History, Parks, and Interpretation: Civil War to Civil Rights Certificate

Gain an understanding of the social and political issues surrounding the American Civil War
$210.00

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Gain an understanding of the social and political issues surrounding the American Civil War. This program will also guide learners through the history of the National Park Service and use the Park Service’s efforts to interpret the Civil War and Civil Rights as examples for interpreting complex subjects in public spaces.

This certificate program is comprised of three courses: The History of the National Park Service, Causes of the Civil War, and Civil War to Civil Rights Interpretation. This program is designed for National Park Service interpreters, interpreters with other federal agencies, state park departments, or local offices that interpret historical themes, and college and graduate students in public history programs. The program guides learners through the history of the National Park Service and uses the Park Service’s efforts to interpret the Civil War and Civil Rights as examples for interpreting complex subjects in public spaces. Finally, this course offers learners helpful tools and tips that can be applied to their agencies.

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Course Schedule

This program allows for complete flexibility. You may take a couple of months or up to a year to complete the program. The Eppley Institute recommends that you complete one course and all companion assignments each month to ensure maximum retention and connection of material.

Course Progression:

  • Course 1: History of the National Park Service
  • Course 2: Causes of the Civil War
  • Course 3: Civil War to Civil Rights Interpretation

Be able to:

  • Identify the key events, people, and locations in the history of the National Park Service (NPS) and identify the significance of each one.
  • Identify the major challenges faced by NPS leadership throughout history, including those related to the mission of the NPS, the expansion of the park system, and the external influences on the NPS.
  • Communicate that differences regarding slavery between northern and southern states were the main causes of the American Civil War.
  • Identify useful techniques and strategies for discussing the causes and context of the American Civil War with visitors.
  • Recognize the permission and latitude that the National Park Service granted interpreters by efforts such as the 'Rally on the High Ground' initiative.
  • Relate to visitors of varying knowledge levels and backgrounds the causes of the war effectively and respectfully.

Recommended Background

This certificate program will be most beneficial for interpreters working at historic sites or those who interpret complex subjects. To successfully complete the portfolio pieces, it is recommended you have a strong foundation in interpretation.

Reviews

May Need A Fresh LookReview by William J. Carey
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All courseware components seemed identical to the Eppley Institute lessons I completed in 2013 before volunteering at Stones River NB and Fort Negley Park.

The Chicago Manual of Style grows more tedious with each edition. Many Civil War sites were established over decades, and much has been written about them. The assignments contain LOI Level IV verbs and ask for primary sources.

Please forgive my confusion with the following statements:

"Each assignment will take between 1-2 hours to complete."
"Your essay should be 700-1000 words."

I am not sure how these fit within the overall instructional design.

Thank you for your patience while enduring my long essays. The only comment I have with regard to grading relates to a comment on my Causes of the Civil War assignment:

“Junior Ranger is not a program as defined by the assignment requirements. Need to select one program.”

With regard to program type, the assignment does not define anything. Instead, the assignment states, “Using your park, or a park that relates to the Civil War, provide an analysis of one of its Civil War programs.”

The Stones River Junior Ranger Program is a single interpretive program, implemented with the book cited throughout the essay and listed in the references. The book contains nineteen activities, lessons, and topics. Fifteen of these directly address the Battle of Stones River and/or the Civil War.

I readily admit my slog relied heavily on "Holding the High Ground: A National Park Service Plan for the Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War" and "Civil War to Civil Rights Commemoration Summary Report." In my defense, I am not sure if there are other NPS reports which advocate more effectively for a modern interpretation of the Civil War.

I believed the links between the Stones River Junior Ranger Program and these two documents were established. I am sorry you did not feel the same way. Still, please refer to page 3 of Peggy Scherbaum's "Handles: Helping Visitors to Grasp Resource Meanings" when you are able. For what it's worth...I almost chose an analysis of Stones River NB website, social media, etc. There are many types of Civil War programs.

Thank you for your consideration and patience.

Very Respectfully,

W. J. Carey (Posted on 4/28/2020)

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