full Class progress report.
SPRING BREAK -- 12-16 March
Week 9 --  19-23 March -- Third Progress Meeting (scheduled week 7), next meeting scheduled
Week 10 – 26-30 March -- NO CLASS -- Work on Project
Week 11 -- 2-6 April -- Final Progress Meeting (scheduled week 9) -- NOTE: No meetings can be scheduled on 6 April
Week 12 – 9-13 April -- NO CLASS -- Field Trip/Work on Project
Week 13 -- 17-19 April -- NO CLASS -- Work on Project
Week 14 -- CLASS -- Project Presentations
Week 15 -- CLASS -- Project Presentations
8 May -- Written project reports and letters of recommendation due, 6:00 p.m., location T.B.A.


MISSED OR LATE ASSIGNMENTS:  Written assignments turned in after class on the specified due date will be penalized the equivalent of one letter grade per calendar day.  Late assignments due to illness will be considered on a case-by-case basis (and require official documentation).  Failure to make a scheduled progress meeting will result in the loss of one letter grade on the final course grade.

ABSENCES:  As this class meets only at the times listed above, your attendance is of paramount importance.  If an unexpected emergency, or university-approved excuse (both of which require adequate documentation) should prevent you from making a regularly scheduled meeting, you are still responsible for making Dr. Wettemann aware of your absence IN ADVANCE, and submitting your assignment to him within 24 hours after the scheduled meeting.  After that, penalties will be assessed in accordance with the Missed or Late Assignments policy.  As most assignments will be submitted electronically, missed assignments should not be a major issue. 

PLAGIARISM:  Even if someone gives you permission to submit their work as your own, or if you present another's work as your own text without quotation marks, and proper citation, that is plagiarism.  If you have not done so already, consult the "Plagiarism" section of the McMurry History Department Style Manual.  Plagiarism will be neither tor accepted, and will result in AUTOMATIC failure of the course.