The nation’s first doctoral programs in Hispanic andChicano studies will be introduced in Texas and California thisfall. TexasA&MUniversity and sister schools in CorpusChristi, Laredo and Kingsville will gives students the opportunityto enroll in a Hispanic doctoral program, while the University ofCalifornia, Santa Barbara will offer a doctoral program in Chicanostudies.
The faculty at TexasA&MCollege Station campus will teach thenew Hispanic Studies degree, while students at other Texas schoolswill take the course through distance education. The programrequires students to be fluent in Spanish.
Manuel Martin- Rodriguez, director of theHispanic Studies department in College Station, said that theprogram will take four to six years to complete and expects atleast 48 students to enroll. Martin- Rodriguez anticipatesthat there will be a graduation turn over of four to five graduatesper year.
“However, if you count the number ofinstitutions involved, I would not be surprised if more studentsgraduate.”
The university also offers a program at themaster’s level in modern languages, concentrating in Spanish,which focuses on certain aspects of the Hispanic culture.
The University of California also boasts adepartment that focuses on issues relating to their doctoralprogram.
The Chicano Studies department at theUniversity of California Santa Barbara, which has existed since1970, includes programs that focus on the diversity of Chicanocommunities throughout the United States and their relationships toMexican people.
Currently, there are 19 department programs inChicano studies, two Latino programs and 16 ethnic studies programsavailable throughout four-year institutions across the nation.
Otto Santa Ana, Associate Professor in theChicano studies department at University of California Los Angeles,said that there was a tremendous need for these types of programsas they create a better understanding of the diversity amongdifferent Latinos across the nation. He added that it is especiallybeneficial due to the increasing U.S. Latino population.