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Updating the Multicultural graduation requirement

Upcoming forums will focus on the philosophy and pedagogical underpinnings of the requirement.

By Keah Schuenemann

February 17, 2020

Students collaborating on project during class.

Faculty members teaching courses with the Multicultural designation, and ?those who are interested in doing so, are invited to attend a discussion forum about the philosophy and pedagogical underpinnings of the Multicultural requirement.

Forums will be held in the Chicana/Chicano Studies conference room in the basement of the Rectory, the building just south of St. Cajetan’s Event Center.

Tuesday, 2-3:15 p.m.

March 6, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

MSU Denver undergraduate students are required to take one course designated as Multicultural. The requirement will remain an important piece of all undergraduate degrees, but faculty are invited to reflect on what we want students to get out of these courses and whether the description and learning outcomes, developed in 1996, need updating. Forums will seek to ensure that the courses fulfilling the requirement are rigorous, accessible, relevant and reflective of current scholarship grounded in critical understandings of multicultural diversity.

Current and former members of the Faculty Senate Multicultural Curriculum Committee, along with Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Michael Benitez, Ph.D., are leading the charge to update our Multicultural-requirement criteria, while respecting the history and innovation behind it. Also leading the effort are Adriana Nieto, Ph.D., chair, Chicana/o Studies; Deborah Wilcox, Ph.D., assistant professor, Health Professions; Devon Wright, Ph.D., assistant professor, Africana Studies; and Tanya Greathouse, Ph.D., assistant professor, Social Work.

If you are unable to participate and wish to provide feedback or ask questions, please contact Nieto or Keah Schuenemann, Ph.D., director of General Studies and professor of meteorology.

The following is the current language supporting the requirement:

Multicultural course required content and course materials are designed to increase students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity in the United States. Multicultural education coursework examines the interactions of values, beliefs, traditions, identities and contributions of one or more of the following four groups of color in the United States: African American, Asian American, Hispanic American and Native American, which may include the characteristics of gender, sexual orientation, age or disability within these groups. The Multicultural course does not require three credits as a separate category and can be taken in the major or minor concentration or as an elective. 

Students take one course that meets these goals. 

  • Define factors that led to the formation and continuation of one or more of the four groups of color in United States society.
  • Present the customs, behavioral patterns and identities of one or more of the four groups of color in United States society.
  • Delineate the effects of bias, prejudices and discrimination on one or more of the four groups of color in United States society.
  • Describe the cultural similarities, commonalities and differences within or among one or more of the four groups of color in United States society.
  • Communicate how the acceptance and inclusion of all groups of color enrich lives and increase the creativity and performance of everyone in United States society.

Topics: Academics, Affiliate faculty

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