Dr. Jose B. Cuellar

Director of the CECIPP:   Activities  |  Annual Reports  |  Working Papers  |  Menu



 "SFSU's La Raza Studies Paradigm:

A Multidimensional Model for Multiethnic Latin@ Education Into Y2K."

By Jose B. Cuellar, Ph.D.

Professor of La Raza Studies &

Director of Cesar E. Chavez Institute for Public Policy

San Francisco State University



Presented at Taking Control of Our Destinies - El Desarollo de Chicana and Chicano Studies: A Symposium on Standards, Processes and Assessment for Developing and Maintaining Chicana and Chicano Studies in California, San Jose State University. October 12, 1998.i
 

INTRODUCTION

    As this century closes, our operating propositions need to be critically evaluated for goodness of fit, particularly in terms of assessment and accreditation standards and processes.  Those surviving the critique into"Y2K" could contribute positively to the development of future Xican@ Studies ii  in California.
    Toward this end, I present the paradigm that orients our La Raza Studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU) for the critical consideration and possible adaptation by other programs. Given its explicit role in establishing our program's general goal and specific objectives, especially during the past decade, we expect to realize this paradigm's full potential in terms of assessment during the coming century.
    First I provide a cursory review of some salient background experiences affecting the evolution of La Raza Studies and its multidimensional paradigm at SFSU. Second I detail how the paradigm's four fundamental orientations shape our program's curricular scope and pedagogical strategies.  Finally, after raising some basic assessment questions, I conclude with some implications for other programs with shared concerns.
 

Back to Top



BACKGROUND

    La Raza Studies was initiated in the Fall of 1969 as one of four Ethnic Studies programs at San Francisco State College in direct response to the demands of the multiethnic coalition of students, faculty, and community activists who organized the 1968 Third World Student Strike." iii The founding faculty and student representatives of the four major Bay Area communities of color then created the intellectual and institutional foundations that successfully brought the individual Asian American Studies, American Indian Studies, Black Studies, and La Raza Studies programs together into the new "School" of Ethnic Studies.  This unique San Francisco State educational unit evolved into the only "College" of Ethnic Studies in the world. iv
    The four undergraduate Ethnic Studies programs provide unique educational opportunities by offering ethnic-specific curricula that strongly emphasize the experiences and expressions of American Africans, Asians, Indians and Latino/as. v   The College also offers General Education (GE) courses covering a variety of issues concerning all ethnic groups. Indeed, the most recent Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) re-accreditation report specifically praised SFSU's College of Ethnic Studies as the national leader in the development of scholarship on race and ethnicity.
     Initially called Mexican American Studies, the 1971 proposal  for a B.A. degree in La Raza Studies gave the following rationale for changing the program's official name, and its conscientious incorporation  of Central and South American, along with Caribbean and Chicano studies into its curriculum from its inception:

The term "La Raza" is the most widespread term in use among Spanish-speaking, Spanish-surnamed persons in the United States.  "La Raza" emerges as a designation acceptable both to the U.S. born Chicano (Mexican-American) and the Latino (Latino-American) as well as those persons of mixed European and Native American descent born in other parts of the North and South American continents.
   . . .  Such an identification is particularly important in the San Francisco area where significant numbers of Central and South Americans co-exist with the Mexican-American population.   . . .  The term has a long history of usage among the indigenous Mexican-American population as well as among other Latin Americans.
   San Francisco State College is unique in that the Latin student population unlike other areas of California is not predominantly Mexican-American, but is composed of many students of Central and South American heritage as well . . .  Hence, the more encompassing "La Raza" Studies designation has been used instead of "Mexican American." . . .  The essential difference is that a La Raza BA Program must be designed to provide a broader perspective of the Spanish-Indian experience in the Americas with special emphasis on the nature of that experience in the United States.

This pioneering multiethnic program focus and label deliberately anticipated and addressed one of the most pressing demographic and pedagogic concerns currently confronting many Chicano/a Studies programs across California, specifically: the curricular incorporation of other Latino/as besides Mexicans.
    During the past three decades, SFSU's La Raza Studies evolved from a fledging program with mainly part-time faculty into a full-fledged B.A.-granting department with three tenured full professors, three tenured associate professors, two tenure-track assistant professors and two full-time, long-term lecturers.  Regularly offering more than thirty courses each semester, La Raza Studies annually graduates more Majors and Minors than before.  La Raza Studies currently also contributes considerably to the Ethnic Studies graduate program.vi   La Raza Studies professors regularly teach graduate courses and serve as graduate advisors to students working on either ethnic-specific or multiethnic projects.vii
    The academic goal of La Raza Studies is to educationally equip our undergraduate and graduate students with the critical, community-centered, reflexive, and holistic experience and expertise that needed to pursue graduate studies and any number of careers.  Toward that end, La Raza Studies routinely incorporates and disseminates knowledge generated by scholar-activists professionally trained in one or more disciplines of the behavioral and social sciences, the humanities, community health and human services, education, and the arts.
     La Raza Studies aims to develop the following academic abilities and approaches to help students reach their full potential as productive members of our global society:

 1. To think, read, write and speak more critically and creatively  in relative multiethnic and multidisciplinary  terms.
 2.  To holistically  and systematically collect, evaluate, construct, deconstruct, comparatively analyze and interpret qualitative and quantitative data from multiple sources, with multiple methodologies and multiple theories for multiple purposes.
 3.  To develop and assume reflexive perspectives and positions during research; learning to examine and expose those usually unstated biases and assumptions affecting the development of deeper understanding and greater sensitivities to our circumstances and those of others.
4.  To orient ourselves and our careers toward combining knowledge and action for the betterment of all, but particularly those in greatest need among us.

