Syllabus — Minnesota History — Spring 2019

Syllabus –- Assignments –- Schedule –- D2L -- Home

Who are we? -- From whence do we come?

Welcome to Minnesota History. Our course will focus on two themes: home and education. We will ask how Minnesotans created a place they called "home" and how they learned what they needed to survive in this land.

There are no prerequisites for this course, and you do not need any specialized knowledge. The class will be taught in English, with occasional cheesy jokes and mild vulgarities in Spanish.

By the end of this class, you should be able to do the following core learning outcomes:

  1. Correctly identify major geographic features in Minnesota and explain how geography shapes the history of the state.

  2. Write effective historical prose in different genres.

  3. Identify and effectively use primary and secondary historical sources.

  4. Analyze secondary sources, including websites, videos, and journal articles, for their credibility.

  5. Demonstrate how personal history relates to larger historical themes.

  6. Develop strategies for advancing your learning skills, such as effective reading, writing, and critically analyzing historical sources.

  7. Recognize how to apply skills used in this class outside of the academic setting.

Required Resources

  • Two chapters from Peg Meier. Bring Warm Clothes: Letters and Photos from Minnesota's Past, Minnesota Historical Society Press (Available on reserve in our library.)

  • Access to high-speed internet connection with web-accessed computer
    -not just a cell phone or tablet. You can use Normandale's computers for this.

  • Critical Mind

Contact Information – Jack Norton

Office Phone: 952-358-8911.

Cell Phone: 612-208-3723 – Please do not send me text messages. No calls after 7 p.m.

Email: [ at ] Email is the best way to reach me. I respond to emails and calls within 24-36 hours Monday-Friday (most of the time much faster). On weekends I respond by Sunday evening.

Office: Fine Arts Building, F 2204 (In the little hallway connecting Science and College Services - red section of this map upper right corner)

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 10-11 am and 2-3 pm. Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30 - noon. Also, by appointment: we can always set up a time to chat 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by phone or video (skype google+, facetime).

Course Policies

Attendance- Attendance is required! I will take attendance every day starting on the second week of class. As an incentive for regular attendance, those students who turn in on all their assignment on time and get an A in good citizenship are eligible for a 3% bonus on their final grade. Missing more than one week of class will result in a deduction in your final grade.

E-Learning- What you need to knowYou must use your student email for all emails to me. The due dates for assignments are nonnegotiable (see the Calendar in D2L). To succeed in this course you will need to:

  • Navigate the Normandale Library website successfully.

  • Spell check everything you write that I will see.

If you need technology help, you may call our IT help desk at 952-358-8181. Even better, ask them a question on Normandale's "Ask Us" page, which will help track your request.

Late Work- Assignments are due by the date listed in the "Calendar" on D2L. Assignments handed in late are penalized 10 percentage points. Late work may be handed in until April 26th. Quizzes, classroom responses may not be made up.

Reading and Writing- This is a reading and writing-intensive course. You will read up to 75 pages a week and write at least 16 pages of typed, doubled-spaced pages of text. Writing guidelines for each assignment will be discussed in course and included on the assignment.

Grading- Written work, unless otherwise noted, will be graded according to a rubric (a grading chart,) which will be posted at the time of the assignment. If you are struggling with any assignments, please do not suffer in silence. Make an appointment with me so that we can address your questions. I succeed when you succeed.

Grades Items Weighted Percentage
Module Assignments (1 per week) 49%
Final project 10%
Response Documents 22%
Quizzes 16%
Class Citizenship 2%

Academic Standards

Students in this course will adhere to the rules of Normandale Community College's Code of Conduct. Such rules prohibit plagiarizing other's work (taking credit for someone else's work or stealing work from the web) and creating a hostile academic environment for students or staff. Refer to your student handbook for the full Student Code of Conduct or see here: . We will work through how to properly cite material during the semester. Please be aware that the penalty for plagiarism is failure of the assignment, then possibly the course, and possibly dismissal from the College.

For a plagiarism tutorial and read these two short introductions to avoiding plagirism one two and take this four-question quiz to test your knowledge of plagiarism.

Writing Resource- You are encouraged to use Normandale's Writing Center as you create and rewrite your assignments. It is located in the central hallway between College Services and Fine Arts buildings (the old bookstore) All good writers revise their work. Writing tutors can help you at any stage of writing.

