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American Studies|College of Arts and Sciences

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American Studies
Cooper House
1000 E. University Ave
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766 3898
Fax: (307) 766 3700
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B.A. in American Studies Assessment Plan

Program Orientation and Goal:

American Studies emphasizes the integration of the humanities, fine arts and social sciences in the study of American experience, past and present. Students develop individual programs of study, with their advisors, to understand and engage American cultures.


Assessment of desired program outcomes in American Studies is direct, with few exceptions, reviewing portfolios of majors' work in courses they share in American Studies, filed by course and semester. Student work is filed after receiving students' permission to collect their work for the purposes of assessment and advising. Assessment of student success in internships or field-based learning experiences (see outcome #4 below) is based directly on any documents students produce in the course of the learning experience, or indirectly on reports or presentations following field-based or internship experiences.

Program Outcomes and Assessment Rubrics:

Outcome 1:

Students interpret American cultural experience and creative expression, using a variety of objects and ideas important in American cultural life, past and present, not encompassed by any one academic discipline.


Student work demonstrates mastery of, proficiency with, or failure to understand the cultural significance of the following formations in American cultural study:
- words
- narratives
- images
- material objects
- communities
- built environments
- cross-cultural comparisons
- continuities and discontinuities with the past

Outcome 2:

Students understand the processes of diversity in American cultural life, including within their own experience.


Student work demonstrates mastery of, proficiency with, or failure in, describing the following diversity-related processes, with regard to cultural groups, and students themselves:
-identity formation
-performance of identity
-cultural contact
-cultural memory
-national identity

Outcome 3:

Students demonstrate critical analysis, interpretation, or insight, through effective communication primarily in writing, but also in speaking. When appropriate, performance or display may be assessed for these qualities as well.


Student work demonstrates mastery of, proficiency with, or failure in the following communication skills:
-analytically coherent interpretive writing
-authoritative, informed oral presentation
-well-documented, visually effective display (where appropriate)

Outcome 4:

Students apply American Studies methods in field-based courses and/or internships.


Student use of American Studies approaches and competencies (outlined in Outcomes #1-3 above) may be assessed directly in any documents or presentations produced in the course of completing field-based courses or internships, or indirectly in reports or presentations produced following field-based or internship experiences for which no other documentation of student work exists.

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