Feb 26, 2024  
2013-2015 University Catalog 
2013-2015 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

African American Studies, Department of

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Department Chair

Alexandro José Gradilla

Department Office/Website

Humanities 314


Stan Breckenridge, Julie Stokes, Lezlee Hinesmon-Matthews, Kendall Radcliffe


African American Studies is a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the black experience in a global context. In addition to degree programs in African American Studies, the department provides coursework in Ethnic Studies (e.g., Intracultural Socialization). Our faculty areas of expertise are diverse and include political science, history, urban planning, psychology, sociology and literature.

African American studies majors and minors go on to pursue graduate degrees in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Our graduates make career choices that reflect a commitment to leadership and development. These areas include law, medicine, civil service, research, education and a number of other professional occupations.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The following learning goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in African American Studies:


  • Describe and characterize the history and experiences of enslavement, colonialism, democratic ideals, and societal realities that foster inclusion and/or marginalization of racial and ethnic groups, particularly African Americans
  • Identify economic, political and social challenges impacting ethnic groups, particularly African American
  • Provide casual explanations, including racism, to explain the problems of marginalized racial and ethnic groups, particularly African Americans
  • Determine the nature and extent of information needed to critically evaluate information sources used in responding to the identified challenges facing African Americans and minority communities

Critical Thinking

  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of theory, research and contexts of development when analyzing experiences of ethnic groups, particularly African Americans

Critical Writing

  • Perform independent research using qualitative and quantitative research methods and communicate information and interpretations orally and in writing


  • Engage technology and multimedia in the communicating of written and oral presentations
  • Engage in self-assessments, reflecting on the influence of diversity in one’s life and society and on social responsibility for participating in creating economic, political, and social change

Social/Global Awareness

  • Exposure to issues of culture, ethnicity and gender
  • Examine and critically assess normative standards of governing social relations, practices, and institutions, including a wide range of human activities dependent upon value judgments

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsNon-Degree


      African American Studies

      Courses are designated as AFAM in the class schedule.

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