Prairie View A&M University Offers Students New Bachelor’s Degree Option In African American Studies

Prairie View A&M University Offers Students New Bachelor’s Degree Option In African American Studies

After 150 years, this Texas HBCU has expanded its student learning curriculum.

Prairie View A&M University has launched a new opportunity for its students, offering attendees an option to earn a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies through the institution’s new $1 million initiative, Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU.

Prairie View issued says the program is a part of President Ruth J. Simmons’s vision at the historically Black college or university (HBCU). The curriculum prepares students to be emerging leaders through communication, critical thinking, and research. Students are expected to be equipped with resources to enhance their approach to any field of work through a comprehensive cultural lens.

“A part of the HBCU experience for many students is a journey to self-identification, Blackness, and trying to understand the Black experience better,” said Director and Associate Professor of AAS Jeanelle Hope, Ph.D. “It [African American Studies] provides students with the language to understand the world around them and an opportunity to engage key theories, concepts, and methods that seek to make sense of the Black experience and amplify our narratives.”

The initiative is reportedly funded partly by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, an anonymous contribution, and a matching grant.

According to Prairie View A&M, the university is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state, offering baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs for students to achieve excellence in teaching, research, and service.

The Texas Constitution designated the university as an institution of “the first class” as students have graduated to become leaders in education, agriculture, engineering, nursing, and the arts and sciences.

According to The Chicago Tribune, San Francisco State University faculty and student activists established the nation’s first Black studies department in 1968. HBCUs, including Morehouse College, Spelman College, Howard University, and Florida A&M University, are some of the other institutions that offer AAS programs.