The Ethnic Studies Program at UW-Platteville is dedicated to awakening the minds and spirits of students to the issues of race and ethnicity. It engages students in the social realities and moral challenges of racism in the United States and around the world.

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary discipline that forges strong scholarly and intellectual connections between history, political economy, anthropology, and the related fields of Native American, African-American, Chicano/a, Asian-American, and women’s and gender studies. The Ethnic Studies program provides students with an analysis of the historical narratives of marginalized groups whose lived experiences are often neglected.

As a field of study, ethnic studies was created out of student activism as students of color at various institutions advocated for courses that reflected their lived experiences. The discipline changed academia by challenging the traditional Eurocentric framing of academic programs, giving voice to communities that were underrepresented in education.

Because of student involvement in its formation, the Ethnic Studies Program at UW-Platteville is dedicated to the development of critical thinking skills in students and encourages their political and social activism.

The Ethnic Studies Program oversees the UW-Platteville curriculum requirement that every student in a degree program complete a three (3) credit course on issues of race and ethnicity. The Ethnic Studies Program offers a minor or certificate for 24 credits or 15 credits, respectively.

About Ethnic Studies

By analyzing and addressing the history and experiences of marginalized groups, we can dismantle the biases that support systemic oppression. This not only enhances student learning, but also increases graduation rates and college attendance. Although critics of ethnic studies programs claim that such programs are divisive and exclusionary, numerous studies show that these programs can, in fact, benefit learning for all students.

Research has also shown that courses that promote diversity are desired by employers. A minor in Ethnic Studies can increase career opportunities for UW-Platteville students. Individuals who have earned a minor in Ethnic Studies will be prepared to interact professionally with colleagues in the global workplace. Additionally, their critical thinking skills will prove invaluable for global corporations, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations. They will also be well-positioned for careers in the law enforcement, human resources, education, and medical fields.