As the chair of the history department, I have also been involved in helping to create Messiah College’s public history program. Our public history students get training in the kind of historical thinking and historical content that all of our history majors receive. That includes 39 hours of coursework. But they also take a course in public history theory and practice and enroll in other courses that have substantial units devoted to oral history, local history, history education, public archaeology, and digital history. But that is not all! Students also take electives in topics such as web design, event planning, GIS technology, business administration, museum studies, public relations writing, or photography. Our program is innovative, and I know of several colleges that have used it as a model for their own public history programs.
As I told the museum professionals, digital history plays an important role in our public history program. We offer a 300-level course in the subject and use the Digital Harrisburg Initiative as a home base for a lot of our work in this area.
Want to learn more about digital history at Messiah? Watch this video. (For whatever reason, I cannot get it to embed).