The course is composed of two major parts: 1) Historical Analysis and 2), Cultural Enrichment.

The Historical Analysis component is divided into two sections. The first section examines the unique culture of the Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo American groups and the role they played in the historical development of present day California. We study each group's social, economic and political institutions, their cultural legacies, and their ethnic/racial interactions. We compare differences and similarities within cultural groups, as well as differences and similarities across cultures.

Section two will cover six major historical periods:

1. Gold Rush
2. Railroad era
3. The Great Depression
4. World War 11
5. The Turbulent 60's
6. Multicultural California today

In examining these major periods an overview of the social, economic, and political trends manifested by the dominant society during each period of time, will serve as a background to analyze its prevalent racial/ethnic attitudes as well as inter-group relations. For example, during the Gold Rush era we will discuss the general characteristics of this period, the make up of the population and their values and ideas in relation to race and ethnic relations.

The Cultural Enrichment component allows students an opportunity to experience historical periods of California interactively instead of in a lecture format. Students are encouraged to select historical landmarks, cultural events, and other activities that they find personally interesting. This component gives students the opportunity to explore the history of California within the realm of their own interests.

I encourage students to select activities that they enjoy so that the classroom learning is more relevant to their own personal experiences. My only other suggestion is that you begin with these activities immediately versus waiting until the end of the quarter. Fulfilling this component early in the quarter adds to the scheduled lectures and to the class discussions, which are a significant part of your grade. Taking the opportunity to expand the course syllabus and apply student learning to a real world context will make the course more interesting for all of us.


Rawls, James J. and Bean, Walton - California: An interpretative History.
McGraw Hill, 8th edition, 2002 - ISBN: 0-07-255255-7

This book should be available at the bookstore.


Attendance: Log-on everyday. If you do not log on for seven (5) consecutive days, you will be dropped from the class.

Grades: Your course grade will be determined according to the total points accumulated at the end of the quarter.

  300-270 =
  269-239 =
  238-178 =
  177-145 =
  144-0 =

Exams: Exams will be based on a combination of true-false and/or multiple choice questions, identification (of terms, people and events), and a short essay(s) format. For example, Exam 1 may have 10 multiple choice or true-false questions, 5 terms/events/people for identification, and one essay. Questions for the exams will be drawn from the reading assignments (websites and textbook) and the class discussions. Preparation topics are posted in the classroom. If you answer the preparation topics, log-on regularly, complete the readings in a timely manner, and participate in discussion sessions you should do well in the exams.
No textbook or notes are allowed during exams. You will have one hour to complete the exam.

Make Up Exams: In case of emergency/conflict a make up essay exam will be available to those students who have contacted the instructor prior to the scheduled exam. This exam should be taken within the first week after the scheduled exam. The day and time of the one hour exam will be determined by the instructor.

Class Participation: There are five (5) formal discussion sessions. For these class discussion sessions the instructor will prepare two or three (2 or 3) questions, which will be posted in the Forum a few days before the discussion session. On the first day you will post your answer to one of the questions and on the second you will react, or agree/disagree to two (2) of your classmate's responses. You will be encouraged to present and defend your views. You will not be penalized for taking a stand opposite to that taken by the instructor or other students. You will be expected; however, to base your stand on facts and use as many examples as possible.

Student Projects: This requirement can be fulfilled by completing three different activities:

  1. Field Trips: Visits to historical landmarks such as missions, presidios, state and national monuments, museums, mining towns, etc.
  2. Special Events: Cultural festivities such as those provided by the African-American month, Asian/Pacific Islander month, and Women's month celebrations. Lectures and presentations of different ethnic/racial groups.
  3. Book Analysis: Choose from Recommended List A or List B.
  4. Film Analysis: List of films are provided in the Student Projects section.

NOTE: The value for each of the above activities is up to 50 points. (Guidelines for activities and final report will be posted in the classroom.

Student Conduct: In this class you will receive zero points on the respective assignment if you violate Foothill's academic honor code. Two violations will carry an automatic F grade in the course.

Other: In order to do well in this class you should do the following:

  • Familiarize yourself with the course syllabus. (Please do not ask questions covered in the syllabus)
  • Log on everyday. Students are still responsible for any material, information, announcements or other changes covered in class.
  • Read all the textbook and classroom assignments.
  • Participate in all discussion sessions during the scheduled time. Postings before or after the session will not receive credit.
  • Complete all assignments on due date. No reports will be accepted after due date.
  • Be respectful and courteous.
  • One of my roles as the professor, is to ensure a positive classroom climate. It is at your risk if you are violating any of the syllabus guidelines. Please do not be surprised if I cancel your access to the classroom

NOTE: If you are experiencing problems with exams, class activities, grades, etc., please contact your instructor immediately. Your message will be answered within two days at the latest.



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