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A Cultural Exchange: The American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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Bell, Robert A.
Oberly, James Warren, 1954-
May 16, 2012
University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire. American Indian Studies Program; Indians of North America--Wisconsin--Eau Claire--Education (Higher); Student exchange programs--Wisconsin--Eau Claire; Cultural relations--Wisconsin--Eau Claire; Eau Claire (Wis.)--Race relations
The purpose of this research paper is to trace the start and development of the American Indian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Developing ethnic programs in the newly formed University of Wisconsin-System, was one of the agendas of Wisconsin Governor Patrick Lucey, after he took office in 1971. His objective was to follow the national trend in higher education and start ethnic programs in the newly formed UW-System. UW-Eau Claire had a difficult time at first finding a program that would attract and retain minority students. After the university found the right program and people to run that program, simply called The Indian Program, events took a positive turn. At first, the program?s objective was to help Native American Students transition from high school to college. As the program grew, a minor was offered in 1977 and by 1996 the program offered a major earning full credit toward a bachelor's degree. This paper will explore how UWEC addressed the needs of Native American students and show how the university solved the problems implementing the program and how the program grew. Many people were involved in the development of the American Indian Studies Program, the Board of Regents, individual faculty members, and concerned allies in both the administration at UWEC, and the Eau Claire community. The success of the program was simply: A Cultural Exchange.
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