    Like the other SFSU Ethnic Studies programs, La Raza Studies developed directly in response to both the specific needs of surrounding communities and in direct relationship to the abilities, interests and imaginations of available faculty.  Therefore, the three overarching objectives of La Raza Studies are:

1. To provide an integrated liberal arts curriculum of core and elective, as well as GE, courses that prepare students to critically comprehend and creatively respond to the past and present conditions and concerns of Mexican, Caribbean, Central, and South Americans in the United States in all their diversity and complexity.viii
2. To improve the overall level of academic attainment of students in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and the state of California by addressing the higher education needs of Raza and other students at SFSU; and
3. To develop a cadre of La Raza Studies graduates who have the competence and commitment to help themselves and others to reach sound decisions and take positive actions that help improve the lives of those in great need around us.

Thus La Raza Studies contributes to the growing group of SFSU-educated private and public sector leaders committed to creating and cultivating the comprehension and cooperation necessary to best address the important concerns confronting Y2K Raza communities across California and beyond.
    La Raza Studies pedagogy and curriculum have also been influenced by some important institutional initiatives at SFSU.  Over the past thirty years, more than two-thirds of La Raza Studies (LARA) courses have been integrated into SFSU's GE curriculum, and are annually assessed in terms of general education substance and style.ix   La Raza Studies faculty also regularly cross-list courses with, and teach for, other SFSU departments such as Political Science, Humanities, History, International Relations, Women's Studies, Music, Theatre Arts, and interdisciplinary programs such as Critical Social Thought, Liberal Studies, Non-Western/Cross-Cultural Musical Arts, and NEXA (a program for understanding the convergence of historical and humanistic contexts of scientific thought).x   Thus, these are subject to external evaluation as well.
     This background briefing does two things.  One, it illustrates how well La Raza Studies courses have been institutionally integrated as part of SFSU's GE curriculum.  Two, and more to the point, it previews how the paradigm's four orientations have helped developmentally define La Raza Studies' means of better meeting the educational challenges of contemporary SFSU students.
 

Back to Top


THE MULTIDIMENSIONAL LA RAZA STUDIES PARADIGM

    The following encapsulates the essential elements of this multidimensional model that I have been articulating as our "SFSU's La Raza Studies Paradigm" since 1991,when I accepted the position of tenured professor and chair of the Department.  Built on the pioneering perspectives and practices of our precursors, this paradigm has been modified over the past decade in order to fit the distinct demands of La Raza Studies at SFSU.xi  Except for its unique multiethnic orientation, the Major/Minor La Raza Studies program which was established in 1971,xii  and modified several times since, continues structurally and conceptually consistent with the founding principles of both El Plan de Santa Barbara (1970)xiii  and the National Association Chicano Social Sciences. xiv
    Our La Raza Studies paradigm therefore emphasizes the following four fundamentals: the reflexive, the critical, the holistic, and the community-centered orientations.  All are assumed equally interconnected, thus requiring the persistent interfacing of the four when we "do" La Raza Studies.  These are primarily discussed below in alphabetical order, rather than in order of priority.

    Community-Centered.  When founded in 1975 as the first degree-granting department of its kind in the nation, La Raza Studies was explicitly dedicated to the community-centered principles and practices advocated in these words of revolutionary Mexican philosopher Jose Vasconcelos: "At this moment, we do not come to work for the university, but to demand that the university works for the people."  This orientation is clearly consonant with both the historical mission of El Plan de Santa Barbara  (1970)  xv   and with the contemporary mission of San Francisco State. xvi
    Since its beginning, La Raza Studies has offered a number of courses that focus on taking university resources to the community and include involvement with community agencies and organizations as part of the learning experience.  By the late 1980s, the department averaged 30 student placements per semester in such community service learning settings as the Mission Cultural Center,  Mission Health Center, Mission Economic and Cultural Association, Centro Legal de La Raza, El Tecolote newspaper, the Mexican Museum, Mission Language and Vocational School, the Real Alternatives Program, Swords to Plowshares, St. John's Tutorial Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the United Farm Workers.  By the late 1990s, the average number of La Raza Studies service learning placements more than tripled.  This, combined with the continued community involvement of the faculty, have significantly strengthened the relationship between the surrounding communities and La Raza Studies.
    Indeed, SFSU as a whole dedicates so much of its faculty and student resources to crucial community concerns, that the recent WASC re-accreditation report recognized it as an institution that cares about its community and that contributes regularly and substantially to the quality of life in the Bay Area.  Since 1996, SFSU has supported its maxim, "The community is our classroom," with a three year CSU Chancellor's grant designed to produce more "service learning" courses involving faculty and students in surrounding Bay Area communities. xvii
    This recent initiative augmented to the long-standing commitment of La Raza Studies to creating curriculum connected with surrounding communities. xviii    A leader of the Community Service Learning (CSL) movement since its start at SFSU, La Raza Studies currently offers more courses with CSL components than any other department on campus. xix     And, with two recent grants from SFSU's Office of CSL, La Raza Studies is the first to develop CSL courses with comparative international perspectives. xx
    The required LARA 680 "Community Organizing" is the upper division 'capstone' course that allows all Majors and Minors to review and synthesize the centrality of community in La Raza Studies.  Thus, La Raza Studies emphasizes community-centered service learning throughout the undergraduate educational career at SFSU.

Critical.  The critical orientation builds on the tradition established by Raza activist -scholar pioneers xxi   and developed by our more contemporary colleagues. xxii    It requires that students develop their critical thinking, reading, writing and speaking abilities across the curriculum.  This orienting proposition directs us to be particularly critical of dominant institutions, dominant individuals, and dominant ideological discourses (especially masculinism/machismo, classism/buguesismo, ethnocentrism/ and eurocentrismo).
    This critical orientation's seeds are first planted in two lower division courses, LARA 110 "Critical Thinking--La Raza Perspective" and LARA 214 "2nd Year Written Composition." xxiii    These critical communication skills are then developed throughout our La Raza Studies curriculum, especially in LARA 570 "Philosophy of La Raza." xxiv   Thus, the critical orientation is underscored throughout the La Raza Studies curriculum.

