Division of Liberal Studies
Remember your past...Build your future
Who We Are
The Humanities field incorporates a wide variety of disciplines, all of which are related to human culture. Courses explore a wide range of human interactions and behavior, creativity, literature, languages, written and oral communications, civics, ethics, history, music, and the arts.
AA Liberal Studies
The Liberal Studies Associate Degree prepares students for bachelor study in creative writing, expressive arts, film, language/linguistics, and philosophy. Every student in Liberal Studies will experience critical thought through writing, reading, enriched discussions, and verbal and written analysis. The Liberal Studies Department offers educational experiences and a curriculum to engage students through the integration of Piikani history, culture and thought. Students will gain foundational knowledge and skills based on habits of inquiry and problem solving that strengthen their studies, career goals, and personal lives in positive ways. Liberal Studies at Blackfeet Community College is the most traditional of studies in higher education that collaborates with a multitude of disciplines in the Humanities&Sciences, always focusing on the up-to-date expectations from the Montana University System.
AA Piikani Studies and Langauge
The Piikani Studies&Language Associate Degree prepares students for bachelor study in Native American Studies, Education, Law, or Philosophy. Every student in Piikani Studies&Language will experience the growth of their Piikani knowledge and critical thought through writing, reading, enriched discussions, and verbal and written analysis. The Piikani Studies&Language Department offers educational experiences and a curriculum to immerse students in Piikani history, culture, language, oral tradition and thought. Students will gain fundamental knowledge of what it means to be Piikani, and how the Piikani interacted with their environment and other Native and non-Native peoples. Piikani Studies&Language is the most unique aspect of Blackfeet Community College that can provide a level of identity like nowhere else in the world. Completion of the Piikani Studies&Language Degree gives genuine validity to students seeking the Montana Class7 Certification for American Indian Language&Cultural Specialist. Completion of nine credits in the Piikani Language courses fulfills University of Montana’s Modern&Classical Languages&Literatures(MCLL)requirement for four-year degree.
USDA Equity Grant: Experiential Learning at Blackfeet Community College
The traditional method of teaching secondary schooling has been primarily classroom based, resulting in students spending the entire learning experience sitting in desks listening to lectures. BCC has and continues to offer a transferable general core consisting of 32-35 credits. However, retention and completion rates across not only tribal colleges, but also other community and four-year institutions have been dismal.
BCC, through the support of USDA Equity Grant, has been investigating new methods of course offerings to improve retention and completion rates. Based on current movements in education found across the globe, though only on a smaller scale in higher education, BCC sees the potential of place based experiential learning. In addition, BCC, as found in its mission statement, plans to continue focusing on incorporating Piikani culture in course delivery methods. To revive prior teaching methods found in tribal cultures, BCC aims to move the classroom to the natural world and the field. This allows students to utilize all of their senses and allow teaching to appeal to all types of learners, not just those who thrive in the classroom.
Based on extensive experience in the classroom, long-time faculty member and USDA Equity Director Jim Petersen believes that focusing more on multisensory learning and cultural teaching paradigms will have a direct impact on student success. In creating the program, Mr. Petersen hopes students will find comfort in the learning experience and as a result of this, be better able to develop and express their views. “Under our current education system, a method is developed that is based around an assumption of correctness: Smart people think like this, talk like this, and behave like this. Any variance is misinterpreted as resistance. The reality is, students cannot perceive and respond in ways that do not fit their nature. We aim to make the classroom fit the student as an individual; not conform to an arbitrary standard set by a dominate class.” Under his supervision, various other BCC members are helping pave the way for the new experiential learning program. The primary goal is to develop citizen activists that exit BCC knowing the foundations of the Piikani worldview and how to apply these in and out of the community. A secondary goal is to help students have a better sense of self, including improvements in awareness, confidence, and application of skills and knowledge learned. BCC faculty members know BCC enrolls extremely talented students; through the experiential learning program, faculty want to help students realize their full potential so that they may flourish.