Diversity Studies

CCA’s Diversity Studies program, chaired by Melinda de Jesús, offers an intensive exploration of cultural diversity in America and in other world cultures that have made an impact on American society.

Watch Under the Radar »

Mission Statement

A commitment to social change and social justice informs the program’s investigations into the processes and constructions of racial/ethnic, gender/sexual, and socioeconomic inequalities.

Diversity Studies seminar and studio courses educate and inform students about the contributions of historically underrepresented, indigenous, immigrant, and forced migratory communities to American arts, history, culture, and society.

The courses also introduce students to the interrelations between global communities and the impact of race/ethnicity and cultural formation to art making and design practices. This approach to study enables students to become capable critical thinkers and well-informed artists who are better prepared to function effectively in an increasingly complex and diverse U.S. society.

Moreover, students will develop the necessary analytical skills to understand the historical and cultural achievements of diverse communities to the arts and society as a whole.

CCA’s Diversity Studies requirement may be satisfied only with the transfer of a course from another four-year accredited institution with ethnic, diversity, or American studies programs.

Note: The program chair must pre-approve all credit transfers.

Download the Diversity Studies Transfer Request Form (PDF).


  • Critique the theoretical frameworks of mainstream art and culture by decentering Eurocentric canons in order to achieve an increased understanding, appreciation, and respect for the diverse range of arts, cultures, histories, traditions, and modes of communication of global communities

  • Explore, analyze, and study the social, political, and economic contexts of cultural production and artistic expressions, as well as realize an expanded consciousness of the true potential of the United States if diversity were fully manifested

  • Provide a rigorous and disciplined examination of the past and present experiences of historically oppressed and underrepresented racial/ethic groups in the United States

  • Identify, acknowledge, and critique the effects of institutionalized oppression and dominant group privilege in relationship to the arts world

  • Provide an opportunity for students to engage with local and global diverse communities, and accurately interpret their social and cultural experiences

  • Expose students to artists and scholars who position diversity as a core value in their work

  • Expand, diversify, and influence the content and pedagogical approaches to teaching throughout the college’s curriculum

Student Outcomes

Upon completion of the Diversity Studies program students will have . . .

  • Gained an in-depth understanding of issues, traditions, and/or themes arising from the history, culture, and present condition of diverse communities, particularly the historically underrepresented, immigrant and forced-migratory communities of the United States

  • Learned to question traditional disciplinary boundaries and their underlying assumptions as well as the relationship of social/political institutions to literature, art, and cultural practices

  • Fostered an understanding of the material and social conditions of contemporary life in the United States as they intersect with the global community

  • Developed a historical understanding of diversity studies as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry, particularly the systematic institutional exclusions that led to its official development in the late 1960s as ethnic studies

  • Implemented skills in creative problem solving and applied them to critical social issues

  • Acquired an appreciation for diversity through developing expansive worldviews

Download the Diversity Studies Learning Objectives (PDF)»

Under the Radar Video

Under the Radar: A Symposium about Diversity and In/Visibility in the Arts