Haskell develops new interdisciplinary program

Nov 6th, 2012 | By | Category: 24-2: The Future of the Tribal College Movement, Tribal College News
By Lorene Williams

Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU, Lawrence, KS) is in the process of developing its fifth four-year degree program, a bachelor’s degree program in interdisciplinary liberal studies (ILS). The program will weave Indigenous perspectives and lifeways into Western social viewpoints and mores, giving students the career skills to compete in today’s world market.

HINU is committed to a holistic and integrated education for students and constituent communities and focuses on American Indian and Alaska Native traditions and practices. This new interdisciplinary program builds on the strengths of existing programs and curricula and has positive implications for the students and Indian Country overall.

In 2010, Dr. Venida Chenault, vice president of academic affairs, requested and received funding through Title III, Department of Education monies to develop an interdisciplinary degree at HINU.

The $1.5-million award was earmarked to hire new faculty, bring additional technical and research capabilities to HINU’s library, and renovate an existing classroom into a modern, stateof- the-art learning environment. The ILS program, proposed to begin in spring 2013, builds on programs already in existence at the tribal college.

The program will link existing degree programs in the humanities (communication, written and oral), natural sciences (environmental science), Indigenous and American Indian studies, and business departments. Growth of ILS will lead to the inclusion of other fields of study, including the disciplines of geography and health and wellness.

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