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libraryThe African American Studies department of The College of New Jersey is an interdisciplinary teacher-scholar community whose faculty embodies professional excellence, promotes engaged learning, and provides original intellectual contributions to their respective fields. As teachers of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences the department promotes the discovery and creation of knowledge, independent and critical inquiry, professional and scholarly activity, and student/faculty/community collaboration. Student-scholars of the African American Studies department learn theoretical and applied skills central to a liberal arts education.

The African American Studies (AAS) major acquaints TCNJ students to the social, political, economic, and cultural history of people of African descent in the modern world. The major combines the multiple expressions of Africa and its diasporas–primarily the black experience in the United States and the encounter of people of African descent with the world—into a unified and coherent program (or study) of race, identity, and societal development. The core objectives of the African American Studies Department are to interrogate the multiple dimensions of race, slavery and colonialism, and their continued political, social and cultural significance. With its interdisciplinary strengths in the humanities, social sciences and the arts, the major provides students with the analytical skills for effective research, writing, communication of ideas, and information literacy.

African American Studies Major Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the African American Studies Major, students will embody the following Learning Objectives:

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relation between race and power.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how diverse identities and contexts intersect.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of Africa and its Diaspora.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of how research, planning,and evaluation methods are used to expand knowledge in the field and discipline.
  • Students will develop oral and written communication with particular emphasis on persuasive argumentation supported by logic and scholarly research.

African American Studies Core Beliefs

The African American Studies Department affirms its Core Beliefs as fundamental to its Mission.

  • The department comprises an intellectual community among faculty, students, alumni, and staff.
  • The department actively participates in current scholarly debates and inquiries about the creation, enhancement, validation, and dissemination of knowledge.
  • The department promotes a scholarly and intellectual community built upon the interdisciplinary composition of its diverse faculty.
  • The department considers the multidisciplinary perspectives informing approaches to the African Diaspora.
  • The department promotes intellectual curiosity, creativity, active learning, and independent thought.
  • The department encourages active participation from our students-scholars in the construction, discovery, recovery, and dissemination of knowledge.
  • The department integrates technology and pedagogy, giving the student-scholar a unique approach to contemporary issues that prepare them for challenges of our multiracial world.
  • The department enhances student’s ability to articulate a greater awareness of the social implications and consequences of a multicultural world.
  • The department gives student-scholars a transformative learning-center intellectual experience.
  • The department believes the educational experience is enhanced by the inclusion of a diverse community of faculty, staff, artists, visiting-scholars, and other guests.