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, Chico promotes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America. Coursework invites students to critically analyze complex issues utilizing diverse sources, to recognize various cultural practices and worldviews, and to engage different theoretical frameworks in the humanities and social sciences. Students are encouraged to pair the major or minor in Latin American Studies with other majors, to double-count Latin American Studies courses in the California Studies, Race, Ethnicity, and Sovereignty, and International Studies GE pathways, and to explore experiential learning through study abroad in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay.

The LAST program faculty enrich the academic experience with a multicultural perspective and create a supportive environment for students who come from diverse backgrounds. Students graduating with a degree in Latin American Studies will have the academic and cultural preparation needed to pursue diverse career paths in our increasingly interconnected world.

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 write a coherent essay or make an effective oral presentation on a Latin American topic.
  2. Students will demonstrate functional reading comprehension in Spanish or Portuguese by reading and interpreting authentic materials from Latin America in their original language(s).
  3. Students can communicate effectively about the history, geography, political and economic systems, achievements in literature and the arts, cultural characteristics and current events of the region, and apply knowledge from the different disciplines to their own research.
  4. Students can describe, contrast and summarize patterns of cultural diversity and/or heritage in at least two regions of Latin America.
  5. Students can identify, discuss and analyze the impacts of globalization on Latin America.
  6. Students can conduct research on a topic of their choosing using a variety of print and digital sources found in the university library and online.