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The Mission of the Mexican American Studies Department is to serve SJSU students and the diverse communities within its service area with a broad interdisciplinary program in the area of Mexican American affairs. Through its disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives, the program prepares future and current professionals and scholars to function in diverse and global environments by addressing intellectual traditions and cultural issues, plus research, policy and problem-solving needs of institutions/programs that serve the Chicano/Latino communities. This goal is accomplished by means of: 1. An academic minor for undergraduate students from all academic majors; 2. a graduate program that emphasizes research and assessment skills in areas of policy and cross-cultural analysis; and 3. serving as an academic resource for Chicano/Latino communities.
The minor in Mexican American studies is a unique interdisciplinary program of study that supplements any undergraduate major by providing a well-rounded introduction to the Chicano/Latino community, including its history, culture and social, political and economic context. The coursework supports major programs in economics, business, politics, culture, education, personnel management, marketing, psychology/counseling, community development, public administration and fine arts.
The Master's program offers an interdisciplinary course of study intended to provide students with a strong intellectual analysis of diverse Chicana/o and Latina/o experiences along with skills to address real-world issues in Chicana/o, Latina/o and other communities. The curriculum is grounded in the interdisciplinary Chicana/o Studies tradition of pursuing carefully developed, culturally grounded solutions to community needs. The individual courses and programs are intended to bridge the worlds of theory, cultural analysis, and practice. Students build on a solid foundation of historical and cultural analyses and attempt to develop new approaches to long-standing social, economic, educational, political, and intellectual problems that face Chicana/o, Latina/o and other communities. The program trains students to become leaders in a number of professional fields, including: teaching, social services, health care, and community service. We also prepare students for doctoral study in Chicana/o Studies, Ethnic Studies and other academic fields.