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UW-Green Bay Offering State’s Only Doctorate Program In Native Studies

4-Year Program Includes Community-Based Project Instead Of Dissertation

A student studying at UW-Green Bay
A student studying at the Cofrin Library on UW-Green Bay’s campus. Cofrin Library (CC-BY)

Wisconsin’s only doctorate program in native studies will begin this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. It’s the first public campus in Wisconsin to do so.

J P Leary, an associate professor in the program, said the four-year coursework is based on “footwork,” not “bookwork.” Instead of research and dissertations, students will do community-based projects.

Leary said 24 people have already applied for the program, but only 12 will be selected. The program is designed for working professionals, such as teachers or social workers.

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He said the school is well suited for the program because it is located near the homes of the Oneida, Menominee, Ho-Chunk, and the Brothertown, also known as Brotherton, tribes.

“Of course the largest tribal community is the urban community in Milwaukee. The city itself has a very large Native community, and so we’re geographically very well positioned to do this work,” Leary said.

Leary said the courses will be flexible and mostly held on weekends.

Leary also said the program will be paid for through tuition and that it won’t be a drain on UW-Green Bay’s budget.

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