Dakota State University students walking around campus

Preparation + opportunity = success

That's the DSU equation. We're a four-year university with nationally recognized programs, cutting-edge facilities, and the brightest thinkers. But we're also a tight-knit, inclusive community. Small class sizes mean hands-on training and individualized attention. All this with an affordable, public school price that's among the best values in the region.

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American Civic Traditions Certificate

Balancing perspectives

DSU's American Civic Traditions Certificate is designed for students who want to understand and/or teach the rights, responsibilities, and intellectual foundations that go along with membership in American democracy. This four-course certificate in American Civic Traditions prepares students with the foundational knowledge to understand current debates through the lens of history, political structures, and differing perspectives so as to cultivate an educated and engaged citizenry.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the American Civic Traditions Certificate program, students will:

  • Possess foundational knowledge of American history, government, and politics.
    • Relate key facts of historical eras, events, documents, narratives, and significant figures.
    • Explain the structures and roles of the American system of government at the local, state, and national levels.
    • Explain foundational theories and concepts of American history and the American political structure.
    • Identify primary constitutional issues, including laws and court cases, and their relation to civil liberties and civil rights.
  • Analyze the extent and impact of individual, cultural, and social differences in contemporary or historical contexts using appropriate disciplinary methods and concepts.
  • Understand contemporary issues through their historical and political origins.
    • Identify the events, timelines, key figures, narratives, laws, political environments, and differing perspectives that led to contemporary issues.
    • Apply social and political-science concepts to contemporary issues from different behavioral, cultural, institutional, temporal, and geographical contexts.
  • Demonstrate the habits of mind necessary for effective civic engagement.
    • Identify, analyze and employ credible primary and secondary sources.
    • Critically analyze theories, arguments, and points of view.
    • Communicate an informed position with clarity and logic, verbally and in writing.
    • Engage in respectful civil discourse on civic issues with multiple perspectives.

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