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Ethnic Studies

Our Mission

The Ethnic Studies Program at Santa Clara University was established in 1969 by a multi-racial group of committed students, faculty, staff, and community activists for social justice pertaining to racial and ethnic communities in the U.S.  It is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the nation with leading teaching scholars in their respective areas of expertise.  The program’s focus is aligned with the Jesuit Education by focusing on educating the whole person through a rigorous and disciplined examination of the history and culture of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups in the context of U.S. development.  In addition, the program seeks to provide opportunities to all students for gaining an understanding of racial/ethnic minority cultures and their contributions to U.S. society.   In doing so, the program through its curriculum and co-curricular events seeks to develop a university-wide cross-cultural understanding of these underrepresented communities, to pursue social justice across a wide range of socio-economic issues, and to engage in constructive ways to address fundamental problems of contemporary society.  To achieve our mission, all majors must enroll in a Capstone during their senior year that is either a community placement/internship or a directed research/readings project.

Student Learning Goals & Outcomes

1: Engaging Positionality

Students will

  • 1a: question, challenge, and evaluate their prior knowledge about the history of racial/ethnic communities.
  • 1b: deconstruct privilege and affirm racial and ethnic marginalized communities.

2: Knowledge of Historical and Contemporary Formations of Race and Ethnicity

Students will

  • 2a: describe historical formations of race and ethnicity in the US, including the impact of laws and public policies on racial and ethnic communities.
  • 2b: describe various types of cultural production by members of racial and ethnic communities.
  • 2c: define and apply concepts, terminology, and theoretical frameworks central to the interdisciplinary field of Ethnic Studies.

3: Critical Thinking about Race and Ethnicity

Students will

  • 3a: analyze how "race," "ethnicity," and/or indigeneity are historically and culturally specific (dependent on time and place); relational (nor formed in isolation); and intersectional.
  • 3b: analyze differences in power and privilege related to race and ethnicity, and intersectional modes of subordination.
  • 3c: analyze and engage with creative expressions and cultural productions in relation to social, historical, and political formations of racial and ethnic communities.

4: Multidisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Ethnic Studies Methods

Students will

  • 4a: identify, synthesize, and utilize interdisciplinary perspectives
  • 4b: utilize (identify, synthesize, and integrate) interdisciplinary perspectives to analyze the experience and status of racial and ethnic communities and the process of racialization.

5: Leadership in Promoting Social Justice

Students will

  • 5a: identify concepts, definitions, and strategies that prepare themselves and others to live and work meaningfully, ethically, and effectively in a multiracial society.
  • 5b: evaluate how individual and collective action has and can be used to create social change and racial justice.
  • 5c: articulate a vision of social change and social justice rooted in ethnic studies that produces transformational change.