Public History: Scope Community Engagement for History Majors

Participation Invitation to Rising Junior and Senior History Majors:

One of the most successful and meaningful programs that the History Department runs is a collaborative and on-going project with the Northfield Middle School Social Studies department and the Northfield Historical Society. Our students (usually 2 or 3 at a time) work with an award-winning history teacher at the middle school to nurture history research and writing skills with a small group of 8th graders. Carleton students get up to 6 credits in the US History field (i.e., Hist 393: SCOPE Internship) while they gain experience in the practice of history as educators and public historians. A full description of the program is attached below.

Please contact me, if you are interested. There will be space each term next year. Students who have participated in the past have consistently rated it one of their very best experiences at Carleton.

Thanks,
Susannah Ottaway, Chair, Department of History

The SCOPE Program

The SCOPE (Student Community Outreach Program Experience) Program is a program that connects Carleton College students with 8th grade gifted and talented Northfield Middle School students to discover local history, engage in historical research and writing, and share their knowledge with others.  In the program, students work on a particular facet of local or regional history for the purpose of creating an end product that showcases their efforts.  Past accomplishments include the Northfield Education History Museum on permanent display in the Northfield Middle School.  More recently students wrote an historical field guide for the James-Younger Gang Minnesota Outlaw Trail. This book was awarded the Milton F. Perry Award for best nonfiction book of 2008.

From 2009-2011, SCOPE students and Carleton College interns had collaborated on creating a Northfield History textbook for 3rd graders in the Northfield area called tentatively, "Our Story."  In addition to the early history and the progress of the town, this textbook will include people and events that have shaped our heritage from the past to the present.  Each chapter will also include questions and activities for the students to process the information and explore the meaning behind the history.  This book will also be sold to the public at the Northfield Historical Society.  We will have that book ready for publication this summer.  

In 2013-14, we will be in the third year of writing a new book. The SCOPE students are researching and writing a book on Northfield history that will be geared for a general audience.  Many aspects of Northfield history have been written but never has there been a single book that chronicled the historical past of the city Northfield in one volume.  You do not need to have any in depth knowledge of Northfield history to participate...just a desire to work with energetic and gifted 8th graders and a passion for passing on your knowledge of writing to them.  

The fall trimester interns will work with our six SCOPE student participants on guiding the students on how to conduct historical research and to communicate the research in an interesting and informative manner.  Your role will be one of the most important ones of the year.   A full fall trimester curriculum guide will be provided to assist you, but you have freedom to divert from the curriculum as you see necessary.  

If you choose to be a part of the program, you will meet with the students at the Northfield Middle School during our 1st and 2nd period (approximately 8:00 - 9:45) for two or three days a week, depending on the requirements of your internship along with your preferences.  The days of the week you meet with the student is flexible and worked around your schedule.  If, at times, you might also find it necessary to meet the students at the local library, Carleton College, or any other place that is necessary for their particular research, we can arrange that as well.