CNM Launches Native American Studies Program

The program will allow students to get an associate degree in Native American Studies and will set them up to transfer to UNM
June 03, 2020

CNM has been regularly ranked No. 1 among 1,100-plus community colleges nationwide for the number of associate degrees and certificates earned by Native American students. And starting this fall, CNM students will have the opportunity to earn an associate degree in Native American Studies. 

The two-year program was developed in conjunction with the University of New Mexico’s Native American Studies program and is designed so that CNM students who graduate with their associate degree can transfer to UNM and enter as a junior. 

Brian Hudson, a CNM Native American Studies instructor, who led the curriculum design, says the program was designed for anyone who wants to educate themselves about current and historical issues. But it’s also been designed specifically for native students who want to use what they learn to help their communities.

“We designed the program to help educate native citizens and educate them in ways where they can go back and help build their own sovereign nations,” he says. “Hopefully native students can take what they learn and go back to their tribal nations and work in city planning or on government issues -- areas where these nations need help in order to be competitive in a global society.”

Students will start with the Introduction to Native American Studies Class and then have the opportunity to take classes including Language Recovery, Revitalization, and Community Renewal—where issues around language loss and recovery are addressed—and Sociopolitical Concepts in Native American Studies, where the historical and current socio-political experiences of Native Americans are covered.

Brian says all students are welcome and he hopes that because CNM has such a diverse group of native students, it will benefit those communities to be in classes together.

“We have lots of Dine, Pueblo, Lakota and other native students that create a great intertribal mix and it will be powerful to think about these issues from various perspectives,” he says. 

Find out more about the Native American Studies program here.