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American Multicultural Studies

Department Office
Nichols Hall 214
707 664-2486
www.sonoma.edu/depts/amcs

Department Chair: Larry Hajime Shinagawa
Administrative: Coordinator Perce Smith

James E. Gray / Health and Culture, Aging and the Life Cycle, Cultural Anthropology, Urban Race Relations, Gender and Race
Larry Hajime Shinagawa / Social Demography, Intermarriage, Ethnic Identity, Social Policy, Ethnic Politics, Multiculturalism, Asian American Studies Course Plan / Sample Four-Year Program for Bachelor of Arts in AMCS / Integrated Program Bachelor of Arts/Teaching Certification in AMCS / Sample Four-Year Program for Bachelor of Arts/Teaching Certification in AMCS / Minor in American Ethnic Studies / Individual Course Descriptions


Programs offered:
Bachelor of Arts in American Multicultural Studies
Minor in American Ethnic Studies


American Multicultural Studies (AMCS) is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of ethnic and racial minority groups in the United States. A variety of courses focus on the historical, sociological, cultural and ideological aspects of American ethnicity.

The program is designed to prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need to meet the ongoing challenge of living in a culturally and ethnically diverse society. AMCS students receive basic instruction in how to recognize and engage the underlying assumptions that guide our thinking about race, ethnicity and multiculturalism. They will explore arts and literature; language and philosophy. Additionally, they will examine historical, political, social, educational, economic and cultural developments that affect ethnic and racial minority communities in the United States.

Through a critical study of the significance of the constructions of ethnicity and race in shaping social relationships in the United States, AMCS students are introduced to modes of intercultural learning and understanding that help them to develop the knowledge and sensitivities needed for the enhancement of multicultural communication. By examining the arts, literature, language, and philosophy of ethnic groups, students learn to appreciate the moral and aesthetic values of others. Moreover, through an interdisciplinary approach, they come to a clearer view of the historical importance of ethnic identity in America and a deeper understanding of the impact ethnic groups have had on Americans generally, their social thought, practice, and institutions.

Future Careers

AMCS offers an innovative four-year B.A./teacher credentialing program. Students who complete the pre-approved curriculum will receive a simultaneous B.A. and CLAD certification. This academically rigorous program will allow students to receive both their Bachelor of Arts and a teaching certification in four years. With this program future teachers will be able to avoid an additional year of postgraduate training. Our program combines classes in AMCS and education, and provides extensive field training so students will use pedagogical theory as well as practical experience. They will have the preparation needed to instruct and mentor an increasingly diverse student population.

The major prepares individuals to function effectively in the fields of education, personnel administration, business, law, human resources, public health, public relations, social services, and environmental planning. It provides a sound foundation for graduate work in many traditional disciplines and emerging multidisciplinary fields of inquiry. The Department of American Multicultural Studies, through its major and minor, has the following goals:

Each semester the Department of American Multicultural Studies publishes a brochure listing all course offerings in AMCS. Copies of the brochure may be obtained in the AMCS Department office.

Bachelor of Arts in American Multicultural Studies Admission into the Major

Students must complete AMCS 210 or AMCS 255 with a 2.5 or better (or equivalent transfer course) to be admitted to the major. Each student majoring in AMCS is assigned a faculty advisor and consults with the advisor on progress toward the degree. Upon acceptance into the major, a transfer student's records will be reviewed to articulate the courses that are equivalent to those offered within AMCS, CALS or NAMS at Sonoma State University.
Degree Requirementsunits
General education51
Major core requirements (up to 6 units may be applied to GE) 14
Areas of concentration for major 12
CIP/Service learning 3
Major electives 7
General electives 33
Total units needed for graduation 120

Students graduating with a B.A. in American Multicultural Studies must take a minimum of 36 units within AMCS or supporting courses from CALS, NAMS or related course work in other departments in order to fulfill the requirements of the major. The majority of the courses must be fulfilled within AMCS. Please see the course catalog description for any prerequisites and fulfillment requirements.

Major Core Requirements

Complete the following 14 units:
AMCS 210 Ethnic Groups in America 4
AMCS 255 Ethnicity in the Humanities 3
AMCS 350 Ethics, Values and Multiculturalism 3
AMCS 480 Research and Methodology 4
Total units in the major core 14 Units

Areas of Concentration

Students must take all of their concentration courses either from the arts and humanities plan or from the behavioral and social sciences plan. Each plan's courses will constitute the student's area of concentration in AMCS.

