Denver College’s African American Studies Program Gets Reprieve
State officials have decided to keep an African American studies degree at Metropolitan State College for at least two more years, despite low student interest.
Only 13 Metro State students have been awarded the degree in 15 years, well below the Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s requirement that bachelor’s degree programs must graduate at least 20 students in three years or 10 in the current year or face closure.
But the commission decided early this month to give the program two years to increase its numbers after vocal community support for the major.
“The (commission) did the right thing,” says professor C.J. White, chairman of Metro’s African American Studies Department. “Community leaders are pledging support, and we plan to take full advantage of that.”
Metro State promised to create internships in the program at area businesses and nonprofit organizations, add faculty, bolster efforts to recruit students and link the degree to teacher training programs to help create more inner-city teachers.
Other Metro majors with low student numbers have been dropped without getting extensions. Degree programs in urban studies and industrial and technical administration were dropped last year.
“They didn’t have the community backing,” says Provost Cheryl Norton.
Three other majors face termination if numbers do not improve: physics, Chicano studies and surveying and mapping.
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