About the Program

Colorado Academy of History (CAH)

US Department of Education Teaching American History Grant Program

Goals and Objectives

The Colorado Academy of History (CAH) promotes the increased understanding of historical content and essential learning in history for teachers and students at all grade levels. The CAH is a collaborative partnership between Weld County School District 6 (Greeley), Park R-3 School District (Estes Park), Adams-14 School District (Commerce City), the Southern Ute Tribe, the Ignacio School District, the University of Northern Colorado, and other distinguished partners to promote the understanding of traditional American history at all grade levels and to develop a national model for vertical integration of traditional American history content throughout the entire school curriculum.

The mission of the CAH is to raise student achievement in 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th grades by building teachers’ ability to deliver quality lessons in traditional American history that center on essential learning in history (referred to in the Colorado state standards as the “processes and resources of historical inquiry”) and that are exciting and relevant to students. All of the historical content and themes will be drawn specifically from the Colorado Model content Standards for history (the first year will focus on standard 5, the political history standard). The goals of CAH are to (1) increase teacher’s US history knowledge, understanding and interest in concert with their use of the appropriate and recommended History teaching pedagogy and to (2) craft a consistent, vertically integrated traditional American history curriculum in each district in order to (3) increase students achievement in and engagement with traditional American history.

Activities

Activities in the CAH will consist of 4 workshops for teachers during the year and a week-long Institute during the summer. In Greeley, the workshops will take place during the evenings. Professor Michael Welsh, Project Outreach Consultant, will work with the teachers and administrators in the outlying districts on mutually agreeable times for these workshops. Two workshops will be in the form of “book clubs,” focused on integrating ideas from books in American History into the classroom. The other two workshops will center on integrating primary sources in the classroom. The summer institute (June 16-20, 2008) will feature prominent guest speakers and master teachers all working to increase teacher content knowledge and improve the delivery of American History content in the classroom. The grant also includes a healthy budget for the upgrade of materials and technology to enhance the teaching of American history. All workshops will be designed to be of value to teachers from High School, Middle School and Elementary School (4th and 5th grades).

Teacher Compensation

Teachers participating in the grant activities will receive a stipend for participation in all activities each year. They will also receive free books and supplies that will be used in the professional development workshops and the summer institutes. For the summer institute, travel and lodging (for the teachers from outside of Greeley) are included in the grant budget, and lunches and daily snacks will be provided for all participants. Additionally, teachers will be compensated for their time as they participate in the evaluation instruments for the grant. The grant also includes a mentoring component where the Project Directors and Outreach Consultant will provide one-on-one mentoring with teachers in their classroom during the school year.