The Intercultural Studies Department offers an interdisciplinary major leading to certificates, an A.A. degree, or transfer in Intercultural (Ethnic) Studies. This major represents the joint commitment of the African America, Asian American and Asian, Chicanx/Latinx, Native American, and core Intercultural Studies areas, and provides a diverse curriculum whose educational objectives include the following:
- Develop a methodology emphasizing comparative analyses of the history, politics, social dynamics, and current challenges and opportunities of historically marginalized communities of color;
- Develop the skills and capabilities to critically analyze information prevalent in the dominant culture from the perspective of historically marginalized communities of color;
- Examine ethnicity theory, race relations theory, feminist theory, cross-cultural communications theory, peace/conflict/ reconciliation theory, healing and social transformation theory and practices, and explore the intersectional and multidimensional issues of racism, institutions, power as they relate to advocating for equity and social justice.
The major also examines the need for and role of multiracial alliances, economic class analysis, the role of healing in social change work, and provides expertise in areas that will allow students to develop the critical analysis, interpersonal capacities, and leadership and organizing skills to be responsive to the multidimensional needs of historically marginalized communities of color in the short term, and to also contribute to long-term systemic transformation for equity and social justice.
The International Studies Department will soon feature an interdisciplinary A.A. degree in International/Global Studies, as well as specific certificate programs in a concentrated area of study. To date, the International Studies program includes courses in peace and conflict studies, global technology, economic development, cross national communication, cultural relations, and art and literature.
The interdisciplinary approach of this program is designed to provide a broad basis in language, history culture, politics, ecology, and economics for understanding present-day Latin America. The focus on Latin America as an unique and important area whose social and cultural expressions have been significantly shaped by external forces, first European powers and the the United States, contributes relevance to life in contemporary California and its Hispanic heritage as well as its rapidly growing Spanish-speaking population.
The Native American Studies Program is an academic discipline offering six courses to provide a broad understanding of American Indian cultures and their history. American Indian perspectives and interpretations are reflected in courses of study in Native American art, history, philosophy and belief systems, literature, contemporary society and California Indian history.
Students confront ingrained oppressive cultural attitudes and misconceptions concerning American Indians. Non-Indian students develop and broaden their awareness and knowledge about American Indian life, past, present and future. For native students, the NAS Program provides identity as well as a point of academic focus . All students benefit from the strong ties of the NAS faculty with the local Indian community. Student participation with and experiential learning in local cultural activities is also an important element of the NAS Program.
The multidisciplinary program leading to the A.A. Degree and transfer is designed to provide systematic instruction for those who desire a concentrated study of the Chicanx/Latinx experience. The program focus for critical investigation and analysis of the Chicanx/Latinx reality includes: history, socioeconomic, education, and the humanities. These program is recommended for students who plan to prepare themselves for public service or teaching careers.
The Asian Studies Department offers students opportunities to gain a better understanding of Asian civilization and society through courses exploring such areas as history, arts, and literature. Those courses, combined with extensive Bay Area resources — major research centers and library collections, museums, trade centers, performing arts — provide unlimited opportunities for students interested in reaching beyond the confines of the college to gain crucial insights about the potential of the Pacific Rim region and its importance to the future of this region.
The Asian American Studies Department offers students opportunities to examine and gain a better understanding of Asian American experiences. Addressed from their own perspectives in a critical manner are areas such as immigration, history, literature, and community. Emphasis is placed on exploring the commonalities and differences among various Asian immigrant groups to the U.S., and on understanding and supporting the vibrant Asian American community both within the college and in Santa Clara County.
The African Studies program is designed to provide interdisciplinary training in African Studies. It allows students the opportunities to gain an in-depth knowledge of the African perspective within specific academic disciplines. Courses in the program cover art, culture, and history.
The program in African American Studies offers courses leading to the AA Degree and transfer. The program is designed to give an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African people in the United States. Since the courses generally fall within the history and social science area, the degree is also useful in some social sciences, law, and municipal and state government jobs. Equally important are the advantages the program gives for opportunities to work in community service organizations related to the problems of various minority groups, with specific emphasis on the African American.
The Women's Studies Department program examines the varying positions of women in society, emphasizing the diverse nature of women's experiences. This includes investigation of family, work, beauty images, social movements and the media, with a focuses on power and gender roles and how they vary for women and men of different racial, ethnic, class and sexuality groups.
See our World Languages Page to find out more about those departments and areas of study.