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ERIC Number: EJ839457
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb-19
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
A Practical Ethnic Studies Program
Lum, Lydia
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v26 n1 p13-14 Feb 2009
This article describes the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston which complements students' career tracks and engages them in the surrounding Asian American community. For many educators, large numbers of graduates are not only a bragging right, but a goal. However, those involved in the Asian American Studies Program are quite comfortable producing only one or two graduates annually--despite boasting one of the largest programs of its kind among New England schools. UMass Boston faculty do not encourage many students to major in Asian American studies. Instead, students typically delve into Asian topics alongside a major such as nursing, management or criminal justice. Why? Faculty want students to earn degrees leading directly to careers. Like ethnic studies programs everywhere, a bachelor's in Asian American studies often leads to graduate school. Many of the students are working class, they need to be practical and support their families. Some recent UMass Boston graduates active in Asian American studies have said they learned more there about history and contemporary issues than they thought possible, given their working-class upbringing and limited learning opportunities. Many alumni show their gratitude to and affirmation of UMass Boston's Asian American studies program through their donations. Sometimes, there are paper bags of cash collected from individuals at Boston's Asian churches, temples and community centers. Such donations helped finance a series of three student trips to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina struck. Since 2006, UMass Boston students have helped Gulf Coast Vietnamese rebuild homes and businesses. They also filmed a documentary.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A