Holistic.  Our holistic orientation directs us to collect information on the various ethnic Latin@ groups with multiple methods that blend both qualitative and quantitative data from multiple disciplines, and to interpret its relative significance with multiple theories.  Therefore our holistic orientation is characteristically comparative at all levels.
     Our holistic scope span from the interpersonal to the international, and from the individual to the universal.  It also articulates biological with sociological with ecological with chronological with psychological with culturological with spiritual and with behavioral data and interpretations.
    This holistic orientation guided our La Raza Studies faculty development with an emphasis on extending expertise across disciplines and Latin@ ethnicities.  It resulted in a diverse full-time La Raza Studies faculty including one male Latin American philosopher of Guatemalan descent; one female Caribbean American historian of Cuban descent; one male multicultural educator and one male marriage, family & child counselor of Salvadoran descent; one female and one male anthropologist, one female political scientist, one male creative writer, one female attorney and one male educational administrator of Mexican descent.  It resulted in a developed dedication among La Raza Studies faculty to transcend the boundaries of both disciplinary and ethnic of origin to learn and teach about "los otros/the others." xxv   It also prompted a recently proposed revision of the Major and Minor in order to make it more holistic. xxvi

Reflexive.  The reflexive orientation steers our learning strategies in several specific ways.  It demands the methodical exposure of our usually unstated assumptions and biases (specifically, those rooted in gender and generation, geographic, ethnic and economic statuses).  It also insists that students learn to use life experiences as part of their intellectual craftsmanship, as C. Wright Mills emphasized, continually to examine and interpret it. xxvii    Therefore, it also requires paying serious attention to the shifting hermeneutic of the "subjective insider/objective outsider" dialectic dilemma. xxviii    As reflexive examples, our La Raza Studies curriculum and pedagogy systematically incorporate the critical reading and writing of all sorts of biographies, xxix   especially subjective first person ethnographic and historical narratives. xxx
 

Back to Top



QUESTIONS OF ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION

    Most post-secondary faculty and administrators in California are currently considering questions of comparative program assessment and accreditation like these. xxxi    How can we systematically evaluate whether Xican@ /Latin@ /La Raza Studies programs are individually and collectively achieving their stated objectives and common goals?  How can we accurately assess the pedagogical and curricular similarities and differences from one Xican@/ Latin@ /La Raza Studies program to another?  How feasible is the future accreditation of Chicano/a/Xican@/ Latin@ /La Raza Studies programs, given the complications created by the significant variation from one to another. xxxii
    Like SFSU's La Raza Studies, the other Chicano/a/Latino/a Studies programs in California have names and histories conditioned by its unique local community circumstances, faculty commitments, and student concerns over time.  Each program has adapted to its unique educational ecological niche.  As a consequence, this program diversity makes the systematic assessment and accreditation of Xican@/ Latin@ Studies programs somewhat more difficult than among programs in other disciplines that are more academy-centered rather than community- centered.  Indeed this diversity limits the application of any assessment or accreditation standard or process.
    Nonetheless, our SFSU La Raza Studies paradigm generated the following four sets of questions potentially useful for generally evaluating the extent to which our La Raza Studies is achieving its specific program and learning objectives.

1. To what extent have graduating seniors learned to be holistic (multiethnic, multimethod, and multitheoretical) in their research and community service learning activities?  That is, to what extent have graduating seniors learned about the past and present conditions and concerns of Mexican, Caribbean, Central and South Americans in the US in all their diversity and complexity using triangulated qualitative and quantitative methods and models to gather and interpret the information?  To what extent and in which ways are both ethnic-specific and multiethnic materials incorporated throughout the curriculum?
2.  To what extent and in which ways have graduating seniors learned to skillfully critique dominant individuals, dominant institutions, and dominant ideologies in their thinking and reading, writing and speaking?   How much and in which ways are critical components that develop the critical speaking and reading, writing and thinking skills incorporated throughout the curriculum?
3. How many and in which ways are community-service components incorporated throughout the curriculum?   How much and in which ways have graduating seniors learned to be community-centered in the collection, construction, deconstruction and interpretation of information, particularly regarding issues of concern to those in greatest need among us?  In which ways and how much are graduating seniors committed to continuing graduate studies and/or developing professional or paraprofessional careers dedicated to community service?
4. How much and in which ways do courses include components that help students learn how to be more reflexive in their research and community service learning?   In which ways have graduating seniors learned to expose and examine the usually unstated insider/outsider biases and assumptions that affect their deeper understanding and sensitivity to selves and others by the reading and writing biographies and by using personal life experiences to create and evaluate knowledge. xxxiii

