Learning Goals for Appalachian Studies

Course work in Appalachian Studies at Berea College provides scaffolding for understanding cultures in Appalachia. It also provides insight about the relationship of Appalachia to the rest of the United States and other global regional cultures. A multidisciplinary effort, Appalachian Studies courses examine various aspects of Appalachian heritage and culture. This includes 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 realize the following learning goals.

Learning Goal 1: Articulate cultural and environmental geographies of Appalachia.

  • Delineate distinctive physical and human characteristics of places and regions in Appalachia;
  • Analyze social and power relations of Appalachian cultures, identity positions (gender, class, race/ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, etc.), and social systems.   

Learning Goal 2: Discern the complex experience of interlinked people in Appalachian history.

  • Explore the interconnected diversity of the Appalachian experience across time and space;
  • Articulate ways that the Appalachian region has been and is connected to national and international development, culture, and history.

 Learning Goal 3: Analyze and Create Renderings of Appalachia

  • Analyze representations of Appalachia in terms of rhetoric and power;
  • Explain the cultural function and meaning of Appalachian artifacts or events; and
  • Produce non-academic-essay creations (i.e., fibers, crafts, music, plays, films, poems, oral histories, etc.) that are proficient in terms of genre and their interaction with Appalachian materials, cultures, and/or issues.

Learning Goal 4: Synthesize and deploy learning from curricular and extra-curricular experiences in regional work, service, or action.

  • Consider Appalachian issues with methods, concepts, and skills drawn from varied disciplines, experiences, and approaches;
  • Deploy skills and knowledge gained in the college setting in non-campus work, action, or, service related to Appalachia;

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.
  • Will be able to see Appalachia as a model for regional study in other parts of the nation and the world.