A. Arts and Humanities Plan (12 units)

Choose from the following:
AMCS 315 Ethnic Music and Dance 3
AMCS 330 Ethnicity and History: (Subtitle) 3
AMCS 331 Ethnic History in California 3
AMCS 345 Folklore and Ethnicity 3
AMCS 355 Language and Ethnicity 3
AMCS 360 Ethnic Literature 3
AMCS 390 Ethnic Theater 3
AMCS 392 Ethnic Images in Film and Media 3
AMCS 445 Multiculturalism and Education 3
AMCS 460 MultiEthnic Children's Literature 3
Or

B. Behavioral and Social Sciences Plan (12 units)*

Choose from the following:
AMCS 330 Ethnicity and History: (Subtitle) 3
AMCS 331 Ethnic History in California 3
AMCS 335 The Demography and Geography of Cultural Diversity in America 3
AMCS 339 Ethnic Groups and American Social Policy 3
AMCS 355 Language and Ethnicity 3
AMCS 376 PanAfrican Cultures 3
AMCS 377 Asian American Experience 3
AMCS 405 Ethnic Families in America 3-4
AMCS 425 Men/Women and Power in Interpersonal Relationships 3
AMCS 432 Health and Culture 3-4
AMCS 435 Ethnicity and the Life Cycle 3
AMCS 445 Multiculturalism and Education 4
AMCS 455 Civil Rights and Human Rights Law 3

*At least two of the courses in the area of behavioral and social sciences must come from the AMCS Department. Other remaining courses can come from other departments at Sonoma State University. MATH 165 Elementary Statistics or MATH 141 Ethnomathematics is a prerequisite for the behavioral and social sciences plan area.

CIP/Service Learning

Students are required to complete at least 3 units of credit by being involved in a Community Involvement Program (CIP) or service learning opportunity. For further information about the CIP and service learning opportunities, please examine our brochure listing the specific CIP and service learning opportunities available for credit through AMCS.

Major Electives

Any course within AMCS that has not been used to fulfill the core and plan requirements may serve as an elective course. With the consent of a faculty advisor up to 7 units of major electives or supporting courses may be taken from other departments and programs.

Optional Courses in Related Fields and Departments

A maximum of three classes (9-12 units) may come from outside AMCS to fulfill the unit requirement of the major. These courses may be taken from CALS, NAMS, WGS, or other departments and programs at Sonoma State University upon consent of the faculty major advisor. Any course within AMCS that has not been used to fulfill the general and concentration requirements may serve as an elective course. Courses in CALS, NAMS, and other academic programs and departments may be considered for elective credit for the degree upon consent of the major advisor, especially for those students pursuing a double major.

Honors Program (6 units)

Students who maintain a 3.5 average or higher in the major at the end of their junior year may elect to enter into a program conferring graduation with distinction in American Multicultural Studies. The program requires a two-semester sequence of courses including completion of an honors thesis during the senior year. The department believes in the distinction program because it provides the opportunity for the exceptional student to carry out original research and draft a paper based upon such research. Such a program prepares students to go on with their graduate or professional education.

Sample Four-Year Program for Bachelor of Arts in AMCS

Behavioral and Social Sciences Concentrations

Freshman Year: 30 units

Fall Semester (15 units) Spring Semester (15 units)
GE ENGL 101 (A2) (3) GE AMCS 255 (C4) (3)
GE PHIL 101 (A3) (3) GE AMCS 200 (A1) (3)
GE Elective (B1,C1,C2) (9) GE Electives (B4, D2, D3) (9)

Sophomore Year: 30 units

Fall Semester (15 units) Spring Semester (15 units)
GE AMCS 210 (D1) (3) GE Elective (B3) (3)
GE Elective (B2) (3) GE Elective (D4) (3)
Electives (9) GE Electives (9)

Junior Year: 30 units

Fall Semester (15 units) Spring Semester (15 units)
AMCS 330 (3) AMCS 480 (4)
AMCS 350 (C3) (4) AMCS Concentration (6)
GE Electives (D5, E) (8) AMCS Elective (3)
 Elective (2)

Senior Year: 30 units

Fall Semester (15 units) Spring Semester (15 units)
AMCS Concentration (6) AMCS Elective (4)
AMCS Elective (3) Electives (11)
Electives (6)
Total semester units: 120

Integrated Program Bachelor of Arts/Teaching Certification in AMCS

Admission into program Please see requirements for admission into the major

Degree Requirements units
General education 51
Major requirements (up to six units may be applied to GE) 14
Areas of concentration for major (up to six units may be applied to GE) 12
CIP/Service learning 3
Major electives 7
Education classes (up to six units may be applied to GE) 46
Total units needed for graduation 124

Since this is an intensive program, students must closely follow the schedule below in order to complete a B.A. and CLAD certification in four years. Students must also pass the CBEST exam in order to take required Education courses. Several courses have equivalents that may be substituted for required classes. Please see assigned faculty advisor for a list of course equivalents. Students are required to consult with a faculty advisor every semester to ensure a timely graduation.