Back to Top



CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

     This cursory review of SFSU's La Raza Studies paradigm illustrates its potential contribution to the future development of Chican@/Latin@ Studies in California, especially when we consider the standardization of assessment questions and accreditation procedures across programs.  Despite the wide curricular variation in current Chicano/a Studies programs, because most remain rooted to some extent in the essentials of El Plan de Santa Barbara, our La Raza Studies paradigm's orientations still resonate among them. This implies some adaptation potential, particularly for programs needing some multidimensional model to help guide curriculum and pedagogy in anticipation of future changes in both community and student needs.
    As we enter Y2K, the rest of California has become demographically more like San Francisco was three decades ago, in at least one way.  That is, there are significantly more Caribeños, Central and South Americans, along with Chicanos and Mexican immigrants, than ever in the state's population. This means most Chicano Studies programs are facing the need to systematically incorporate more ethnic-specific and multiethnic Latin@, as well as multi-gender, in their course content.  The paradigm presented here can obviously stimulate the planning and assessing of these curriculum objectives and learning outcomes both within programs and across campuses.
    Each faculty appropriately decides whether and how this paradigm's community-centered, critical, holistic and reflexive orientations is used to plan and assess the individual courses within a specific program.  But who can appropriately decide how any paradigm will be used to assess and accredit the different high school, community or junior college, private and public university programs?  Is there any state-or regional association able to assume this awesome responsibility?
    I believe the adaptation of SFSU's La Raza Studies paradigm's to develop standardized processes and measures for the assessment and accreditation of programs across California as a significant topic for continued broad discussion among all concerned with the future of Xican@/Latin@ or La Raza Studies. Personally, I am not convinced of the need to standardize either assessment or accreditation of California's Chicano/a or La Raza Studies given the unique evolution ecological niche of each.  Instead, I am more convinced of the need to support the continued diversification rather than the homogenization of our programs in an effort to satisfy as many different needs as possible.
    Obviously any program needing to transcend the inherent confines of current Chicana/o (only) Studies by meaningfully incorporating other ethnic Latin@s into its curriculum should seriously consider adapting our SFSU paradigm to fit its unique student and community needs, and then officially changing names to La Raza Studies.  This obviously overcomes some of the orthographic issues inherent in the other program names, and makes for consistency with the National Council of La Raza, xxxiv   with La Raza Unida Party, xxxv   RAZA.ORG--a Bilingual Magazine for La Raza, xxxvi   as well as San Diego's Centro Cultural De La Raza and Committee on Raza Rights, xxxvii   Oakland's La Clinica de La Raza, xxxviii   Chicago's La Raza, xxxix   UCLA's La Raza Law Student Association. xl     East Los Angeles's Plaza De La Raza, xli   Sacramento's La Raza Bookstore, xlii   San Francisco's Galeria De La Raza, xliii   Centro Legal De La Raza xliv   and Instituto Laboral De La Raza; xlv   of course, the classic saying: "La raza unida jamas sera vencida/the people united will never be defeated."

 



i  This represents a significant revision of my conference presentation.  En otras palabras, this is what I wish I had said.  Muchas gracias for the constructive feedback provided by my SFSU colega, Dr. Roberto Haro, who serves Director of Research with the Cesar E. Chavez Institute for Public Policy, and Professor of La Raza Studies.

Back

ii   "This is how a significant number of my students at the University of California at Berkeley (where I served as Visiting Professor of Chicano Studies during 1998-99) taught me to orthographically identify the discipline.  This obviously overcomes some of the orthographic difficulties inherent in the following: Chicano/Chicana," "Chicana/o" and "Chicano/a," or "Latino/a/Chicano/a," etc.

Back

iii  The 1968 program proposal for La Raza Studies contextualized its purpose and goal as follows: to provide education to Chicanos and Latinos  . . . The concept of education  . . . involves a new understanding of education [and] a powerful force in the renovation and reconstruction of the entire system of education  . . . to provide the community with the resources to deal with the problems it faces.  The primary resources  . . . are individuals who are sensitive to the needs of their people, creative in their approach to problem solving, and equipped with the skills necessary to serve their community. Carlos Muñoz, Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement (New York: Verso Press, 1989) 131.

Back

iv  See http://www.sfsu.edu/~bulletin/current/col-eth.htm for current online description of SFSU's College of Ethnic Studies.

Back

v  See Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, ed., Latino/a Condition: A Critical Reader  (New York University Press, 1998).

Back

vi  Established in 1988, the Master of Arts in Ethnic Studies was designed to advance knowledge and improve understanding concerning communities of color.  vi The Ethnic Studies M.A. program, the only one of its kind in the U.S., trains its graduates in the multiethnic analyses of past and present social issues, and prepares students to address public policies regarding one or more of the groups.  The theoretical and conceptual tools of the four Ethnic Studies disciplines are combined at the graduate level to create a comparative framework for multiethnic research, and community involvement. The program prepares its graduates for public and private sector research, teaching and administration, and for further graduate work.

Back

vii  Moreover, there are currently plans to develop a Master's in La Raza Studies to parallel the recently approved Master's in Asian American Studies.

Back

viii  Currently, the 45 required units for the B.A. in La Raza Studies include six required core courses (LARA 215 "Introduction to La Raza Studies," LARA 435 "Oral History and Traditions," LARA 680 "La Raza Community Organizing;" two of these three LARA 415 "Socio-economics of La Raza," LARA 570 "Philosophy of La Raza" LARA 640 "Sociology of La Raza;" and either LARA 410 "La Raza Women Seminar" or LARA 510 "Psychodynamics of La Raza Family"), five courses in either the Arts and Culture or the Behavioral and Social Sciences areas of emphasis (see below), two elective courses within the major, plus two elective courses from other disciplines.  The 24 required units for the La Raza Studies Minor includes the same six basic core courses as above, plus two elective courses upon advisement.
The Arts and Culture electives include: LARA 101 "Contemporary Spanish," LARA 110 "La Raza Thought and Expression I," LARA 225 "La Raza Visual Images," LARA 230 "Introduction Contemporary La Raza Literature," LARA 260 'Art Workshop of La Raza," LARA 320 "Art History of La Raza," LARA 425 "Contemporary Music Folklore," LARA 490 "La Raza Teatro Workshop," LARA 501 "Latin America: National Period," LARA 505 "Creative Writing Workshop," LARA 525 "La Raza Art Workshop II," LARA 530 "La Raza and the Media," LARA 533 "Women in Latin America," LARA 535 "La Raza Journalism," LARA 560 "Contemporary Literature of La Raza," LARA 570 Philosophy of La Raza," LARa 605 "Bilingual Writing Workshop," LARA 685 "Projects in Teaching La Raza Studies," LARA 698 "La Raza Senior Seminar."
The Behavioral and Social Science area of emphasis includes: LARA 110 "La Raza Thought and Expression," LARA 210 "Latino Health Care Perspectives," LARA 280 "Acculturation Problems of La Raza," LARA 410 "La Raza Women Seminar," LARA 415 "Socioeconomics of La Raza," LARA 450 "Indigenismo," LARA 460 "Central Americans in the U.S.," LARA 500 "Community Mental Health," LARA 501 Latin America: National Period," LARA 510 "Psychodynamics of La Raza Family," LARA 530 "La Raza and the Media," LARA 533 "Women in Latin America," LARA 570 "Philosophy of La Raza," LARA 580 "Impact of Education on La Raza," LARA 640 "Sociology of La Raza," LARA 670 "The United States-Mexico Connection," LARA 685 "Projects in Teaching La Raza Studies," LARA 698 "La Raza Senior Seminar." See http://www.sfsu.edu/~bulletin/current/programs/laraza.htm for SFSU's La Raza Studies current online description.

