Western Illinois University to Eliminate Degree Program in African American Studies

WIUlogoWestern Illinois University in Macomb has announced that is eliminating several degree programs due to a low number of students pursing bachelor’s degrees in these fields. One of the degree programs being eliminated is African American studies.

Students currently majoring in African American studies will be able to continue until they complete their degree but no new majors will be permitted. The university reports that no students in the 2016 graduating class majored in African American studies.

There are more than 9,600 undergraduate students at Western Illinois University. African Americans make up 19 percent of the undergraduate student body. Black studies courses will still be offered and students may pursue a minor in African American studies.

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  1. Jah love. I am really sad and mad about this news. I cannot understand why there were no African American Studies majors in this recent graduating class at Western Illinois University. I think that this is a case of pure sabotage. African Americans are being told that such a major will not yield high earnings or guarantee employment. But, in reality, there are great opportunities to pursue doctoral or graduate degrees in African American Studies at many universities around the country. And, I truly hope and pray that the major is re-instated sometime in the near future. I also feel that the administration has to put more effort and resources to promote the major and encourage students to pursue a degree in African American Studies. Blessed love.

  2. I majored in this department during the early years. There was very little support and respect from university administration then–as I suspect it is now. Many AAS faculty were not awarded tenure after years of excellent teaching and research. Honestly, the department required a strong and committed chair to build the department and proactively promote the discipline among Black students and respond to the support from administrators. Generally speaking, the lack of interest in Black studies by Black students is the result of self-hatred and a lack of confirmation on many levels. Our work continues.

  3. Just a sign of the times, should not be an indictment on race and the future of understanding black history and culture. I applaud my alma mater for continuing the minor studies program because it can offer some great insight, but it is no surprise that with a more culturally diverse world, success can be more predetermined by your character, integrity and how you get a along in this new diverse world.

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