Courses in American Cultures studies will enhance students' familiarity with and appreciation of several of the diverse cultural groups that comprise the multi-ethnic society of the United States. The in-depth, comparative and interdisciplinary study of the cultures, behaviors, experiences and inter-group relations of the following groups-African American, Asian/Pacific Islander American, Chicano/Latino American, European American and Native American- will provide students with some of the strategies and help them gain competencies and sensibilities that will enable them to contribute to and thrive in a culturally diverse world. (It is understood that the above categories do not include the entirety of peoples comprising the United States of America. Moreover, it is recognized that a rich variety of cultures is also represented within these broad groups.)
Students will also strengthen their knowledge and awareness of their own ethnic or cultural group. They will also develop their own creative and critical faculties, their own analytical and affective responses to various forms of cultural expression. This approach would, by definition, coax students to challenge the boundaries of ethnicity, culture, and academic discipline. In so doing, students will not only improve their intergroup communication skills, they will also become better able to see, appreciate, and respect the perspectives of others- factors that are essential to the creation of a more understanding and just society.