Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities
NEW for Fall 2021: Interdisciplinary undergraduate Degree in Appalachian Studies. click here for more information.
Appalachian Studies Mission Statement and Intended Student Outcomes
The region of Appalachia encompasses a geographic area that stretches from New York to Alabama, composed of parts of thirteen states; West Virginia is the only state that is located completely within this geographic area. The Appalachian Studies Program at Shepherd University seeks to critically examine this region through a series of interrelated programs, all dedicated to a richer and fuller understanding of the region, its language, its lore, its history, and its cultural traditions: the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Project, the West Virginia Fiction Competition, the annual Anthology of Appalachian Writers, the Appalachian Heritage Festival, and the interdisciplinary Appalachian Studies Minor, interdisciplinary B.A./B.S. major, Graduate certificate, and graduate M.A. degree. The following intended student outcomes are specifically related to the curricular component of the program but involve all other features of the program as well.
The Appalachian Studies Program at Shepherd University is an interdisciplinary program that seeks to:
- develop an understanding of the geographic region known as Appalachia, through the study of its cultural traditions and the ethnic heritage of those diverse people who call themselves Appalachians;
- develop an understanding of the colorful history of Appalachia and its historic and ethnic roots;
- develop an understanding of the political, social, and economic forces that shape the region;
- develop an understanding of the geography and environment of Appalachia;
- develop an understanding and appreciation of the literature, music, art, folk and recreational traditions of the region;
- develop through service and experiential learning an appreciation for the Appalachian region and its citizens;
- develop community leaders with a commitment to global as well as local civic engagement;
- develop an understanding of the environmental and economic challenges of the region and the skills needed to address these.