Back

ix  LARA 396 "History of La Raza" and LARA 296 "U.S. Government and Constitution--La Raza Perspective" satisfy the US History and Government GE requirements respectively. LARA 110 "Critical Thinking--La Raza Perspective" and LARA 214 "2nd Year Composition--La Raza Perspective" satisfy six of the required twelve "Segment I, Basic Subjects: Written Communication, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, and Quantitative Reasoning" GE units.
LARA 210 "Latino Health Care Perspectives," satisfies three of the nine GE units required for the "Physical and Biological Sciences Area Category C: Integrative Science" of the "Segment II Arts and Sciences" Core.  Three courses meet certain "Segment II Behavioral and Social Sciences Area" requirements.  LARA 510 "Psychodynamics of the La Raza Family Structure" satisfies three "Category A: Individual In Social Context" units.  LARA 280 "Acculturation Problems of La Raza" satisfies three "Category B: Decision-Making and Social Policy at the Societal Level" units.  ETHS 275 "Issues in La Raza History" satisfies three "Category C: History, Cross-Cultural, and Global Contexts" units.
Five courses satisfy various requirements in the "Segment II: Humanities and Creative Arts Area."  LARA 230 "Introduction to Contemporary Raza Literature" satisfies three Category A: Masterworks in the Humanities and Creative Arts" units.  LARA 320 "Art History of La Raza" and LARA 425 "Comparative Music Folklore" each satisfy three "Category B: Disciplines and Interdisciplines" units.  ETHS "La Raza Experience" satisfies three "Category C: Historical/Social/Ethnic Contexts" units.  LARA 490 "La Raza Teatro Workshop" satisfies three "Category D: Active Creative Participation" units.  HUM/LARA 520 "North and South American Cultural Expression" satisfies three "Segment II: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on the Arts" Cluster units.  HUM/LARA 520 "North and South American Cultural Expression" and LARA 425 "Comparative Music Folklore of La Raza" each satisfy three "Segment II: Human Expression: Diversity, Contradiction, Unity" cluster units.
Four courses satisfy the requirements for the "Segment III: Relationships of Knowledge" cluster, "La Raza Immigrant Community in the San Francisco Bay Area: ix" LARA 460 "Central Americans in the United States: History and Heritage," ETHS 470 "Raza Immigration to the United States", and LARA 500 "La Raza Community Mental Health" or LARA 680 "La Raza and Community Organizing."  LARA 410 "La Raza Women," LARA 450 "Indigenismo: Indigenous Culture and Personality," LARA 460 "Central Americans in the US: History and Heritage." LARA 680 "La Raza Community Organizing," or ETHS 470 "Immigration and La Raza" satisfy the "Segment III: Cultural & Ethnic Diversity" requirement.  The "Segment III: Latin America: Society and Culture" cluster includes ANTH/HIST/LARA/SS 501 "Latin America: The National Period," and LARA 450 "Indigenismo: Indigenous Culture and Personality" and LARA 460 "Central Americans of the US: History and Heritage."
LARA 415 "The Socioeconomics of La Raza" satisfies three units of the "Segment III: Poverty and Inequality" cluster ix.  LARA 410 "La Raza Women" satisfies three units of the "Segment III: Women of Color in the United States" cluster .  LARA 280 "Acculturation Problems of La Raza" and ETHS 270 "Ethnic Studies--La Raza Perspective" satisfy three units each of the required "American Ethnic/Racial Minorities" GE units. And, LARA 510 "Psychodynamics of La Raza Family" satisfies three units of the required "Lifelong Development" GE units.

Back

x  Most NEXA offerings are taught cooperatively by pairs of instructors representing
different, but complementary, fields of knowledge. NEXA faculty are drawn from the Colleges of Humanities, Science and Engineering, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Creative Arts, Ethnic Studies, and Health and Human Services.

Back

xi  For my earliest discussion of this model see Jose Cuellar, "Paradigms in Ethnic Studies: Notes on the Chicano Experience," The Political Economy of Institutional Change: The Proceedings of the Ethnic Studies Symposium, ed. Dan Moreno and Rudy Torres, (Program in Comparative Culture, the University of California at Irvine, 1977) 3-11.  For online copy see http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~josecuel/

