Western Kentucky University

New Major in Diversity & Community Studies

DCS ImageAfrican American Studies
Gender & Women's Studies
Citizenship & Social Justice

 

Major in Diversity & Community Studies

-(Reference Number 631)
 

The major in diversity & community studies provides graduates with a critical framework for understanding social systems and structural forms of oppression at local and global scales. Students also gain practical skills of working with others to solve problems related to citizenship and activism. Such knowledge and skills are necessary for a wide range of vocations, ranging from social services to governmental and non-profit organizations, at all levels from local to international. Students majoring in diversity & community studies must earn a minimum of 33 semester hours and must also select a minor. The major leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Strategies for social change are among the most challenging to study and to implement, especially given the sense that consumer-oriented systems are unstoppable. For this reason, learning how to problem-solve, take direct action, and identify positive ways of conflict resolution are key for students' success in a wide range of vocations, ranging from social services to governmental and non-profit organizations, at all levels from local to international. This major will be especially appealing to offices of diversity in corporate or university settings and to community-based non-profit organizations. The program aims at transformative knowledge, changing consciousness and shaping leaders who are less susceptible to short-term answers at the expense of long-term sustainability of the environment and communities that must share the world.

Key Attributes

• Theme-based and problem-based, interdisciplinary rather than discipline-based
• Long-term solutions for community sustainability
• Process of societal change, with emphasis on issues of race, class equity and community health

Program Description:

The major in diversity & community studies requires a minimum of 33 semester hours and a minor. If the minor is fewer than 21 hours, students will need to select additional electives from any of the categories below to make up the difference.

The following courses are required for the major (15 hours):

ICSR 200: Introduction to Social Justice
ICSR 300: Public Problem-Solving
AFAM 190: The African American Experience
GWS 200: Introduction to Gender & Women's Studies
DCS 400: Capstone in Diversity & Community Studies

Students are required to take an additional 18 hours of electives, selecting at least six hours from the following three categories:


Formations of identity and narratives of oppression (minimum of 6 hours):

  • COMM 463: Intercultural Communication
  • ENG 360: Gay and Lesbian Literature
  • ENG 393: African American Literature
  • GWS 375: American Masculinities
  • PSY 355: Issues in Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • SOCL 210: Interaction Self & Society

Advocacy and social change (minimum of 6 hours):

  • AFAM 333: Hip Hop and Democracy
  • AFAM 343: Communities of Struggle
  • GWS 350: Feminism, the Arts, and Social Change
  • HIST 358: Blacks in American History Before 1877 OR
  • HIST 359: Blacks in American History Since 1877
  • HIST 453: American Women's History
  • PS 373: Minority Politics
  • SOCL 350: Social Inequality

Systems, Local to Global (minimum of 6 hours):

  • DCS 360: Place, Community, Resilience
  • ECON 464: Economics of Poverty
  • FLK 330: Cultural Connections and Diversity
  • GEOG 110: World Regional Geography
  • HIST 446: American Legal History
  • RELS 408: Religion and Ecology
  • SOCL 240: Contemporary Social Problems
  • SOCL 360: The Community in Rural and Urban Settings
  • SWRK 330: Human Behavior in Social Environments I

 

Meet your advisor...

Dr. Kristi Branham

Dr. Kristi Branham

kristi.branham@wku.edu

270-745-2943

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 Last Modified 8/6/14