Two additional Chicano Studies classes may come soon

Vallerie Flores prepares to bless Pierce College President Kathleen Burke, center left, and Angelita Rovero, professor of Chicano Studies, center right, in an Aztec ritual during the 1st Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration inside The Great Hall in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The event also celebrates the approval of the additional Chicano Studies classes coming to Pierce. Photo: Mohammad Djauhari
Vallerie Flores prepares to bless Pierce College President Kathleen Burke, center left, and Angelita Rovero, professor of Chicano Studies, center right, in an Aztec ritual during the 1st Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration inside The Great Hall in Woodland Hills, Calif. on Thursday, May 5, 2016. The event also celebrates the approval of the additional Chicano Studies classes coming to Pierce. Photo: Mohammad Djauhari

The demands of students for more Chicano Studies courses to be taught on campus are making progress.

Chicano Studies 7 and 8 are on track to be reinstated to Pierce College after being approved May 3 to be sent to the Board of Trustees and then onto the state chancellor, according to Kathy Oborn, the department chair of Political Science, Economics, Criminal Justice and Chicano Studies.

The two core courses cover the history of Mexican Americans in the United States. Oborn said she hopes the classes will be available to students beginning in the spring of 2017.

Latinos constitute 44 percent of the students on campus and because there are currently three sections of Chicano Studies at Pierce, many of them attend other colleges in the district to learn about their history, according to Chicano Studies Professor Angelita Rovero.

Oborn said Chicano Studies was approved for a viability study earlier in the semester and it is likely that will take place in the fall.

“The viability study is to determine whether or not an AA degree in Chicano Studies is needed, desired or in demand,” Oborn said.

If Chicano Studies passes the viability study, the coursework will be evaluated to see what classes need to be added to make the program more educationally robust.

Once that happens it will be sent to the district, followed by the state for approval to become a degree program, which is the eventual goal, according to Oborn.

Chicano Studies sections have been taught at Pierce College since 2005. Pierce is a feeder school to California State University Northridge (CSUN), which has one of the largest Chicano Studies programs in the country, according to Rovero.