This program offers a unique regional studies curriculum for students who wish to learn about the American West.
Western and Native American Studies Western American Studies
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.
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 European and Euro-American settlers.
Mormon Migration Credential
The Mormon Migration Credential recognizes successful completion of classroom and field coursework exploring the history and significance 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 development 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.
Native American Studies
Native American Studies Courses are open to all students, as partial fulfillment of general education requirements, as elective courses or as a program of study leading to the Associate of Arts Degree.
The Native American Studies program strives for an academically sound evaluation of the history and cultures of the native peoples of the North American continent. Particular emphasis is placed on the tribes of the Wind River Reservation.
Central Wyoming College recognizes that the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone elders represent the wisdom of the past. Their knowledge of the tribal traditions should nurture the Indian student who seeks not only education but also wholeness through preparation for the future and respect for the past. The Native American Studies program is a tool for that preparation and an affirmation of that respect.
The program also offers non-Indian students the unique opportunity to learn in the classroom about tribal cultures firsthand in the Wind River area.