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Office of Institutional Effectiveness


Program Mission Statement

The Anthropology Program seeks to provide a greater understanding of humankind from a holistic perspective. To account for the complexity of humankind anthropologists focus on: 1) Cultural adaptations and diversity in the past (archaeology); 2) Socio-cultural institutions and symbolic constructs in a cross-cultural perspective (socio-cultural anthropology), 3) The origin, nature, and uses of human language (linguistics); and 4) Human biological evolution and variation (physical anthropology). Anthropology utilizes theories and methods from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, to examine humankind. The program is strongly committed to excellence in undergraduate education and faculty scholarship achievements. Anthropology helps prepare students to actively apply their knowledge and skills to the challenges of living in an increasingly interconnected, diverse global society by exposing them to a systematic, scientific and humanistic understanding of people and their cultures, including their own. The program strives to achieve excellent teaching, scholarship, and public relevance. It does so with the support of the University and the local community and by engaging in self-reflection that leads to apt and pertinent changes.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

Content/Discipline-Specific Knowledge/Skills

  • Demonstrate understanding of the holistic perspective of anthropology by bringing biological, cultural, social, economic, political, and other appropriate factors to bear on a particular problem.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the comparative perspective of anthropology using cross-cultural and cross-species examples.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the evolutionary/diachronic perspective of anthropology through the use of examples from human biological and cultural history.
  • Demonstrate understanding of both the particularizing (fieldwork-ethnographic) and the generalizing (theoretical-ethnological) aspects of the anthropological enterprise.

Communication Skills

  • Produce oral and written arguments that are clear, logical, and supported by appropriate evidence, including relevant literature.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of forms of bibliographic citation and reference appropriate to the discipline.

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Appropriately analyze empirical data (qualitative and quantitative) to arrive at reasonable and well-founded hypotheses.
  • Evaluate the validity of an argument using knowledge of anthropological theories and methods.
  • Articulate the limitations of ethnocentric perspectives and the positive effects of methodological cultural relativism for understanding humans and their cultures.

Assessment Approaches

The Anthropology BA program utilizes direct measures to assess the degree to which students in the Program are able to demonstrate (1) knowledge of disciplinary content; (2) ability to apply critical thinking; (3) ability to communicate anthropologically. Most measures are embedded in assignments, tests, etc.