Back

xii  The three basic objectives of the 1971 La Raza Major were summarized as:
(1) To provide an opportunity for an integrated liberal arts major for those students interested in the education and development of the La Raza Community; (2) To provide students with a better understanding of the La Raza economic, cultural, and social heritage, thus developing their abilities to deal effectively with the complex problems of modern society; and (3) to train and prepare students for careers and professions requiring expertise in different aspects of La Raza Experience.
The 39-unit Bachelor of Arts in La Raza Studies approved 1971 included twelve units of basic core courses, fifteen units of electives within an area of concentration,  six units of electives within the major, and six units of electives from other disciplines.  Course listings included the following Core Courses:  LRS 101 "History of La Raza I, LRS 121 "Socio-Economics of La Raza, LRS 125 "Psychodynamics of La Raza Experience, and LRS 161 "La Raza Values."   The Arts & Cultures Concentration: LRS 130 "Art Workshop I, LRS 131 "Art Workshop II, LRS 133 "La Raza Journalism, LRS 140 "Art and Mythology of Latin America, LRS 110 "Contemporary Literature of La Raza, LRS 160 "Mexican Thought, LRS 163 "Religion in the La Raza Experience; the Behavioral & Social Science Concentration of electives: LRS 102 "History of La Raza II," LRS 105 "Contemporary Movements," LRS 120 "Raza and Law," LRS 124 "Psychodynamics of Raza Family," LRS 126 "La Raza in Contemporary Technological Society," LRS 140 "Basic Conceptual Skills I," LRS 141 "Basic Conceptual Skills II," LRS 163 "Religion in the La Raza Experience; " Social Services and Community Welfare Concentration: LRS 122 "Community Organization," LRS 123 "Community Organization Field Work," LRS 120 "Raza and Law," LRS 124 "Psychodynamics of Raza Family," LRS 126 "La Raza in Contemporary Technological Society," LRS 140 "Basic Conceptual Skills I," LRS 141 "Basic Conceptual Skills II," LRS 190 "Seminar on La Raza Curriculum," LRS 191 "Teaching Methods for Spanish-speaking Students," LRS 192 "La Raza Seminar on Education."
The program also required contemporary Spanish proficiency of all that receive the B.A. in La Raza Studies.  This could be fulfilled by successfully completing contemporary Spanish I and II, or by passing a departmental equivalency examination.

Back

xiii  Chicano Studies represent[s] the total conceptualization of the Chicano community aspirations that involve higher education.  To meet these ends, the university and college systems of the State of California must act in the following basic areas:  (1) admission and recruitment of Chicano students, faculty, administrators, and staff; (2) a curriculum program and an academic major relevant to the Chicano cultural and historical experience; (3) support and tutorial programs; (4) research programs; (5) publication programs; (6) community cultural and social action centers." El Plan De Santa Barbara:  A Chicano Plan for Higher Education, (Santa Barbara: La Causa Publications, 1970) 10.

Back

xiv  The following five orienting propositions were generally accepted at the founding meeting of the National Association of Chicano Social Scientists at New Mexico Highlands University in May of 1973:
"1.  Research should be more problem-oriented than traditional social science' and 'aim to delineate the social problems of Chicano and actively propose solutions.'  Such research should 'not be abstracted or disembodied from pressing social concern. ... Scholarship cannot be justified for its own sake:  It must be committed scholarship that can contribution to Chicano liberation.
2.  Research projects must be interdisciplinary in nature' because 'the traditional disciplinary orientation ... has served ... to fragment our research in a highly artificial manner, and obscure the interconnections among variables that operate to maintain the oppression of our people.
3. Chicano research should break down the existing barriers between research and action' and be characterized by a 'dialectical relationship' between the two.  Research should generate data that lead to more effective problem-solving action' and 'action in turn produces information that modifies and advances theoretical understanding.  In order to bridge the gap between theory and practice,  Raza social scientists must develop close ties with community action groups.
4.  Chicano social science must be highly critical, in the double sense of rigorous analysis and a trenchant critique of American institutions.  The working of these institutions have perpetuated the unfavorable condition of the Chicano.  Liberation will require a radical transformation of existing institutions, and it should be a primary task of our scholarship to prepare the ground for such transformation.
5. Chicano research must place the Chicano community ... within the context of those dominant institutional relationships that affect Chicano and must be conducted at the 'local ... regional, national and international levels of investigation.  Priority should be on the relationship between class, race, and culture in determining the Chicano's historical experience." Carlos Muñoz, Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement (New York: Verso Press, 1989) 149-151.

Back

xv  See above.

Back

xvi  At its meeting of April 21, 1992, the Academic Senate approved the following mission and goals for San Francisco State University:
The mission of San Francisco State University is to create and maintain an environment for learning that promotes respect for and appreciation of scholarship, freedom, human diversity, and the cultural mosaic of the City of San Francisco and the Bay Area; to promote excellence in instruction and intellectual accomplishment; and to provide broadly accessible higher education for residents of the region and state, as well as the nation and world. To fulfill its mission, the University is committed to the following goals:
* attracting, retaining, and graduating a highly diverse student body;
* providing disciplinary and interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional education that is academically rigorous and intellectually challenging;
* providing curricula that reflect all dimensions of human diversity, and that encourage critical thinking and social and cultural awareness;
* recruiting, retaining, and supporting a diverse faculty whose teaching demonstrates an active engagement with their individual fields of study and whose creative and scholarly work is an extension of the classroom, laboratory, or studio;
*employing a staff and administration reflecting the diversity of the community and the values of the campus;
* fostering a collegial and cooperative intellectual environment that includes recognition and appreciation of differing viewpoints and promotes academic freedom within the University community; and
* serving the communities with which its students and faculty are engaged.
For more see Academic Mission and Goals for San Francisco State University online http://www.sfsu.edu/~senate/S92-176.htm

Back

xvii  See SFSU's Office of CSL online http://www.sfsu.edu/~urbins/projects/ocsl/ocsl.html

Back

xviii  La Raza Studies received the following CSL Curriculum Development Awards since 1996: Associate professor Teresa Carrillo received faculty release time to incorporate CSL components dealing with issues of educational policy and equity, and the social, political and cultural presence of Chicanas/Latinas in the U.S., within several existing courses, including LARA 410 "La Raza Women" and LARA 660 "US Latino Politics." Professor Jose Cuellar, received an award for a departmental effort to incorporate CSL across La Raza course curriculum, including such courses as LARA 276 "US Government & Constitution-La Raza Perspective," LARA 376 "History of La Raza," LARA 430 "La Raza and the Law," and LARA 640 "Sociology of La Raza." Associate professor Velia García received a CSL grant to create a prison service learning component for LARA 430 "La Raza and the Law: Race, Crime, and Justice." Lecturer Brigitte Davila was granted an award to create a community service lab component (focused on issues of Latino political empowerment while addressing topics such as voting rights, immigration, affirmative action and civil rights) for La Raza 276, "U.S. Government and Constitutional Ideals."  Senior lecturer Felix Kury received a CSL grant to revise LARA 690 "La Raza Community Field Work."

