Degree Spotlight: What is Chicano Studies and Why Choose It as Your Major?
by UTEP Connect
If you’ve ever been interested in learning the stories of or advocating for populations of Mexican origin living within the United States, Chicano/Chicana Studies at UTEP could be the field for you. While this unique degree program can certainly position you for a career in academia, there are additional professional opportunities to consider.
What is Chicano/Chicana Studies?
Chicano/Chicana Studies focuses on the Mexican-origin population in the United States – from history to culture and related contemporary issues. More specifically, this research-based instructional program offers a curriculum grounded in social justice and community empowerment. As a student in this program, you’d be privy to an interdisciplinary curriculum that embraces local, national, and global frameworks for addressing race, class, gender, and sexuality paradigms that continue to inform the Chicano/Chicana experience in the United States.
What can I do with a Chicano/Chicana Studies degree?
One of the key benefits of getting your Bachelor’s in Chicano/Chicana Studies is that you can parlay it into any number of careers. Some ideas by interest area include:
• Research and Education: Primary and Secondary Education, Language Services, Community Education, Student Affairs
• Policy and Advocacy: Government, Economics, Fundraising/Development, Immigration, Public Health, Grant Writing, Policy Development, Community Outreach
• Arts and Publishing: Creative Writing, Journalism, Research and Analysis, Broadcasting, Museum Studies, Arts Programming, Art History
• Public and Human Services: Counseling, Diversity & Inclusion, Mental Health Services, Case Management, Social Work, Program Management, Community Relations, Administration
• Business and Industry: International Business, International Development, Management, Logistics, Labor Relations, Training, Human Resources, Travel and Tourism
What’s unique about the Chicano/Chicana Studies program at UTEP?
The University of Texas at El Paso has access to a unique bi-national, tri-state region that empowers students to explore Chicano Studies within the framework of social justice and democracy. The program prepares students for their roles as global citizens through an interdisciplinary, relevant, and transformative curriculum covering the dynamics of the U.S.-Mexico border; issues of identity like race, gender, and class; and historic and culturally relevant landmarks of the Chicano experience.
Our online courses, depending on the theme and discipline have semester-long research projects that challenge students to create team-based websites, construct individual photo essays, and assemble e-portfolios as they build their body of work. These activities encourage the technological skills that potential employers are looking for and because our online courses are not self-paced, they also encourage students to hone in their time management skills in the process.
What are the degree requirements?
At the University of Texas at El Paso, you can complete this degree entirely online – with 120 credit hours allocated as follows:
• General Education: 42 credit hours
• Liberal Arts Block Electives: 18 credit hours
• Foreign Language: 6 credit hours
• Chicano Studies Major: 30 credit hours
• Minor Course Requirements: 24 credit hours
What classes will I take?
Past classes within the Chicano Studies major include:
• Chicano Studies: Societal Issues
• Chicano Cinema
• Chicana/o Identity Formation: Race/Class/Gender
• American Immigration and Societal Justice
• The Roots of Latino/a Hip Hop: The Sounds of Struggle
• Cultural Diversity & Youth
• Mexican/American History
• Chicano Literature
• And more!
What skills will I develop?
Throughout this degree program, you’ll hone broad, in-demand skills, like critical thinking and evaluation, problem-solving, verbal and written communication. To complement these, you’ll gain a unique understanding of cross-cultural and diversity issues, Latino history and culture, advocacy, and history & culture as you develop your specialization in the Chicano experience.
Why UTEP Connect?
At UTEP, we strive to make an affordable, accessible education available to everyone through online degrees that accommodate the needs of students with jobs and families.
UTEP Connect’s program offerings are structured to meet the time constraints faced by today’s active adults, and you can access classes from any mobile device. Our student success and enrollment counselors are available to provide advice and guidance throughout the process of earning your Bachelor of Arts in Chicano Studies online degree.
How can I make the most of my time as an online student?
Jobs & Internships: Our students are encouraged to participate in community work study and/or internships (usually unpaid) where they volunteer with community partners. Students who challenge themselves with hands-on work related to their major have assisted lawyers with cases, participated in citizenship drives, and provided translation and other services.
Coursework: Chicano/a Identity formation is connected to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, which is a hybrid course, part face-to-face and part online. This course is based on Latina/o identity formation and connects students on the U.S.-Mexico border with students in NYC. This course connects students from an East/West paradigm in an effort to dismantle the regional stereotypes that often confuse the notion of Latina/o identity formation.
Student Leadership: A number of our online students belong to student organizations and in fact some hold leadership positions. For our online students who are either returning or just beginning their degrees, our online courses are designed to help students identify ways that they can serve as leaders off-campus, in the future, and beyond.
International Jobs & Study: Our online classes more than prepare our students for study abroad because all of our online courses emphasize and understanding of gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, and the many differences and similarities necessary for understanding global awareness. In fact, we pride ourselves in encouraging our online students to become conscious global citizens.
If you have questions or simply want to learn more about UTEP’s 100%-online undergraduate degree in Chicano/a Studies, reach out to us and an enrollment counselor will contact you directly.