DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas has launched the Latina/o and Mexican-American Studies program for undergraduate students. The program provides an opportunity for students to learn about Hispanic cultures.
According to the Pew Research Center, Hispanics have accounted for more than half of the United States' growth in the past decade, with a steadfast increase of 50 million Hispanics to the U.S. "The need exists now more than ever to educate students about the complexity, history, politics, sociology and culture of Hispanic communities," said Leticia Anaya, senior lecturer and interim LMAS director.
The UNT LMAS Program was created in the spring 2014 semester as part of the university's response to changing demographics in the workforce. The program was purposely called Latina/o and Mexican American Studies because it has a broader focus. Students who enroll in the program will learn about the Hispanics that come from 22 different countries and collectively make up the Hispanic population in the U.S.
The LMAS program will offer:
- A 15 hour LMAS certificate
- A Bachelor of Arts/Science degree in Integrative Studies with an LMAS thematic concentration that incorporates 36 LMAS-oriented classes. These classes come from six different fields: history, anthropology, sociology, Spanish, English and political science.
The number of Latino studies programs in the nation is steadily increasing in response to changing demographics, with more than 433 Latino studies programs in U.S. colleges now.
"The need for a UNT LMAS program has been voiced for some time," Anaya said. "The UNT LMAS program can help people in many different fields. If a student is pursuing an education field, he or she can benefit from LMAS studies as more students are expected to be Hispanics and there is a greater need to develop the young generation to sustain this economy when the Baby Boomers retire."
The LMAS program will have a kickoff event for the startof the program. The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. on March 21 (Friday) at the Business Leadership Building atrium, 1307 W. Highland St. The event will feature performances by the UNT Mariachi Aguilas, Wilson Ballet Folklorico, Jose Aponte and the UNT Latin Jazz Lab. The long-term goals of the LMAS program are to offer a bachelor’s degree in LMAS and then to establish an LMAS center.
Learn more about the program and the kickoff event online or call Anaya at 940-565-2022.