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Ethnic Studies Program

The Ethnic Studies program is an interdisciplinary minor which focuses on the history, culture and contributions of American ethnic groups. Through an understanding and appreciation of other people's ethnic and cultural backgrounds, students can gain an understanding of the multiple realities of our complex and diverse society.

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Ethnic Studies Mission Statement

The mission of the ethnic studies minor is to provide students with a rigorous and disciplined examination of historically underrepresented ethnic groups in the U.S. In so doing, it will assist the university and its efforts to promote an academic environment that embraces the study and understanding of the history, culture, and contributions of ethnic groups as legitimate components of the educational experience offered to all students at Shippensburg University.

Goals and Objectives of the Program

Goal 1: Develop critical and independent thinking about race and ethnicity. Students will:

  1. Comprehend, research and analyze critically and independently different ideas and issues on race and ethnicity in America.
  2. Learn to interrelate the various cultures in America, and their interaction with hegemonic powers.
  3. Gain an understanding and explain the historical, political, economic and cultural impact of diverse cultures in America.

Goal 2: Promote multidisciplinary approach to address topics within the framework of race and ethnicity. Students will:

  1. Utilize different disciplines and approaches to critically study and analyze issues of race and ethnicity
  2. Value and integrate sociopolitical factors to the study of the various cultures in America
  3. Compare and contrast the various artistic expressions of the different ethnicities in America

Goal 3: Comprehend and increase awareness on racial issues in connection with social justice. Students will:

  1. Participate in events and discussions across campus, expressing their ideas and perspectives developed in courses of the program
  2. Participate in organizations across campus or in different communities, targeting the improvement of social environment

Ethnic Studies Minor Strategies

Strategy 1: Recruitment of Students for the program

  1. Promote the program across campus and at open houses to reach a diverse pool of prospective students.
  2. Disseminate information and advertise on ETS across different department and campus organizations.
  3. Disseminate information and advertise on ETS across the general education students attending our core courses.

Strategy 2:

  1. Promote undergraduate research across the courses of the program, either under the form of course or conference papers and class presentations.
  2. Fund undergraduate and faculty research and presentations on topics that pertain to our program.

Strategy 3: Recruitment and involvement of faculty members.

  1. Identify faculty members who teach courses (core or electives) and request and encourage their participation in activities of the program.
  2. Continue encouraging and promoting the faculty research by choosing a Shippensburg University faculty member as ETS fall speaker.
  3. Fund and support faculty research through funding with travel and conference money.

Strategy 4: Promote, teach and create a dialogue between Shippensburg University students and faculty about multiculturalism and diversity in America.

  1. Encourage the students to do research and promote discussion on topics of diversity and multiculturalism.
  2. Promote debate and a campus-wide dialogue on different topics on diversity (this AY the main focus will be Native American cultures) apropos of fall and spring presentations to create.
  3. Disseminate and deepen changes in the ETS curriculum (core courses added as General Education courses; addition of new electives).

CAS Interdisciplinary Minors Policy

  • A minor should consist of a minimum of 18 credit hours with no more than a total of 24 maximum. In an 18-credit-hours minor, at least six of these credits must be in courses at the 300 level or higher, in minors of more than 18 credits, at least nine of these credits must be in courses at the 300 level or higher.


  • No more than six credits in a minor may be counted towards another minor or major. No triple counting of courses is allowed.


  • Students who receive a minor from Shippensburg University must complete a minimum of 50% of the courses in residence at the university.


  • Students who have a minor listed on their transcript at graduation, they must attain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 for the courses in the minor.


  • Students must first have declared a major in some discipline before declaring a minor.
Contact the Ethnic Studies Program Horton Hall 103, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1478