Learning Goals for Appalachian Studies
Course work in Appalachian Studies at Berea College provides scaffolding for understanding cultures in Appalachia as well as insight about the relationship of Appalachia to the rest of the United States and other global regional cultures. A multidisciplinary endeavor, Appalachian Studies courses examine various aspects of Appalachian heritage and culture, including a choice of course work concerned with artistic expression, health issues, sustainability, natural history, contemporary issues, gender, race, and other approved courses relating to Appalachia. Appalachian Studies courses as well as the minor complement and enrich any major program at the College (an independent major in Appalachian Studies is also available for interested students). APS majors and minors, as well as those students who take several APS courses, should:
- Think critically, analytically, and creatively about Appalachia through classroom learning, service-learning, internships, independent learning, and other experiences;
- Integrate diverse content about Appalachia including digital, biological, sociological, cultural, and historical sources as well as archival and field-based material to achieve a synthetic understanding of Appalachia and its people and systems;
- Articulate and appreciate the ways in which the Appalachian region has been and is connected to national and international development and history and how regions influence one another;
- Acquire a range of knowledge about Appalachia, including Appalachian prehistory, history, settlement, and industrialization; ethnic and racial diversity; natural history; the use of resources and the effects on natural and human ecologies; economic development; cultures (including religion, folkways, literature, musical, and artistic expressions); exploitation and stewardship; and the creation and manipulation of images and stereotypes.
- Acquire and apply knowledge and practical skills in order to work with Appalachian households and communities, especially as they face political, environmental, and economic challenges.
APS students will thus have knowledge of Appalachia’s history and development; will work toward a comprehensive sense of the Appalachian region from a variety of cultural, social, and artistic perspectives; will gain skills and passion to work with communities in the mountains; and will be able to see Appalachia as a model for regional study in other parts of the nation and the world.