What is an option in African American Studies?

Add a specialty to your Associate degree in Liberal Arts (LAA) with an option in African American Studies. An option is an area of concentrated study: that is a "distinct branch" in a degree program, the equivalent of a concentration in a major. The AFR OPTION in the Liberal Arts program will enable the student to use the Flexible Core to develop a concentrated area of studies.

Why choose the AFR OPTION?

Creation of the option will encourage the formation of a community of students and faculty with similar interests, which would lead to sustained discussions of research topics both outside and inside the classrooms. Also, there is a much larger issue that an option in African American Studies will address. One of the most profound challenges that the nation faces revolves around questions of racial equality and the impact of race on major national institutions. If we accept the premises that race is not something that affects only racial minorities, and that everyone in America is viewed through the prism of race, then, an educational institution must train students to develop the analytical and critical skills to address questions of race and social justice. The creation of an option in African American Studies will be a step in that journey. As students begin to identify with thematic concerns in Liberal Arts, they will begin to think of "pathways" to link their liberal arts degree to their careers. An option in African American Studies will facilitate the transition of NYCCT students to CUNY colleges which offer BA degrees in African American Studies.

The AFR OPTION will support the important General Education Learning Goals for City Tech Graduates

Knowledge
Develop knowledge from a range of disciplinary perspectives, and hone the ability to deepen and continue learning

Skills
Acquire and use the tools needed for communication, inquiry, analysis, and productive work.

Values, Ethics, and Relationships
Understand and apply values, ethics, and diverse perspectives in personal, professional, civic, and cultural/global domains.

Desired Learning Outcomes for AFR OPTION

The learning outcomes for the option in African American Studies specify the knowledge bases, skills and competencies students will acquire.

These outcomes are consistent with the current general education initiative at NYCCT. General Education as the college has specified, "means the development of various competencies, skills and attitudes that correspond to specific areas of inquiry." But more importantly, general education at NYCCT "fosters independent thought, opens minds and cultivates social responsibility."

The option in African American Studies will make a meaningful contribution to the General Education initiative here at NYCCT in the following ways:

  • The option in African American Studies through its interdisciplinary course offerings will give our students a repertoire of knowledge about the contributions of people of African descent. By having access to inter-disciplinary course offerings, students will develop an appreciation for diverse approaches to the social construction of knowledge within African American Studies.
  • Students in the option will learn to use diverse methodological and theoretical approaches to appraise, both orally and in writing, original documents, audiovisual materials and literature related to the discipline of African American Studies.
  • Students in the option will learn how to design a thesis statement, pose research questions and prepare annotated bibliographies about their research topics. This will accomplish the goals of the College's general education initiative, Writing Across the Curriculum Project and students will become familiar with texts used in the Core Text Project.

Theoretical analysis will include a study of black feminist theories, black cultural criticism and African American historiography. Archival research will include critical thinking skills, research and information literacy skills. Students will be expected to use the research facilities in New York City, such as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Time Sequence for Students Enrolling in the AFR OPTION

Students enrolled in the AA degree program who select the African American Studies Option are expected to complete the option within a four-semester period. In the College Catalog, please review pre-requisites needed for each AFR Option course in the Flexible Core.

Please note: Africana Philosophy serves as a culminating course and should be taken after other courses under the Flexible Core are completed.

Advisement for those in the AFR OPTION
All students who elect for the Option in African American Studies must come to Room A643 for advisement.

AFR OPTION Requirements

The AFR Option requires the completion 12 specified credits as part of the Flexible Core. Please see College Catalog for detail information.

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