Sample Four-Year Program for Bachelor of Arts/Teaching Certification in AMCS

Freshman Year: 28 units

Fall Semester (15 units) Spring Semester (13 units)
GE ENGL 101 (A2) (3) GE AMCS 255 (C4) (3)
GE MATH 100 (B4) (3) GE PHIL 101 (A3) (3)
EDUC 250 (3) GE POLS 200 (D4) or equivalent (3)
GE AMCS 210 (D1) (3) GE GEOL 102 (B1) or equivalent (3)
GE BIOL (B2) (3) EDUC 295 or equivalent (1)

Sophomore Year: 30 units

Fall Semester (14 units) Spring Semester (16 units)
GE AMCS 200 (A1) (3) Foreign Language 102 (3)
GE HIST 242 (D3) (3) Foreign Language 100L (1)
Foreign Language 101 (3) MATH 300 (4)
GEOG 203 (3) AMCS 315 or equivalent (2)
Community Involvement (2) AMCS 355 or equivalent (3)
  GE GEOG 302 (D5) (3)

Junior Year: 34 units

Fall Semester (16 units) Spring Semester (18 units)
GE BIOL 314 (B3) or equivalent (3) GE AMCS 360 (C2) or equivalent (3)
GE EDUC 417 (D1) (3) GE CALS 403 (E1) or equivalent (3)
AMCS 480 (4) AMCS 350 (3)
AMCS 435 (3) EDMS 410 (4)
EDMS 460 (3) EDMS 461 (4)
AMCS 395 (1)

Senior Year: 32 units

Fall Semester (17 units) Spring Semester (15 units)
GE AMCS 392 (C1) or equivalent (3) EDMS 482 (12)
KIN 400 (3) EDMS 480 (3)
EDMS 462 (4)
EDMS 472 (2)
EDMS 473 (2)
EDMS 476 (3)
Total semester units: 124

Minor in American Ethnic Studies

Students must complete 20 units to fulfill requirements for a minor in American Multicultural Studies with the option of three concentrations: American ethnic studies, African American studies, and Asian American studies. Courses graded CR/NC are not applicable to minors awarded by the AMCS Department. Core requirements
AMCS 210 Ethnic Groups in America 4
AMCS 255 Ethnicity in the Humanities 3
AMCS 330 Ethnicity and History: (Subtitle) 3
AMCS 350 Ethics, Values and Multiculturalism 3
Total units in the minor core 13
Concentration electives 7
Total units in the minor20

Minors are also required to include two upperdivision courses in a single area (i.e., humanities or social sciences) with a concentration in one field of study: African American studies, Asian American studies or ethnic studies.

Double Majors and Minors

Students are strongly encouraged to investigate a double major or minor to complement traditional disciplines such as anthropology, education, English, economics, history, geography, management, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and political science. The AMCS degree was specifically designed to encourage double majors. By combining the interdisciplinary and comparative area study of American Multicultural Studies with a traditional discipline or with another interdisciplinary program such as Hutchins or Global Studies, students broaden their minds and enhance their educational and career opportunities.

Innovative Changes in American Multicultural Studies

For more information about multicultural teacher education, cultural diversity training, and community internships, please visit our web site at www.sonoma.edu/depts/amcs. The AMCS Department will also be offering more extensive internship opportunities in partnership with United Way/Safe Havens and the Santa Rosa City School District. Students may earn units through research or mentoring. Students who complete the pre-approved AMCS curriculum may also gain automatic entry to the Empire College School of Law. In addition, AMCS is developing GRE and LSAT preparatory classes to better prepare students for postgraduate education.

American Multicultural Studies Courses (AMCS)

Classes are offered in the semesters indicated. Please see Schedule of Classes for most-current information and faculty assignments.

200 Issues on Race, Ethnicity, and Multiculturalism (3) Fall, Spring

Students practice the techniques of critical reading and thinking, of expository writing, and of oral expression through an in-depth examination of race, ethnicity and multiculturalism and its impact on American cultural, political, and social institutions. They examine the principles of thinking, speaking, and writing with a view to the multitude of purposes for which these activities are crucial. Satisfies GE, category Al (Written and Oral Analysis). Prerequisites: completion of GE categories A2 and A3.

