Western American Studies

Associate of Arts degree

The Western American Studies program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to explore the history, prehistory, anthropology and geography of the peoples that have lived near or crossed the Continental Divide –the "backbone of the continent"– at South Pass in the central Rocky Mountains.


The program examines how geography along the Great Divide has defined the local human experience; assesses the racial, religious and cultural divides that have sometimes created chasms between peoples from prehistoric times to the present; seeks to understand gender issues in this area known as the "Birthplace of Woman Suffrage;" analyzes the roles people and geography of the Sweetwater and Wind River area have played in shaping the development of the region and entire American nation; and explains how ecosystems, environmental and land-use issues have shaped local cultures and created "Old West – New West" divides.


This multi-cultural program provides a solid social science foundation to facilitate successful transfer to four year institutions of higher learning, and inspires a sense of pride in, enriched understanding of, and appreciation for the heritage of this area. The Western American Studies program offers classroom, field-schools, and innovative experiential learning opportunities.


Students can earn an Associate of Arts degree or focus their studies and earn credentials in American Indian, Oregon Trail or Mormon migration.

 

American Indian Studies Credential

The American Indian Studies Credential recognizes successful completion of classroom and field coursework exploring the history and significance of the American Indian Nations within the large context of American and western U.S. history.

The courses in this program explore the regional tribal nations (prehistoric and contemporary) cultures and interactions with the Eu-ropean and Euro-American settlers.

 

Mormon Migration Credential

The Mormon Migration Credential recognizes successful completion of classroom and field coursework exploring the history and signific-ance of the Mormon Trail migrations within the larger contexts of American and western U.S. history, the overland migrations and the philosophy of Manifest Destiny.

The credential course of study examines how geography of the Great Divide influenced the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) migrations and selection of their Zion in the Rockies. The courses explore regional prehistory and life on the trail. It investigates the LDS relationship with Native Americans on the trail and those who were displaced by the new settlements outside the U.S. in what became Utah. It also evaluates the impacts of the Mormon Migration on the modern world.

 

Oregon Trail Credential

The Oregon Trail Credential recognizes successful completion of classroom and field coursework exploring the history, prehistory and significance of the Oregon Trail migrations across the Continental Divide – the "backbone of the continent" – at South Pass in the central Rocky Mountains. South Pass was the key place that made the 19th century philosophy of Manifest Destiny a reality.

The credential course of study examines how geography of the Great Divide has channeled human migrations and affected the de-velopment of Wyoming and the American nation. It investigates the human experience of Native Americans who have long called the South Pass area home, as well as the lives of emigrants on the trail and pioneers who settled nearby. It also evaluates the significance of place and of the events which occurred here and their impacts on the modern world.

 

 

 

 

Western American Studies
Director Todd Guenther
307-855-2142
800-735-8418, ext. 2142

Email: Western American Studies

 

 

 

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