Automatic bonus points: all writing assignments worth more than 5% of the grade submitted to Smart Thinking or that have been reviewed by the Writing Center receive an automatic 2 points bonus.

When Life Happens

Normandale provides a broad range of support services for you. I strongly encourage you to use these resources as past student experience shows that students who use support services succeed.

  • Counseling- This department, located at the front of the College Services building provides academic, career, and personal counseling and can refer you to community services. For your mental health, they are there, including if you need an emergency mental health session. 952-358-8261.

  • In addition, enrolled students are eligible to see a licensed mental health provider on Normandale's campus free of charge. Services include mental health assessment, counseling, consultation and outreach/programming. To schedule an appointment, please call 952-358-8926.

  • Academic Advising- This department can help you chose classes, an emphasis, plan for your transfer to a four-year college, and offer career advice.

  • Veterans Resource Center- a one-stop shop for information and support. 952-358-8501

  • Tutoring Center- Houses the writing tutors along with math, science, logic, reading and EAP tutors. Free and walk-in hours. 952-358-8830

  • Child Care- Here is a list of childcare providers nearest Normandale. You should also talk to the financial aid office about possible grants for childcare. Parents facing an emergency choice of missing class or bringing their children to class should bring the kids.

If you are a parent, you should also talk to our Finanaical Aid department about the the MN Childcare Grant, which can pay for a portion of your childcare.

  • Office for Students with Disabilities-I welcome all students to this class, regardless of their different abilities. Normandale Community College is committed to providing equal access for students with disabilities through the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). If you experience educational barriers because of a disability, please make an appointment for an intake/interview to discuss these needs and to implement appropriate accommodations for your Normandale courses. Appointments are available by calling the OSD staff at 952-358-8625, emailing, or stopping by the L2751 office. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request.

  • Success box- I have the following items available outside my door to students who are facing economic hardship and need a bit of help: toothpaste and brush, soap, shampoo, and deodorant. I also have warm weather hats and t-shirts and snacks inside my office.

  • Internet- If you have a student in your home who qualifies for free lunches, your household qualifies for a low-cost (\$10/month) internet connection from Comcast. See here for details.

  • Showers- The bathrooms in the lower-level of the Koop Student Center have showers, which can be used any time the Student Center is open.

  • Homelessness- C 1032, Nath Advising Center - Advising and Counseling Services, 952-358-8261

  • Immigration Legal Advice- Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, 651-641-1011,
    Available Food Shelves in Municipality – Student Resource Center, 952.358.9349,

  • Nursing Mothers There is a lactation room in the basement of the the Library building, adjacent to the women's bathroom. You can get a key card from the security department that will give you access to the room for the semester. Security is located across from the theater.

  • Food

  • Normandale’s Campus Cupboard | campuscupboard | Activities Building A2503 | 952-358-8119

Fall Hours:
• Monday-Thursday 8:00am-6:00pm
• Friday 8:00am-2:00pm
The Campus Cupboard is Normandale’s food pantry. Students can visit the pantry once per day and can get up to 3 items each visit.

  • VEAP | | 9600 Aldrich Ave. S. Bloomington, MN 55420 |952-888-9616

• Monday-Wednesday, Friday 9:00am-4:30pm
• Thursday 9:00am-6:30pm

VEAP offers food resources including a food pantry to residents in Bloomington, Edina, Richfield, and parts of south Minneapolis by appointment. They provide social services related to financial assistance, bus passes, and referrals. VEAP also has a Mobile Food Pantry located at:
• Southgate Apartments (8100 12th Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55425) on Wednesdays 2:30pm-4:30pm
• Dar Al-Farooq (8201 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420) on Fridays 12:30pm-2:30pm

  • Good in the ‘Hood | |612-440-7463

Good in the ‘Hood has two pantry locations and offers other food resources and programs.
Pantry Location and Hours:
Cedarcrest Church (1630 E 90th St. Bloomington, MN 55425)
• 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 5:00pm-8:00pm
Beacon of Hope Church (2827 Newton Ave. N. Minneapolis, MN 55411)
• 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month from 5:00pm-8:00pm

Hunger Solutions has an interactive map with locations of free dining sites, food shelves, farmers market, and more food resources and organizations.

Strengths and Weaknesses

I reserve the right to amend this syllabus to better facilitate students' learning. Changes to the syllabus (if any) will be announced in the news section and a new syllabus will be posted on the class website.