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New major will focus on race and ethnicity as well as women and gender

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Two new majors related to social justice are coming to campus soon, and they have many new academic opportunities to offer students.

These new majors will give students at Cosumnes River College the opportunity to study historically marginalized groups. Students who take these courses will cover topics such as race, gender, class and sexuality.

Students will attend to social justice concerns by evaluating how race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality all operate in our lives, both inside and outside academia,” said English Professor Jose Alfaro.

The new programs to be offered are social justice studies with a focus on race and ethnicity, as well as a focus on women, gender and LGBTQ.

Students will attend to social justice concerns by evaluating how race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality all operate in our lives, both inside and outside academia.”

— Jose Alfaro

Both Alfaro and Abraham said students who choose to pursue these new majors will be taking courses like history, literature, sociology, early childhood development, humanities and Spanish.

“We believe that offering these programs at CRC will benefit students and faculty in many ways,” said English Professor Lisa Abraham. “They will also provide for students another route to transfer and offer faculty opportunities to work intersectionally.”

Philosophy Professor Rick Schubert said college education can be more than just a stepping stone to a career, it can potentially change our understanding of each other and the roles we play in bettering the world.

“Social justice studies in general and under its umbrella, the study of ethics in particular, addresses that potential in a very direct and meaningful way,” Schubert said.

Alfaro said they plan to get these majors off the ground soon, with hopes of getting new courses in the fall course catalog.

Professors are still working on how these majors will fit in with Pathways, the new guidance program being implemented at CRC. These majors however, will be transferable to certain programs at four-year universities.

“Because this major will allow folks entry into various specialized fields, we are considering developing different pathways that cater to what students want to specialize in,” said Alfaro.

These new courses are grabbing some students interest already.

Those topics are important and also fun to talk about, and it brings much needed awareness to those subjects.”

“I think they definitely sound like some interesting courses,” said Julian Ruvalcaba, a 21-year-old business administration major. “Those topics are important and also fun to talk about, and it brings much needed awareness to those subjects.”

Alfaro noted that students who pursue this major will come to see a “new perspective and vision” of their possible future careers.

These new majors will open new opportunities to work with other colleges in the Los Rios Community College District and “possibly offer ways to become involved in the community beyond the classroom,” Abraham said.

Students taking these courses will focus on how each individual is affected by political, social and historical decisions, Alfaro said. “None of our bodies are outside of politics: Institutions are making decisions about are bodies and our flesh in the everyday and many of us have grown up navigating ways to resist those decisions.”

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New major will focus on race and ethnicity as well as women and gender