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Ethnic Studies

New Ethnic Studies Graduation Requirement

Jul 27, 2022

California community college students seeking an associate degree will need to complete a course in ethnic studies under a new regulation from California Community Colleges.

“As the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the country, we have an opportunity to break down barriers to equity,” Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes said.

Community college students who plan to earn an associate degree will now need to take a three-unit semester or four-unit quarter class in ethnic studies.

In 2020 the state of California approved legislation for ethnic studies in the California State University system. The California Community College Governing Board also approved an ethnic studies course requirement for graduation.

These legislative victories came because of a prolonged movement-based and academic struggle stemming from the Third World Liberation protests of 1968 that sought a curriculum that humanized the histories and ways of knowing of communities of color.  The field is deeply attentive to issues of class, gender, and sexuality seeking to establish a citizenry that can ethnically navigate a multiracial and multicultural society.  The new Ethnic Studies requirement produces liberatory and emancipatory educational spaces that uplift and support students of all backgrounds.

"The field of ethnic studies is the combination of four primary fields: Native American studies, African American studies, Chicano/Latinx studies and Asian American studies, always in conversation with gender studies, LGBTQIA+ and class studies” says DVC Ethnic Studies professor Dr. Dani Ahuicapahtzin Cornejo. Professor Cornejo has been teaching for over 20 years and recently completed his PhD in Native American studies. Starting fall 2022 he will be teaching DVC’s first Ethnic Studies course (ETHN 101) which fulfills CSU, IGETC, and DVC graduation requirement.

Learn more about Ethnic Studies (ETHN 101) and register for this new course!