San Marcos,
09:44 AM

NEH Grant Awarded to CSUSM to Strengthen 21st Century AIS Program

Media Advisory by Whitney Frasier

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) a Humanities Initiatives Grant to build a 21st century American Indian Studies (AIS) Program. The eighteen-month project will enhance the existing minor, but also assist in the development of a major in AIS. Professional development workshops will begin spring 2016 with a goal to develop new courses for delivery at CSUSM beginning in the fall.

“The American Indian Studies Department, created in fall 2015, will be able to develop courses and curriculum models that are timely, research based and thoughtfully designed by allowing faculty to engage in guided academic discussions with the feedback of regional, tribal subject matter experts,” said Joely Proudfit, Associate Professor of Sociology and American Indian Studies.

Humanities Initiatives Grants strengthen and enrich humanities education and scholarship at Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. Currently there are more than 110 federally recognized American Indian reservations in the state of California, 18 of which are in San Diego County making CSUSM ideally situated to serve the needs of tribal nations in the state.

“Faculty will be provided assistance from the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center in the integration of materials into current and new courses to strengthen and enrich the humanities courses currently offered,” said Proudfit. “The project will create a model for the development of an AIS Department in mainstream universities.”

For more information about the 21st Century American Indian Studies Program, contact Joely Proudfit at or visit the AIS Department website.

This project has been made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.