The University approved a new Program in Latino Studies at a faculty meeting on Monday, more than 10 years after the idea was conceived. The certificate program will be launched in the 2009-10 academic year.
“Latinos offer us a way to understand social change ... and rethink the contours of race,” said sociology and Wilson School professor Marta Tienda, who will direct the program. Tienda noted that “Latinos predate formation of the American nation” and represent an increasing segment of the American population.
Requisite program courses will consist of a core class on “Latinos in American Life and Culture” as well as four courses in departments outside participating students’ areas of concentration, including social sciences, arts and humanities. Students pursuing Latino studies certificates will also be required to complete a senior thesis on a topic relating to the U.S. Hispanic population.
Latino studies curricula have become popular academic offerings among U.S. universities in recent years. As the largest minority group in the United States, Latinos make up more than 15 percent of the national population.
Tienda explained that the push for a program in Latino studies at the University began well before she joined the effort. “This has been under discussion as long as I’ve been here,” she explained. “It was a team of us … We had enormous support from colleagues.”
Bob Hernandez ’69, who for several years was involved with other alumni in trying to introduce more courses on Latino studies into the University curriculum, said he was pleased with the University’s decision to add the program. READ FULL STORY