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WEST offers new certificate programs to broaden your resume

Published: Sunday, September 25, 2011

Updated: Monday, September 26, 2011 09:09

Last spring, the Department of Women's and Ethnic Studies (WEST) began offering three new certificate programs in addition to their major and minor.

"Today, with the way things are with jobs, the more specialization and versatility you have, the more marketable you are in your job," said Andrea Hererra, professor of literature and co-director of the WEST program.

The concentrations for these certificates are Native American and Indigenous Studies, Latino/Latina Studies and Global Studies.

"When people ask us, ‘Why do anything with WEST?' one thing we always emphasize is that there is no area in your life where you cannot afford to be culturally conversant or competent," said Hererra. "All of our courses have both a domestic and international focus."

The Native American and Indigenous Studies certificate investigates American Indian issues as part of a broader study on indigenous knowledge worldwide, with a special emphasis on the cultures in the United States, Canada and Pacific Islands.

Some of the courses offered include Native American Philosophical Thought, Native Communities and Indigenous Views on Sustainability.

Latino/a Studies is designed to highlight the various Latino/a communities in the United States and how their identifications are defined in the wake of globalization and migration across political boundaries.

Some of the courses include The Chicano Community, Youth Gangs and ‘Going Native': British and Spanish Narratives of the Colonized World, according to the certificate information sheet.

The certificate in Global Studies focuses on globalization as a complex and dynamic product of many different regional, ethnic and institutional identities from a transnational perspective.

Its courses explore intersections among gender, race, class, sexuality and individual identity.

The courses offered in this concentration range across a broad spectrum of topics, including Sex and Gender in Islam, Caribbean Literature, History, and Theory and Gender in International Politics, as well as some courses from the other two concentrations.

After completing the Introduction to Race and Gender course, a requirement of all WEST programs, an additional 12 credit hours, including nine upper-division, must be taken from a variety of different course offerings, depending on the specific certificate a student is pursuing.

These certificates are not limited to WEST majors and minors, either; anyone looking to boost their academic portfolio can pursue these certificate programs.

For more information on the WEST major, minor and new certificate programs, stop by their office in the south wing on the first floor of Columbine to pick up handouts with course requirements or visit their web site at

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