Cuyamaca College will break new ground this fall when it launches an associate degree in Kumeyaay Studies, becoming among the first community colleges in California to offer a degree program focusing on the language, culture and history of a specific Native American tribe.
The Kumeyaay, whom scholars say have lived in the area for some 12,000 years, are native to a region stretching roughly from the Pacific Ocean east to the Colorado River, and from Oceanside south to Ensenada. Today, the Kumeyaay make their home on 13-federally recognized reservations, including Barona, Viejas, Campo, Ewiiaapaayp, Jamul, Inaja-Cosmit, La Posta, Manzanita, Mesa Grande, Santa Ysabel, San Pasqual and Sycuan.
The associate degree in Kumeyaay Studies is a multidisciplinary program that draws from the sciences, humanities, world languages and history departments. Required courses include Kumeyaay History, Kumeyaay Arts and Culture, Ethnoecology, Ethnobotany, and the Kumeyaay language. Students who complete the program will be able to communicate in the Kumeyaay language at a basic level in a variety of settings; have an understanding of Kumeyaay heritage, history, society and traditions; and gain sensitivity, globalism and cultural competence of a unique group of people.