Degree series continues

Lilly Montero,

In a series of new degrees added to the roster for the fall semester, an African American Studies degree for Transfer under the umbrella of Associate in Arts in Social Justice Studies has just been announced. This degree, like the recent addition of the LGBTQ Studies for Transfer Degree, will offer great insight into a historically underrepresented and marginalized group.

After working with the state chancellor to ensure that the African American studies degree get its own top code, the work of professors Tess Caldwell, James Noel, Laurie Huffman and Iris Archuleta has finally paid off.

The degree will include three required courses comprised of Introduction to Race and Ethnicity (SOSC-15), Introduction to Gender Studies (SOSC/ENGL-136) and Introduction to Social Justice Studies (SOSC/ENGL-110). The degree also includes a series of courses like Issues Facing African Americans (SOSC-045), African American Literature (ENGL-129), and

The Color of the Media (DRAMA-072). Huffman has also been working on a few a additional courses including one which would focus upon African Americans in the Caribbean and a film course. 

Given our student population a degree like this is needed for students who are interested in their own history.”

— Dr. James Noel

“[The course] will be added to both the AA-T for Spanish and the new Chicano/Chicana Associates Degree,” Huffman said. The Chicano/Chicana was another degree she worked on with fellow professors Stacey Miller and Victor Coronado.

Though the list of courses under this degree is currently incomplete, the list is said to expand and will include various courses already offered to students.

“A lot of [the courses] were already available,” said Noel. “But perhaps now that they’re a part of this degree they’ll be publicized better.” Noel hopes that by offering this degree students will feel more encourage to learn about their own history and expand their horizons.

In the past, many students wanting to learn about African-American studies, social justice or simply take a few cultural courses may have struggled with balancing general education courses with subjects they were passionate about. Sure, a few multicultural courses may have slipped in, but now with the new African-American Studies degree for Transfer and Social Justice Studies degree, students will be able to hone in on their passions in a way they couldn’t before.

“Given our student population a degree like this is needed for students who are interested in their own history,” Noel said. “Ultimately, when you consider the role African-Americans played in the Civil Rights Movement and even now in dialogue around social justice — I think it’s needed.”

For more information about the degree students can go to