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Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

Objectives

Mission Statement

 

Our mission is to raise the awareness of Kansas State University students concerning cultural diversity, the relationships between human biology and culture, the common humanity we share, our shared past and its continued influence on our lives, and the significance of this knowledge to their lives. We believe that understanding the human story, our biology, and cultural diversity is essential for individuals, our country, and the world in the 21st Century.  Our faculty have specific strengths in medical anthropology and world religions, offering certificates in Global Health and Religious Studies.

 

Learning Outcomes

Cultural Diversity (cultural anthropology):

Students should be able to:

  • Identify ways in which different aspects of culture – economic, social, political, and religious practices and institutions – relate to one another in a cultural system (holism),
  • Draw comparisons between different cultures, past and present, recognizing that such comparisons require a holistic understanding of each of the cultures involved in the comparison, and
  • Describe the processes of globalization and the ways they shape and are shaped by different aspects of culture in human communities throughout the world.

Dynamic Nature of Culture (archaeology):

Students should be able to:

  • recognize the dynamic (changing) nature of culture
  • demonstrate understanding of culture change through review of the stages or process of change within at least one cultural tradition or region over time

Humans as Biocultural Beings (physical anthropology): 

Students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the integration of human biology and culture
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the evolutionary emergence of our species and our relation to other primates
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of evolutionary processes and their relevance and application to humans. 

Anthropological Approach (301): 

In addition, all majors will be able to demonstrate achievement in understanding and using the Anthropological Approach.  Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of the holistic four-field nature of anthropology and the concepts and integration of culture and biology as used by contemporary anthropologists.  This specifically includes the development of anthropology as a distinct field of inquiry and the relationship between anthropology and other academic disciplines.  Specifically, students should be able to:

  • Describe the development of anthropology as a profession in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and
  • Explain why anthropology can be considered both a science and a humanity.

Critical Thinking: 

Students will

  • Access, assess, and apply information to a problem,
  • Apply different approaches to evaluation of claims,
  • Identify and explain potential bias or faulty reasoning,
  • Discuss ways in which modern individuals, groups, institutions, governments, or societies influence and are influenced by interpretations of our human past

Research Methods:

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the methods of data collection, analysis, and communication of results in at least one of the four fields of anthropology.

These student learning outcomes relate to Kansas State SLO's in the following way:

 

University-Wide SLOs

Program SLO is conceptually different from university SLOS

Program SLO

Knowledge

Critical Thinking

Communication

Diversity

Professional Integrity

Cultural Diversity

 

 

 

X

 

 

Dynamic Nature of Culture

X

 

 

 

 

 

Biocultural Beings

X

 

 

 

 

 

Anthropological Approach

X

 

 

 

X

 

Critical Thinking

 

X

 

 

 

 

Research Methods

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

The following table outlines the courses in which each SLO will be covered and assessed:

 Cultural Diversity

ANTH 200, 204, 505, 508, 510, 514, 515, 517, 524, 526, 536, 550, 618, 630,634

Dynamic Nature of Culture

ANTH 260, 565, 612, 665

Biocultural Beings

ANTH 280, 680, 688, 694, 695

Anthropological Approach

ANTH 301

Critical Thinking

All ANTH courses, but especially ANTH 560

Research Methods

ANTH 519, 626, 641, 677, 678, 679, 680, 694, 695, 697, 730, 792

 

Summary of 2019-2020 Assessment

With growing expertise in medical anthropology and the world religions, we recently launched two new certificates in Global Health and Religious Studies.  Our faculty have won several of the most prestigious university, state, and national teaching awards, and brought world-wide recognition to the program. Our program offers many opportunities to undergraduates that most programs in the world cannot offer. Our students often work alongside us as teaching and research assistants. Our undergrads are offered hands-on training and experience in the methods of digital ethnography, written ethnography, archaeology, and osteology. Such experiences propel our students to win top scholarships and attend the best graduate programs in the world. Recent graduates have won multiple National Science Foundation fellowships Fulbright awards, the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, and many others.

Over the past year we have revised our mission statement and student learning outcomes to adapt to the changing circumstances of our world and to offer our students the best education possible to succeed. 

Our program continues to offer more hands-on opportunities for students, including many real-world project-based experiences, scaffolded assignments, and formative feedback that allow students to achieve mastery of difficult anthropological concepts and ideas.  We have also added several new scholarships and opportunities for students to engage in global travel, research, and attend conferences.  Over the past three years we have funded over $50,000 of extraordinary educational experiences for students.