American Multicultural Studies (AMCS) is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of ethnic and racial minority groups in the United States. A variety of courses focus on the historical, sociological, cultural and ideological aspects of American ethnicity.
The program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need to meet the ongoing challenge of living in a culturally and ethnically diverse society. AMCS students receive basic instruction in how to recognize and engage the underlying assumptions that guide our thinking about race, ethnicity and multiculturalism. They will explore arts and literature; language and philosophy. Additionally, they will examine historical, political, social, educational, economic and cultural developments that affect ethnic and racial minority communities in the United States.
Through a critical study of the significance of the constructions of ethnicity and race in shaping social relationships in the United States, AMCS students are introduced to modes of intercultural learning and understanding that help them to develop the knowledge and sensitivities needed for the enhancement of multicultural communication. By examining the arts, literature, language, and philosophy of ethnic groups, students learn to appreciate the moral and aesthetic values of others. Moreover, through an interdisciplinary approach, they come to a clearer view of the historical importance of ethnic identity in America and a deeper understanding of the impact ethnic groups have had on Americans generally, their social thought, practice, and institutions.
AMCS offers an innovative four-year B.A./teacher credentialing program. Students who complete the pre‑approved curriculum will receive a simultaneous B.A. and CLAD certification. This academically rigorous program will allow students to receive both their Bachelor of Arts and a teaching certification in four years. With this program future teachers will be able to avoid an additional year of postgraduate training. Our program combines classes in AMCS and education, and provides extensive field training so students will use pedagogical theory as well as practical experience. They will have the preparation needed to instruct and mentor an increasingly diverse student population.
The major prepares individuals to function effectively in the fields of education, personnel administration, business, law, human resources, public health, public relations, social services, and environmental planning. It provides a sound foundation for graduate work in many traditional disciplines and emerging multidisciplinary fields of inquiry.
The Department of American Multicultural Studies, through its major and minor, has the following goals:
- To equip students with the knowledge, skills, and sensitivity to function effectively in a culturally diverse society.
- To provide knowledge of the contributions that ethnic and racial minorities have given to American society and culture.
- To make students sensitive and aware of the problems and issues facing ethnic and racial minorities.
- To develop within students an appreciation of the richness and diversity of ethnic arts and humanities.
- To develop students' skills in research methods, computer applications and basic social statistics, and thereby enable students to analyze the problems and issues facing ethnic and racial minorities.
- To develop students' skills in communication, particularly in intercultural settings, and to demonstrate the application of these skills in tools of research, in pedagogy and in real‑life situations.
- To develop a diverse pool of teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly multicultural student population.
- To provide students with research, community internship, and editing/teaching facilitation opportunities focused on ethnic studies, multicultural education, and multicultural studies.
- To provide the expertise in areas that will allow students to pursue professional and graduate training so they can serve diverse communities, act as a bridge between different cultural groups, and effect constructive social change.
Each semester the Department of American Multicultural Studies publishes a brochure listing all course offerings in AMCS. Copies of the brochure may be obtained in the AMCS Department office.