American Ethnic Studies (AES)

The American Ethnic Studies Program offers a minor in American Ethnic Studies.

Educational Goal

AES acts as a bridge between the duality and the complexity of people who represent various minorities, racial and multi-racial backgrounds, ethnicities, and those who are trying to make sense of those complexities. AES prepares students for a multicultural and complex world, through the understanding of race, ethnicity, diversity, as well as salient issues such as immigration and mobility. AES also teaches students that these issues bridge the humanities with the social sciences.

Learning Outcomes for Students Earning the minor in AES:

Students who complete an AES minor should be able to:

  • understand, engage theories from both the humanities and social sciences and apply them to issues related to AES
  • conduct original research in issues and topics related to AES
  • think critically and analytically, engaging the subjects/issues in ways that go beyond mere description and summary
  • write coherently, through the development of a clear argument supported by reasons and evidence
  • present and discuss their research professionally

Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Currently, learning outcomes are assessed individually in each class, through appropriate measures stated in the course syllabi. Overall student performance in the minor is assessed during advising and conferences directed toward specific goals or topics. Each student meets with the Director for advising. Student performance in individual classes is assessed by faculty members through traditional grading mechanisms.

Assessment Sample: AES students are expected to have strong research and writing skills and be able to apply the various theories from AES classes in the development of a well-reasoned, well-developed, and well-supported research paper that addresses issues related to AES. Classes vary in their assessment, particularly along the disciplinary lines of either humanities or social sciences, but there is agreement about basic components of a strong research paper. Attached is an instrument to measure and grade research papers. With this instrument, we address the students’ ability to:

  • understand, engage theories from both the humanities and social sciences and apply them to issues related to AES
  • conduct original research in issues and topics related to AES
  • think critically and analytically, engaging the subjects/issues in ways that go beyond mere description and summary
  • write coherently, through the development of a clear argument supported by reasons and evidence

SAMPLE Assessment Tool

AES 370/COM 370 Research Project

This project is designed to allow you to investigate and inquire about an issue of interest related to immigration practices. You have complete freedom regarding the topic you select, but you must be able to form a compelling and creative research question. For instance, you may be interested in immigration and sports in general, but you would have to form a specific question, like “are there specific recruiting practices in baseball that bypass immigration laws (applicable to everyone else)?” You can also phrase your research question as a hypothesis, (“recruiting practices in baseball do not follow the immigration laws other non-citizens have to follow”) and either support it or reject it in your paper.

The research project will have to present supporting evidence for your perspective in 12/17 pages, typed and double-spaced, with no large, funny fonts that occupy the whole page and no unnecessary spaces between paragraphs or huge margins.

You are to use a minimum of 9 sources (including a minimum of five academic books and/or journal articles-other appropriate sources can be magazines, newspapers, reference material, movies, television shows and documentaries, personal interviews, and any kind of contemporary or old literature) listed in complete bibliography at the end of the paper (ask me if you are not sure how to cite them). Internet sources MUST be legitimate and edited (ask me if unsure).

The research paper is DUE at the end of the semester (May 10). You will also present your research in class (see presentation guidelines).

You will be graded on
-Completeness and clarity of the argument/s, logic, and persuasiveness of the position -Use of evidence to support ideas, examples, and facts, use of concepts from the course -Degree of difficulty, creativeness, and demonstration of clear, pre-planned organization

Grammar and typos do count also, so make sure you proofread the assignments and, if possible, ask someone else to provide you with feedback on your assignments. Remember that I will always be available to read and listen to your work in advance, in order to help you to think through, research, write, and present your project.