Back

xix  LARA 210 "Latino Health Care Perspectives," LARA 410 "La Raza Women," LARA 296 "US Government and Constitution--La Raza Perspective," LARA 396 "History of La Raza," LARA 435 "Oral History and Traditions," LARA 430 "La Raza and the Law," LARA 500 "Community Mental Health," LARA 590 "Environmental Justice," LARA 660 "US Latino Politics," LARA 680 "Community Organizing" LARA 690 "La Raza Community Field Work."

Back

xx  Associate professor Teresa Carrillo and senior lecturer Felix Kury are developing a set of interrelated CSL courses that will take students to Mexico City and then Havana for comparative studies of community organizing and social movements.

Back

xxi  See Elihu Carranza, Pensamientos Chicanos: A Cultural Revolution (California Book Co. 1969). Juan Flores, Divided Borders: Essays on Puerto Rican Identity (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1993).  Jovita Gonzalez, Life on the Thorn ed. Jose Limon (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1997). Ernesto Galarza, Spiders in the House, Workers in the Fields (Santa Barbara: McNally & Loftin, 1964). Carey McWilliams, North From Mexico: Spanish-speaking People of the United States (2nd Edition, Greenwood Press, 1969). Americo Paredes, With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero (Austin: University of Texas, 1958).  Armando Rendon, Chicano Manifesto (Macmillan Company, 1971).  Octavio Romano-V., "The Anthropology and Sociology of  the Mexican-American." El Grito: A Journal of Contemporary Mexican American Thought 2 (Fall, 1968) 13-26. George Sanchez, Forgotten People: A Study of New Mexicans (Albuquerque: C. Horn, 1967).  Adina de Zavala History and Legends of the Alamo and other Missions in and around San Antonio ed. Richard Flores (Houston: Arte Public Press, 1998).

Back

xxii  See Rodolfo Acuña, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos (2nd Edition, New York: Harper & Row, 1981). Frank Bonilla, et al. eds., Borderless Border: US Latino, Latin Americans, and the Paradox of Interdependence  (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998). Ana Castillo, Massacre of The Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1994). Juan Gomez-Quiñones, Chicano Politics: Reality & Promise 1940-1990 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1990). Deluvina Hernandez, Mexican American Challenges to a Sacred Cow (UCLA Mexican American Cultural Center, 1970). Joan Moore and Raquel Pinderhughes, In the Barrio: Latinos and the Underclass Debate (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1993).  Renato Rosaldo, Culture and Truth: TheRemapping of Social Analysis (Boston: Beacon Press, 1989).  Carla Trujillo, ed., Living Chicana Theory (Berkeley: Third Woman Press, 1998).

Back

xxiii  These focus on those basic qualitative and quantitative reasoning skills involved in the analyses of problems and solution, and the synthesis of conclusions; and those skills involved in criticizing, constructing, deconstructing and understanding arguments about the major issues of our time with materials reflective of United States La Raza experiences.

Back

xxiv  The elective course considered our critical orientation capstone course in La Raza Studies.

Back

xxv  That is, all full-time La Raza Studies faculty have collectively committed themselves to gather and include information in their courses by and about disciplines and ethnic groups other than their own.  It is also important to recognize a significant amount of prior cross-ethnic and cross-disciplinary work in our facultys individual and collective background.  Assistant professor Alejandro Murguia, Chicano creative writer, received the American Book Award for his The Southern Front (Bilingual Press, 1990), a fictionalized account of his experiences as a member of the international Sandinista brigade fighting in Nicaragua; and was recently received a prestigious honorable mention from Cuba's Casa de Las Americas for his bilingual writings.  Assistant professor Nancy Mirabal, Cuban American historian also conducts research on Dominican and Puerto Rican women in the US, and teaches Chicano history.  Senior Lecturer Felix Kury, Salvadoran counselor, directs our Cuba Education Project, which he co-founded with associate professor Roberto Rivera, who researches comparative Latin American worldviews.  Associate Professor Theresa Carrillo, a Chicana political scientist, has served as faculty guide with the Cuba Education Project which takes a select group of community organizing students on a service learning tour to Cuba every winter session.  Professor Carlos Cordova, Salvadoran multicultural educator, conducts research on the migration of Central Americans in the US, while also studying Afrocentric religion in the Cuba.  And I, a Chicano anthropologist, conducted my Master's fieldwork on folk medicine and beliefs in the highlands of Guatemala; and I am now developing a comparative research project on the saxophone in Afro-Caribbean music.

Back

xxvi  Essentially, La Raza Studies recently proposed a change requiring all Majors and Minors to take LARA 410 "La Raza Women" along with LARA 215 "Introduction to La Raza Studies," LARA 435 "Oral History and Traditions," and LARA 680 "Community Organizing;" and an another allowing Majors and Minors to satisfy distribution requirements by selecting courses from four (Arts & Humanities, History, Behavioral & Social Sciences, and Ethnic Studies) instead of two concentrations (see above).

Back

xxvii  C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination  (New York, Oxford University Press, 1959, reprint 1971).

Back

xxviii  For an early ethnogerontological discussion of this dilemma see my "Insiders and Outsiders in Minority Aging. Minority Aging Research: Old Issues--New Approaches  ed. E. Percil Stanford  (San Diego: Campanille Press, 1979) 67-77.

