American History since 1877, designed and taught by Associate Professor Carolyn Shapiro-Shapin at Grand Valley, was identified as best practices overall and designated an exemplary practices course, the highest standard of distinction and excellence met by very few courses in the study.
The study was conducted by the Center for Educational Policy Research on behalf of the College Board to identify best practices that could influence the redesign of high school advanced placement courses in U.S. History. A panel of national experts analyzed top courses from a wide range of institutions and identified the critical components present in each course.
What makes Shapiro-Shapin's course special is her goal to teach both the historic content and the historic process. "To this end, I incorporate a wide range of historical topics, historical approaches and historical documents into the course," said Shapiro-Shapin.
The goal of the CEPR redesign process is to ensure that AP courses reflect the best of college teaching. Following the study, the College Board convened a commission in U.S. History to develop new AP course descriptions, new AP exam specifications and professional development guidelines for AP teachers.
"I'm honored that my course helps bring recognition to the university's commitment to quality teaching," said Shapiro-Shapin.