By Rachel Hay/Staff writer

An African/African-American studies minor, and a 12-hour certificate have been added to the College of Arts and Sciences this semester, to promote campus diversity.It is an “undergraduate interdisciplinary program that explores the histories, societies, and cultures of Africans and people of African descent in the Americas …” according to the summary proposal.

The minor requires 18 hours of classes. The courses included in the curriculum cover a variety of subjects, including the history of the African-American culture.

One of the core courses for the minor is the mid-semester Literature of African class, starting Oct. 12. Also, the Major Black Writers course is offered this semester.

Included for Spring 2004 is the Pan-African Studies course. The African-American Experience will be offered in Fall 2004, according to the program’s pamphlet.

The certificate was offered because there might be students “who don’t want to go to school full-time,” according to Director Salome Nnoromele.

The program directors are Peter Alegi and Nnoromele. The program will allow students to learn about the cultures of the African-American, and there are hopes for traveling to visit African countries, Nnoromele said.

She hopes students will celebrate their culture, or one they are interested in, according to Nnoromele.

“It’s for everyone,” she said, stating any student with an interest in learning about the African-American culture is welcome, even if they are not of the culture.

Nnoromele remembered two years ago, teaching a Literature of Africa class and how the idea came to her from that class.

She went to Frankfort interdisciplinary conference and said she came back with the mission to start the new minor.

Those involved with the planning of the minor also included: D.B. Barnett, Bruce Davis, Rita Davis, Timothy Kiogora, Paula Kopacz, Paula Moore, Christopher Neumann, Aaron Thompson, Neil Wright and Sara Zeigler.

Thompson helped with administrating and started a fund for the program. The budget was “not favorable,” according to Nnoromele. However, the board approved the minor in June.

“He [Thompson] was especially helpful with support and initiative for the program,” she said.

“Campus is progressive,” Thompson said. “This program will give a knowledge base that has been missing [from campus].”

Zeigler helped with designing and getting the approval on the “college level.” There were two goals involved with the program, she said.

“One is to get interested students into a minor. The second is a message of importance of different cultures,” she said.

Zeigler said part of the process was finding the courses that would fit in the minor. Some “brand new” classes had to be added for the program.

“We hope the program grows … but we can’t do that without students,” Nnoromele said.

She hopes to eventually add a Korean studies minor as well.

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