Chicano Studies Department



Chicano Studies Department

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies offers a dynamic, innovative program that emphasizes an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to understanding the historical experiences and contemporary social realities of the Chicana/os as the largest segment of the Latino population in the United States. Critical thinking and effective oral and written communication skills are integrated across the curriculum which incorporates the arts and literature, gender studies, border studies, cultural studies, history, the social sciences, and policy studies. The curriculum prepares students at the undergraduate level for a multitude of careers options. Students earning a degree in Chicana and Chicano Studies may pursue careers in education, humanities, law, social work, business, the arts, public administration and more.


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Mission of the Department

The Chicano Studies curriculum is designed to meet general education requirements for all students. Many of the classes also serve as lower-division preparation for the major classes for students planning to transfer and earn a BA degree in Chicano Studies and professional fields, including social sciences, humanities, law, teaching, social work, and public administration. Chicano Studies courses transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

We believe in the development of the total person, with special emphasis on both the individual and social potentials of students.  It is therefore incumbent on Chicano Studies to help students to succeed in the pursuit of excellence in their individual academic and career goals.

We believe it is a primary responsibility of Chicano Studies to develop the social awareness and social conscience of students to stimulate their leadership and community service potential.

We believe that students must develop a solid academic understanding of their socio-economic, political, and historical realities.  Inherent in this process is the development of students’ ability to think and express themselves in an organized, logical, and critical manner.

"Toward a Philosophy of Chicano Studies at Mesa College"
November 10, 1976

Understanding Globalization on the US Mexican Border: A creative workshop

This is an Interdisciplinary Project in Art, Chicana/o Studies and Languages.

Project Coordinators:

Alessandra Moctezuma (Art), Maria Consuelo Lopez-Aramburu (Chicana/o Studies), and Maria Bolivar (Languages) San Diego Mesa College Professors

Project Description:

This project infuses global understanding into the college community by making visible the experience of bi-national culture through interpretive first-hand research, and the final creation of projects to be shared collectively. Several steps were necessary to successfully complete this project: First, in a lecture/presentation format facilitators discussed issues related to globalization's impact in the U.S./Mexico borderlands, and more specifically its effect in the San Diego and Tijuana region. Image: display case After the presentation students were divided in teams and required to go out in the community to research topics related to the workshop's themes. Students created final projects according to their disciplines of interest but they were also required to make adequate interdisciplinary connections. Language acquisition, historic research and artistic production were explored and applied. Students engaged in the following: Using Spanish and studying the evolution of Spanglish (both at the appropriate basic communicative level, and in forms and constructions that entice cultural sensitivity), conducting research of popular and vernacular forms of art -murals, graffiti- and exploring different methods of historical research -oral histories, testimonies, alternative voices, and primary documents. The final projects were developed either individually or in groups.

Topics explored by students, within the broad theme of global understanding and effects of globalization included:

  • Maquiladoras
  • The border fence
  • Migrant communities
  • Day laborers
  • Immigration issues
  • Border environmental issues
  • Violence and segregation as an effect of globalization

The project will be on display in the Chicana/o Studies Department display case outside of G-107 for the 2010-2011 academic school year.

Annual Chicano Latino Heritage Celebration

"Viva La Raza" (2005) by Favianna Rodriguez & Jesus Barraza

This image was created to advertise the Annual Chicano Latino Heritage Celebration held at Mesa College in the fall.

Department Information