The Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies exposes students to a robust and critical study, research and service on the African world experience–including a particular focus on the life and culture of people of African descent in the Americas. The department pursues its mission by cultivating successive cadres of students imbued with community consciousness and equipped with intellectual tools for shaping the world of the present and the future, community engagement and pertinent careers. The multi-racial and multi-ethnic reality that is the United States and the world today has been shaped by the grand forces of human history, including science, technology, culture, entrepreneurship, environment, politics, literature, art, law, and education. Together with the overarching themes of the human experience—ideas, power, structure, and sustainability—these forces predominate as items of study within the multi-subject curriculum of AAAS.
Upon successful completion of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies, students will be able to,
- recall and identify the nature of key centers of ancient African civilization;
- recall and identify composite knowledge of significant phases, movements, reforms, leaders, ideologies and transformations in the African American experience, relative to the broader evolutionary path of the American sociopolitical, historical and cultural odyssey;
- determine, explain, interpret and think critically about the nature of the impact of race, gender and class on the social order;
- distinguish, appraise and apply basic skills, techniques, and knowledge related to effective functioning in a multicultural and multiracial society;
- formulate research questions, construct research papers, and reflect critically upon issues pertaining to the African-American experience;
- create and implement proposals and programs in order to tackle basic social problems.
Students are afforded opportunities to engage in hands-on experiential learning through a community-based internship program that can be met through both domestic and available study abroad settings. Students also engage in professional networking through the Society of Africology–a student organization made up of majors and minors in African American Studies, as well as certificate students. Opportunities exist for students to present research papers at local, national and international conferences. Graduates of this major have gained employment or subsequently developed careers in teaching, social work, the law, welfare program administration, counseling, public health management, public policy analysis, the film industry, sports management, public housing management, real estate management, educational administration, and other pertinent careers.