201 Career Planning for Nontraditional Students (3) Fall

This course is aimed at providing students interested in employment or continued education upon graduation with information about job opportunities and the necessary skills for job seeking. Current trends in the labor market will be reviewed. Resume preparation, interviewing skills, presentation of self, and the importance of followup action will be stressed.

210 Ethnic Groups in America (4) / Fall, Spring

Survey and analysis of the diverse experiences of major ethnic groups in their present socioeconomic and political position in American society as depicted in literary, historical, anthropological, and sociological studies. Satisfies ethnic studies in GE, category D1 (Individual and Society). This course satisfies one of the core requirements of the AMCS major. May be taught with a focus on California experience.

255 Ethnicity in the Humanities (3) / Fall, Spring

A general survey of the major artistic and expressive developments in the United States with reference to native ethnic minority populations. This course satisfies one of the core requirements of the AMCS major. May be taught with a focus on California experience.

315 Ethnic Music and Dance (3) / Spring, odd years

An indepth study of the musical and dance traditions of major ethnic groups in the United States. Special emphasis will be given to the forms of expression as cultural identification and affirmation for members of ethnic groups.

330 Ethnicity and History: (Subtitle) (3) / Fall

A historical examination of the cultural, social, economic, and political evolution of ethnic minorities within American society. May be taught with a focus on California experience. Topics subject to change.

331 Ethnic History in California (3-4) / Spring

A historical examination of the social, economic, and political evolution of ethnic minorities within California society.

335 Demography and Geography of Cultural Diversity in America (3) / Fall, every third semester

An overview of the geographic and demographic diversity of the ethnic minority populations in the United States. Special emphasis will be on migration, immigration, and social indicators of ethnic wellbeing.

339 Ethnic Groups and American Social Policy (3) Fall, Spring

The impact of American social policies on ethnic minorities. Topics include public policy issues related to employment, immigration, education, mental health, and minority children and families. The impact of major court decisions affecting public policy and ethnic minorities will also be examined. Course might be taught from single ethnic groups perspectives. Satisfies upperdivision ethnic studies in GE, category D1 (Individual and Society). Cross-listed as CALS/NAMS 339. Topics subject to change.

345 Folklore and Ethnicity (3) / Spring, even years

Methods and materials dealing with the traditional expressive culture of American ethnic groups: oral literature, festivals, childrens games, customs, and beliefs. Includes training in collecting oral traditions and in the analysis of folklore texts and contexts. Topics subject to change. May be repeated for credit.

350 Ethics, Values, and Multiculturalism (3) Fall, Spring

An examination of theories of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism and their impact on American thought and practice. Meets ethnic studies and upperdivision GE requirements in humanities, Area C3. This course satisfies one of the core requirements of the AMCS major.

355 Language and Ethnicity (3-4) / Fall, Spring

A study of language as an ethnic marker; language and ethnic identity; language and national revival; bilingualism and bidialectism; standard and nonstandard speech; foreign accents; linguistic assimilation vs. language retention. Satisfies upperdivision ethnic studies in GE, category C4 (Ethnic Studies in Comparative Perspectives). Crosslisted as CALS 426. Topics subject to change. May be repeated for credit.

360 Ethnic Literature (3) / Fall, Spring

A survey of the representative novels, short stories, essays, biographies, and poetry of various ethnic authors in the United States. Thematic focus will vary from semester to semester. Topics subject to change. May be taught with a focus on California ethnic literature. Satisfies upperdivision ethnic studies in GE, category C2 (World Literature).

376 PanAfrican Cultures (3) / Fall

The history of Third World people in their African and Caribbean nationstates as well as in America has been shaped by the twin forces of imperialism and neocolonialism. These two models, as well as an indepth examination of African American cultures in the western hemisphere, will be addressed. Topics subject to change. May be repeated for credit.

377 Asian American Experience (3) / Spring

A general survey of the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. Special emphasis is given to the impact that international politics and economics have had on domestic policies in shaping much of the experiences of Asian Pacific Americans. Topics may change. May be repeated for credit.

381 Research Assistantship (24) / Fall, Spring

Student assistance to help faculty with research on the experiences of people of color in America. Topic matter and research agenda will be discussed with faculty. By individual arrangement with faculty sponsor.

385 Facilitation Training (24) / Fall, Spring

Facilitation pedagogy training in active learning situations within established courses. Prerequisite: junior/senior status with satisfactory completion of either AMCS 210 or 255. By individual arrangement with instructor.

