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Department of

Ethnic Studies

Learning Goals/Outcomes

Goal #1:Content Mastery

The Ethnic Studies major helps students master the historically situated knowledge of major racial and ethnic groups in the United States in a comparative fashion. This content opens critical thinking and critical knowledge about the building blocks of contemporary society. Mastery of this content furthers USD’s core values by “advancing academic excellence” and developing holistic “knowledge” among students.

Learning Outcome #1: Summarize the legacies of contact, conquest, and resistance to racial oppression within the U.S. in domestic and transnational frames by defining and explaining key concepts like, colonialism, oppression, slavery, extermination, privilege, sexism, homophobia, colorblindness, multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance, anti-racism, and conflict resolution.

Learning Outcome #2: Understand and apply critical frameworks, including: decolonizing methodology, intersectionality, and cultural analysis.

Goal #2:Cultural Competency

Increasing diversity and globalization has made even the most remote areas of the United States reflective of the full range of lifestyles, values, and social systems throughout the world. The Ethnic Studies major prepares students to enter leadership positions in diverse domestic and transnational environments with critical, accurate, and empathic knowledge and facility. This goal supports USD’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive “community.”

Learning Outcome #3: Compare the contextually rooted experiences of at least four U.S. racial/ethnic groups


Goal #3:Applied Learning

Ethnic Studies matters today as historical and contemporary dynamics influence the power and place of racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. The Department of Ethnic Studies prepares students with community service learning experiences to make concrete the learning process. The “Applied Learning” goal supports USD’s emphasis on compassionate “service to fashion a more humane world.

Learning Outcome #4: Participate in at least one community service learning project overseen by Ethnic Studies faculty that links theoretical paradigms of Ethnic Studies with community based research and experiential learning, i.e. social activism and participatory action research.