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FAQs for Emerging America Professional Development

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Teachers and scholar huddle in discussion.

Teaching with Primary Sources at CES: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Emerging America has been a Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium member since 2010. Drawing on the millions of primary sources available digitally on the Library’s website, TPS workshops help teachers use primary sources to teach the inquiry and critical thinking skills that are central to state and national Social Studies, Science, and English Language Arts.

How much do workshops cost?

Support from partners, including the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Program, allows Emerging America to offer some programs free. To pay instructors and administrative costs, Emerging America charges modest fees for most courses and workshops. Many programs offer graduate credit for a separate fee. 

Who can participate?

TPS workshops are open to K-12 teachers nationwide through online courses, and though TPS Consortium partners. We offer programs for elementary, middle, and high school teachers on History, Civics, and Social Science, English Language Arts, and Humanities topics. We especially welcome participation by teachers of Special Education and English Learners, as well as school librarians, technology teachers, and school administrators. 

Can I get CEUs or graduate credits for attending these workshops?

Yes. Continuing Education Units (CEUs/PDPs in Massachusetts) are awarded for completing workshops and one or more written assignments. CES will send a letter of participation to teachers in other states. Most workshops are available for optional graduate credit through Westfield State University (History). There is a fee to register those credits. 

What extra work must I complete to earn graduate credit?

If both PDPs and graduate credit are offered, assignments are typically the same for both. (Massachusetts teachers get a bonus in PDPs for such work.) 

What are the required assignments? Do I have to use primary sources from the Library of Congress?

In order to earn PDPs, graduate credit, and/or incentives for any Emerging America workshop, participants must complete a lesson plan or other teaching design. We often require use of some primary sources from the Library of Congress. Of course, teachers may also include appropriate primary sources from other collections.

What form do I use to create my lesson?

We provide a template. Ask your instructor if you prefer to substitute a district or other template. 

How do I sign up?

To register for current workshops or courses, go to the Collaborative’s Emerging America History and Social Studies Upcoming Events web page. Register online.  Graduate credit registration is typically required in the first week of class. Find out about all Emerging America workshops, including workshops that may be offered in future. 

We often partner with other organizations that handle registration. We will communicate their contact information in a flyer or email. 

What is required for online courses? 

Most of our online courses feature required webinars with scholars and instructional experts. Recordings of most webinars are available afterward. Participants may complete readings and other assignments for the course at the time of day of their choosing, though work is due at multiple dates each week. It is essential to check email regularly during an online course. We typically use a Canvas course platform, as well as Google Docs and online resources, including this website! We often hold course discussions in the TPS Teachers Network. 

Will you design training specifically for my district?

Yes! Absolutely. We are always eager to set up in-district training. Depending on the scope, subject, and other factors, our fees will vary from free to moderate. Please ask. We may ask if we can open enrollment to teachers from other districts.

What do I need for in-person workshops?

You will need a laptop, iPad, or other device to work on research and lesson design. All workshops require some written work. On the day of the workshop, make sure you have the necessary passwords and usernames to access your email and Google Apps. (A Gmail or school Google-based account tends to work best.) Don't forget to bring your device chargers. Wear comfortable clothes. 

Upcoming Workshops


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