392 Ethnic Images in Film and Media (3) / Fall, Spring

An examination of representative and significant works, tracing the evolution of ethnic images in cinema and media from their earliest to latest manifestations. Topics subject to change. Satisfies upperdivision ethnic studies in GE, category C1 (Ethnic Studies in the Fine Arts).

395 Community Involvement Program (14) Fall, Spring

This course is intended to provide students with practical experience in various ethnic community organizations and health and social service agencies, including recreation programs, tutoring programs, day care centers, senior citizen centers, legal aid offices, homeless shelters, etc.

399 StudentInitiated Course (14)

Student-initiated and -instructed courses on topics that enrich or extend current departmental offerings.

405 Ethnic Families in America (3-4) / Spring, even years

An analysis of family and community structure and function from a multicultural perspective. Psychological, sociological and anthropological literature on ethnic families will be examined.

420 Sexism and Racism in the United States (3-4) Spring

A historical overview of racism and sexism as they affect women of color, focusing on issues in which racism and sexism intersect, e.g., affirmative action, abortion, sterilization, violence against women, and other issues. Cross-listed as WGS 375. Topics subject to change.

425 Men/Women and Power in Interpersonal Relationships (3) / Spring, even years

A senior seminar on the interpersonal dynamics between men and women. Emphasis will be given on the interplay of racial, class, and gender inequalities as they affect the power relationships between and among ethnic minority men and women. Topics subject to change.

432 Health and Culture (34) / Fall, odd years

An analysis of cultural and ethnic influences on health and health behavior, with an emphasis on developing strategies for bridging cultural disjunctions between health professionals and their clients, and for improving health care delivery to an ethnically diverse population. Topics subject to change. May be repeated for credit.

435 Ethnicity and the Life Cycle (3) / Spring

An integrated examination of life-span development among individuals in American society from a multicultural perspective. This course examines physiological, social and psychological aspects of life-span development, cultural/ethnic attitudes, adolescence, adulthood, aging and the aged, death and dying, cultural and ethnic support systems for age groups in ethnic communities, and strategies for improving health and social services for various age groups. Topics subject to change.

445 Multiculturalism and Education (3) / Fall

An analysis of the philosophical and definition issues related to pluralistic education; developing resources germane to this philosophy and the guidelines constituting the foundation for multiethnic educational programs and ethnic studies.

450 Multicultural Resources Development (3-4) Spring

Development of library research skills and critical thinking and writing in regard to ethnic issues in the United States. Practical handson workshop and editorial environment. This course is recommended to all majors. May be repeated for credit.

455 Civil Rights and Human Rights Law (3) Spring, odd years

A study of the impact of laws on the sociocultural, political and economic development of ethnic groups in a multicultural society.

460 Multiethnic Children's Literature (3) Fall, off years

A study of multi-ethnic children's literature. Stories from folklore and literature are used to exemplify cultural images and traditions.

466 Selected Topics in African American Studies (34) Fall, Spring

A course designed to explore areas of contemporary, historical or artistic concern as they affect the African American experience. Advanced studies and/or research projects will be discussed and analyzed. Subject matter will vary.

467 Selected Topics in Asian American Studies (34) Fall, Spring

A course designed to explore areas of contemporary, historical or artistic concern as they affect the Asian American experience. Advanced studies and/or research projects will be discussed and analyzed. Subject matter will vary.

475 Senior Seminar (4) / Fall

Directed studies in a seminar setting on a particular topic or theme. Combines secondary reading and original research leading to the completion of a research project. Please see Schedule of Classes for the topic selected by the instructor.

475H Senior Honors (4) / Spring

Senior-year course for the final submission of an honors research thesis on a subject of cultural diversity in the United States. Students must have completed AMCS 475 satisfactorily before undertaking the course.

480 Research and Methodology (4) / Fall, Spring

Survey of research and methodological tools used in the study of American ethnic groups. Special attention is given to the problems of objectivity and bias and the political and moral implications of quantitative and field research. This course satisfies one of the core requirements of the AMCS major.

481 Special Topics (14) / Fall, Spring

Please refer to current Schedule of Classes.

495 Special Studies (14) / Fall, Spring

Independent study. Prerequisites: AMCS 210 or 255; a core upperdivision course; approval of supervising faculty member and approval of department chair.

499 Service Learning Internship (1-4) / Fall, Spring

Course provides students with practical experience in various ethnic community organizations and in health/social service/educational settings. Includes recreation programs, tutoring programs, day care centers, cultural arts organizations, civic promotion organizations, etc.



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