Student Learning Outcomes


Native American Studies Undergraduate Program provides a multi-disciplinary introduction to the indigenous cultures of North, Central, and South America. It challenges students to consider issues of cultural diversity, sovereignty, and indigenous knowledge systems in preparation for living in a world of constantly increasing social and cultural complexity. 

Our Undergraduate Program offers a formal comparative, interdisciplinary, and hemispheric approach to the study of indigenous cultures of the Americas.  Our faculty is specialized in a variety of disciplines including art, literature, religion, linguistics, history, anthropology, political science, ethnomusicology, performance and dance studies, and women and gender studies.  Our academic program contributes to the just and dignified representations of Native American/indigenous peoples, crucial in the state of California that has the highest percentage of Native peoples in the country.  The vision of our program has always been that we teach for Native American and indigenous students and for the broader community as well, to contribute our efforts to a more compassionate, critically conscious, and socially just society in which indigenous knowledges, histories, and cultures are not only validated but seen as significant to the overall understanding of who we are as human beings on this planet.

Student Learning Outcomes

On graduation, students majoring in Native American Studies will have acquired:

Critical Thinking

    1. Demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret date in both lower-division and upper-division Native American Studies (NAS) courses.

    2. Demonstrate the ability to develop conclusions from multiple sources.

Communication Skills

    3. In all NAS courses, students will demonstrate the ability to clearly and effectively write about the experiences of Native American peoples.  This includes indigenous populations in North America (the U.S. and Canada), Mexico and Central America, and South America since NAS emphasizes a Western Hemispheric approach to the study of indigenous peoples.  The subject matter also includes how indigenous people identify and organize themselves in a number of ways: tribal identification, intertribal identities and  organizations, and even globally (the Fourth World concept).

    4. Students enrolled in NAS courses will demonstrate the ability to engage in critical dialogue and debate regarding various aspects of NAS.

    5. Students will demonstrate the ability to work effectively in in-class group activities.

Research Skills

    6. Students will demonstrate familiarity with research trends and new directions in Native American Studies.

    7. Students will demonstrate knowledge of qualitative research methods.

Content Mastery

    8. Explain various concepts commonly used in the discipline of Native American Studies, including the concept of tribal sovereignty.

    9. Understand the historical development of tribal governments and the current functions of those governments at the current time.

    10. Understand and appreciate the roles of art, culture, history, literature, and politics in the development of the tribal world that relate to contemporary Native American issues.

    11. Recognize stereotypes about Native Americans and explain how and why these images became popular over the years.

    12.  Understand historical experiences and contemporary issues in the U.S. as well as the larger Western Hemisphere.            

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