Latina/o Studies


Assessment of Student Learning

“What Every Latina/o Studies Minor Should Know”

Latina/o Studies courses emphasize perspectives that are historical and contemporary, theoretical and practical, and as well critical and aesthetic. These perspectives help to develop an understanding of oppression and resistance, at the individual, institutional and ideological levels. 

Upon completion of the University of Wyoming Latina/o Studies minor curriculum, students will have an awareness and appreciation for the Latina/o experience. Particularly as the Latina/o experience is expressed in the following concepts and principles of organic insight, relational awareness, and historical perspective, power for social change, intersectionality, and aesthetics.

   1. Organic Insight

The development of a contextual framework for understanding one’s own and others’ experiences in relation to the Latina/o experience. By engaging in complex discussions about the diversity of the U.S. experience, students will gain an understanding of how their racialized, cultured, gendered, classed, familial and non-familial backgrounds have shaped their experiences and perceptions of the world, and in relation to the Latina/o experience.  For example, students will be able to articulate both various social, economic, political, and cultural factors for disproportionately high Chicano high school dropout rates, and possible solutions to this problem.

   2. Relational Awareness

The development of a theoretical framework for understanding how institutional social structures impact individuals, families, and communities, and in turn, how individuals, families, and communities impact social structures through resistance, social agency, and change. Students will gain a comprehension of how large political, cultural, and social organizations are created through political policies and government initiatives, and how such policies and organizations impact Chicano populations.  In turn, students will become familiar with how Chicanos have responded to institutional policies and organizations with emphasis on social transformation through demonstration, political organizing, and ideological resistance.  For example, students will be able to discuss the historical exploitation of migrant farm workers and the resulting struggle for farm workers’ rights that helped fuel the modern day Mexican American civil rights movement.

   3. Historical Perspective

The development of a critical historical viewpoint for understanding how struggles around social, economic and political forces have shaped the traditional and contemporary Latina/o Diaspora. Students will be acquainted with how particular historical conditions such as Spanish European colonization of the Americas, Manifest Destiny, slavery, the Mexican-American War, urbanization and industrialization, immigrant and nativist movements, and free-trade and globalization have worked to hold Chicanas/os in disadvantaged social, economic, and political positions.  For example, students will be able to articulate how past and present economic and political forces in the United States and Mexico have produced the waxing and waning for Mexican immigrant labor in the U.S. for well over 100 years.

   4. Power for Social Change

The development of a critical consciousness, which is necessary for a social praxis that combats oppressive racist ideologies and social structures that perpetuate individual and institutional inequalities. Students will develop a critical consciousness so that they can become engaged citizens who actively question the status quo and work towards ideals and principles that they believe are relevant, important, and worthwhile to themselves and others.  For example, through service learning projects students can gain an understanding of various roles, both personally and professionally, that they can play in battling all forms of discrimination and exploitation that produce various forms of inequality (i.e., substance use peer mentoring, community gardens, scholarship fundraising, etc.).

   5. Intersectionality

Gaining an awareness of the intersection of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation as it plays out organically, relationally, historically, and politically. Students will be able to understand the vastly different experiences that various individuals will have, as well as the social, political, and cultural conditions that create their experiences.  For example, students may be able to articulate the possible differences in experience between a wealthy, light-skinned, Cuban-American heterosexual male whose family fled from Cuba during Fidel Castro’s revolution versus those of a young, impoverished, very dark-skinned homosexual female who migrated to the U.S. from Mexico.

   6. Latina/o Aesthetics

The development of an appreciation and awareness of the aesthetics evident in Chicano art, music, theater, literature, and other artistic expressions. Students will gain an empathy and appreciation for the artistic beauty evident in Chicano expressions of life, death, cultural identity, familial experiences, political and historical struggles, and all other aspects of the Chicano experience.  For example, students will come to understand the development and significance of differing elements of graffiti and muralist art and the functions they play in Chicano communities throughout the nation.

Contact Us

School of Culture, Gender & Social Justice | Latina/o Studies

Dept. 4297
1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-2733

Fax: 307-766-2555


Find us on Instagram (Link opens a new window)Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)Find us on LinkedIn (Link opens a new window)Find us on YouTube (Link opens a new window)