Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Black studies struggle at state universities under current fiscal climate

The Chicago Tribune reports:
Illinois' public universities award tens of thousands of four-year degrees each year. Barely two dozen are in African-American studies.

Illinois Board of Higher Education figures show 14 students at public colleges and universities received a bachelor's in the field in the entire state in 2014, the most recent year for which information is available. Sixty students had declared it as their major that year.

The landscape hasn't changed much over the past 20 years. The most prolific year for the major was in 2012, when 21 students graduated with the degree and 68 picked it as their major. Some years logged only a single-digit number of graduates.

Then, in 2015, the Illinois Board of Higher Education began requiring the 12 state public universities to submit summaries on changes to academic degree programs, and what plans they had for programs that graduate relatively few students.

In that first report, IBHE defined adequate performance as granting at least 12 degrees per school for an associate's program, at least six for a bachelor's, at least five for a master's, and at least one for a doctoral program over a five-year average.

Based on that criteria, five schools listed their four-year programs in African-American studies — also known as Africana studies at some schools — as "low-producing" between 2009 and 2013.
The struggles of "oppression" studies.