Back

xxix  Oscar Zeta Acosta, Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo (San Francisco: Straight Arrow, 1972, reprint ed. New York: Penguin, 1989).  Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera--The New Mestiza  (San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lute, 1987). Jose Antonio Burciaga, Spilling the Beans: Loteria Chicana  (Santa Barbara: Joshua Odell Editions, 1995).  Ruth Behar, Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story (Boston: Beacon Press, 1993).  Susan Ferriss and Ricardo Sandoval, The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement (New York: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1997).  Ernesto Galarza, Barrio Boy: The Story of a Boy's Acculturation (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1971).  Mario T. Garcia, Memories of Chicano History: The Life and narrative of Bert Corona (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994). Ricahard Griswold del Castillo and Richard A. Garcia, Cesar Chavez: A Triumph of Spirit (Norman:  University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).  John C. Hammerback and Richard J. Jensen, The Rhetorical Career of César Chávez (College Station: Texas A & M Press, 1998).  Ruben Martinez, The Other Side: Fault Lines, Guerrilla Saints and the True Heart of Rock'n'Roll (New York: Verso Press, 1992). Rigoberta Menchu, I Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala  design, Elizabeth. Burgos-Dubray, trans. Ann Wright (New York: Verso, 1987).  Genaro M. Padilla, My History, Not Yours: The Formation of Mexican American Biography (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1993).  Ramón "Tianguis" Perez, Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant trans. Dick J. Reavis (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1991).  Luis Rodriguez, Always running, la vida loca: Gang Days in L.A. (Willimantic, CN: Cubstone Press, 1993).  Fred Ross, Conquering Goliath: Cesar Chavez at the Beginning (Keene, CA: El Taller Grafico Press, 1989).  Earl Shorris, Latinos: Biography of the People.  New York: Avon Books, 1992).  Chris Strachwitz with James Nicolopulos, Lydia Mendoza: A Family Autobiography (Houston: Arte Publico Press, 1993).  Piri Thomas, Down these Mean Streets (New York: Vintage, 1967). Victor Villaseñor, Rain of Gold (New York: Bantam Doubleday, 1992).

Back

xxx  Ralph Cintron, Angel's Town: Chero Ways, Gang Life, and Rhetorics of the Everyday (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997). Jose Saldívar, Culture Matters:Remapping American Cultural Studies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). Carlos Velez-Ibañez, Border Visions: Mexican Cultures of the Southwest United States (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997).

Back

xxxi  Assessment at the California State University is an ongoing WASC-required campus unit-based multilevel and multimethod process to determine how effectively individual programs and their campuses are planning and meeting their specific curricular objectives and collective educational goals.  The primary purpose of assessment is to help program improvement by systematically collecting, reviewing and evaluating both qualitative and quantitative data on student competencies from entrance to graduation for several purposes. One is to see how well we are meeting our undergraduate program's established instructional goals. Another is to see how well our students are acquiring the necessary information, skills and experiences.  These assessment results, together with faculty experience and expertise as well as disciplinary trends and traditions, combine to compel curricular changes and continuities.  Among assessment approaches are capstone courses, senior seminars, portfolios, projects or theses. For various CSU program assessment plans and perspectives see the following links: http://www.sjsu.edu/ca/assessment/as-links.html
http://www.wascweb.org/SENIOR/wascsr.html;
http://www.sfsu.edu/~acadplan/asstask.html
http://www.sfsu.edu/~acadplan/newpersp.html
http://www.sjsu.edu/ca/assessment/as-main.html
http://www.csun.edu/~vchsc001/policy.html
http://ssu.webjogger.net/default.html

Back

xxxii  For comparison of the variety see the following:  Mexican American Studies at SDSU
(http://www.sdsu.edu/academicprog/mex_amer.html);
Latin American/Chicano Studies at UC  Irvine (http://latino.sscnet.ucla.edu/cs/ucides.html);
Chicano Studies at CSU Los Angeles (http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/aa/chicano.htm)
the Major/Minor program at CSU Northridge (http://www.csun.edu/~hfchs006/themajor.html);
The Chicano Studies Major at UCSB (http://latino.sscnet.ucla.edu/Cs/ucsbdes.html);
The Chicano and Latin American Studies at CSU Fresno
(http://www-catalog.admin.csufresno.edu/current/chicanodgr.html#anchor3799307
The Minor and M.A. program in Mexican American Studies at San Jose State University (http://info.sjsu.edu/web-dbgen/catalog/departments/MAS.html)
The Major/Minor in Chicano Studies  at UC Berkeley
(http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~ethnicst/)
The Chicano Studies Major program at UC Davis (http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/UCDWebCatalog/WebCatCrs/gc_chi.htm)

Back

xxxiii  These general questions can serve as bases for many more specific quantitative and qualitative ones.

Back

xxxiv  See http://www.nclr.org/

Back

xxxv  See http://members.tripod.com/~larazaunida/hist.htm

Back

xxxvi  See http://www.raza.org/Default.htm

Back

xxxvii  See http://members.tripod.com/~mexicatiahui/index.html

Back

xxxviii  See http://www.laclinica.org/

Back

xxxix  See http://www.laraza.com/

Back

xl  See http://www.law.ucla.edu/Student/Organizations/laraza.html

Back

xli  See http://www.latinoweb.com/plaza/

Back

xlii  See http://edweb.sdsu.edu/edfirst/prophets/galeria/galeria_home.html

Back

xliii  See http://www.citysearch7.com/E/V/SFOCA/0003/58/13/

Back

xliv  See http://www.citysearch7.com/E/V/SFOCA/0010/01/96/

Back

xlv  See http://www.citysearch7.com/E/V/SFOCA/0002/81/08/

Back

 



 

Top of Page

Go to Previous Page