Ethnic and Racial Studies

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Hmong and Hmong-American Studies Certificate

For a full description of the certificate, please visit the UWL catalog found here.  Frequently asked questions regarding the certificate are listed below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enroll?

When did the program begin?

Why Hmong and Hmong-American Studies and not Hmong Studies?

How many credits do I need to complete for the certificate?

What electives are available?

Is Hmong language required to complete the certificate?

Why is the certificate housed in ERS?

Do I have to be an ERS minor to earn the certificate?

Why must I take ERS 100?

Will the courses teach me Hmong culture?

What topics are covered in the courses?

Will there be more courses in the future?

How do I enroll in the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies certificate?

An enrollment form is available in any College Dean's Office and the Academic Advising Center. Once you enroll, the certificate requirements will appear in your Advisement Report in WINGS. This report will outline certificate requirements and help you track which requirements you have fulfilled, those in-progress, and/or requirements you need to complete.

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A Hmong and Hmong-American Certificate? Exciting! When did this this program begin?

As of Summer session 2017.

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Why Hmong and Hmong-American Studies and not Hmong Studies?

The Hmong and Hmong-American Studies certificate highlights, examines and explores Hmong American experiences while connecting to Hmong heritage, culture, and refugee experiences. As of 2010, the United States is home to 270,000 people of Hmong ancestry. Their story, of course, does not in any way begin with coming to the U.S., or with the Hmong child soldiers aiding the U.S. in the Vietnam War—Hmong history reaches thousands of years into the past. This certificate, informed by interdisciplinary approaches, addresses the complexity of their developing identities in all locations around the globe.

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How many credits do I need to complete to earn the Hmong and Hmong American Studies Certificate?

Currently, the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies certificate requires students to earn 15-17 credits. This includes ERS 100 Introduction to Ethnic & Racial Studies (3), ERS/ANT 362 Hmong Americans (3), and ERS 490 Ethnic & Racial Studies Seminar Capstone (3) as the core. In addition, students may choose from approximately nine electives.

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What electives are available?

You may take 6-8 credits of electives toward the certificate. These include ANT 196, ANT 215, ANT 351, CST 337, HIS 316, HIS 382, MLG 204, MLG 304, MLG 345.

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Is Hmong language required to complete the certificate?

No, Hmong language courses are not required to complete the certificate. Hmong language courses (MLG 204 and MLG 304) may be taken as electives.

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Why is the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies certificate housed in Ethnic & Racial Studies?

A home in ERS grounds Hmong and Hmong-American Studies in a well-researched, evidence-based tradition of scholarly inquiry. Our foundations in exploring peoples’ racial and ethnic experiences to the political, social, cultural, and historical milieu of United States and the globe are an important basis for those who will pursue this program.

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Do I have to be an Ethnic & Racial Studies minor to earn the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies Certificate?

No, you do not. However, you must be an enrolled UWL student to enroll in the certificate.

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Why must every student who pursues a Hmong and Hmong-American Studies certificate take ERS 100?

ERS 100, Introduction to Ethnic & Racial Studies, is a gateway and foundational course. It introduces students to the idea of race and ethnicity as social construct, the origins of the conceptualization of race, and how these concepts are used to empower some and subjugate others. This course puts the specific experiences of Hmong-Americans in context with other Asian Americans and other ethnic and racial groups in the United States.

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I'm interested in courses that will teach me Hmong Culture. Do these courses do that?

Courses students take to earn the certificate introduce elements of culture, and allow students to analyze and understand cultural practices. Hmong cultures are living, adapting, and changing and the courses offered provide the critical thinking and analytical tools to help understand how and why. An element of many of the courses, including ERS 490, may involve research at the local public schools, local colleges and universities, Hmoob Cultural and Community Agency, the La Crosse Hmong Faith Alliance, and other local and regional institutions and organizations.

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What topics will be covered in some of the core and elective courses?

The certificate offers an excellent opportunity for students to learn about this rich culture and history. Through a set of carefully-structured courses, students will use a critical lens to explore topics related to Hmong and Hmong American studies, including but not limited to the following:

  • Human prehistory
  • History in China and Southeast Asia
  • Colonialism
  • Cold war conflicts
  • Refugee movements
  • Transnational migration
  • Tourism, globalization and development
  • Adaptation to Western societies: Enculturation and cultural renewal
  • Religion and religious change
  • Language
  • Identity development and formation
  • Global citizenship and global identity
  • Ongoing contributions of Hmong people to contemporary society

The goal of the Hmong and Hmong-American Studies Certificate is to prepare students to be critical thinkers, effective communicators, and constructive agents of change. Study abroad trips may provide additional opportunities for field research and experiential learning.

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There is so much to teach and learn about Hmong peoples. Will there be more courses in the future?

Currently, we offer three core and nine elective courses. As student enrollment in these courses and in the certificate grow, we hope to be able to do similar research that this process has provided and support courses in areas that might include: Hmong-American Literature, Hmong/Hmong-American Cinema, Hmong/Hmong-American Arts, Hmong and Hmong-American Politics, etc.

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