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College of Humanities & Fine Arts

BA in Latin American Studies

Overview

Latin American Studies offers a BA and minor that provides an interdisciplinary perspective on this complex and diverse region of the world, with a special focus on Mexico and Central America. The curriculum for the major is designed for both breadth and depth in order to accommodate students' various interests and career goals. The Latin American Studies Program allows you to study with experts in the region from departments across the campus. It can help prepare you for a variety of careers in our rapidly globalizing world, including business, education, journalism, recreation and travel. In addition, it can enhance your job opportunities with both government and non-governmental agencies.

Mission

The Latin American Studies (LAST) Program of California State University at Chico promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding Latin American history, society, culture and natural environments, as well as language instruction. This interdisciplinary approach enables students to critically analyze complex issues utilizing diverse sources and perspectives. The Program teaches students to synthesize and appreciate the dynamic interplay of social, economic, political, environmental, and cultural processes. In the framework of globalization, the LAST Program strives to enhance the recognition of the historic and ongoing relationship of Latin America and the United States.

Goals & Objectives

  • Graduates of the program will have a general knowledge of Latin American history, geography, ecological, political and economic systems, social organization, cultural characteristics, and achievements in literature and the arts.
  • Graduates will be able to read, write, understand and speak (at least at a basic level) a second language (Spanish).
  • Graduates will be able to integrate content and ideas from different disciplines.
  • Graduates will have the ability to communicate effectively about the society and culture (past and present) of the region.
  • Graduates will understand the cultural diversity and complexity of the region.
  • Graduates will have an understanding of current events in the region.
  • Graduates will appreciate the richness of the cultural heritage of the region.
  • Graduates will demonstrate an appreciation for the magnitude of world changes initiated through the forces of globalization
  • Graduates will have the ability to view the world from more than one perspective–in particular from one or more Latin American perspective(s), as well as from their own culture (presumably based in the US).
  • Graduates will be able to recognize cultural differences without a judgmental attitude.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can describe key elements of two or more of these domains (geography, environment, politics, economics, social and cultural systems and/or literature and arts) with broad regional and temporal scope.
  2. Students can read basic text in Spanish and respond orally or in writing to questions derived from that text.
  3. Students read texts from two or more disciplines and summarize, compare and synthesize the material in a coherent written essay.
  4. Students can write a coherent essay on two or more of the domains mentioned in Goal 1 and/or make an effective oral presentation of this material.
  5. Students can describe, contrast and summarize patterns of cultural diversity in at least two regions of Latin America.
  6. Students can describe, give examples and summarize current social and political issues in at least two regions of Latin America.
  7. Students can identify, describe and appraise cultural practices and products from Latin America.
  8. Students can identify, discuss and analyze the impacts of globalization on the economies and societies of Latin America.
  9. Students can write an essay or make an oral presentation that recognizes and compares differing world views and explains their social significance for the people of Latin America.
  10. Students can identify and describe the cultural products or performances of differing cultural groups in Latin America and explain the benefits of pluralism to world society and culture.