Ethnic Studies

Ethnic studies uses interdisciplinary methods to understand culture and race in the United States. Studies may be undertaken from the perspective of anthropology, history, political science, sociology, literature, religion, economics, ecology, art and/or music. These courses help students understand people of various ethnic backgrounds, as well as, to better understand the United States. Students may also take these courses to better understand themselves.

Contact Information

Ethnic Studies Faculty Contact 

Octavio Barajas | octaviob@cos.edu

Social Sciences Division Chair

Marla Prochnow | (559) 730-3723 | socialsciencechair@cos.edu

Catherine Medrano | (559) 730-3950 | socialsciencechair@cos.edu 

Dean of Business, Social Science, and Consumer Family Studies

Jesse Wilcoxson, Ed.D. | (559) 737-6281 | jessew@cos.edu 
Kern: 716 | Visalia Campus

For a complete list of courses and descriptions visit: COURSES


ETHN 001 Black American Studies 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This course uses an interdisciplinary approach to Black Studies covering periods of social, cultural and historical development. Topics include African civilization, slavery, the Diaspora, abolition, reconstruction, segregation, Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights Movement. Field trips may be a part of this course.
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: ENGL 251 or ENGL 261 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C or eligibility for ENGL 001 as determined by COS Placement Procedures.
ETHN 002 American Indian Studies 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will focus on the historical, social, religious, ecological, economic, and artistic characteristics of various Indian Nations, as well as U.S. Government policy toward Indians. Special attention will be given to San Joaquin Valley Indians. Field trips may be part of this course.
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: ENGL 251 or ENGL 261 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C or eligibility for ENGL 001 as determined by COS Placement Procedures.
ETHN 003 Chicana and Chicano Studies 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
The course studies the Chicana and Chicano community and culture in American society from Pre-Colombian roots. The Chicana and Chicano contributions and conflicts in American society are studied using an interdisciplinary approach (anthropology, history, sociology, literature, art and music).
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: ENGL 251 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C or eligibility for ENGL 001 as determined by COS Placement Procedures.
ETHN 004 Asian American Studies 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
This course explores Asian American, immigrant, and refugee experiences in the United States (Southeast Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Filipino). Using an interdisciplinary approach (social, historical, cultural, religious, geographic, economic, linguistic, and artistic), special attention will be given to major Asian communities in the San Joaquin Valley (Lao, Hmong, Mien, Lahu, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Filipino).
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: ENGL 251 or ENGL 261 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C or eligibility for ENGL 001 as determined by COS Placement Procedures.
ETHN 005 Ethnic Origins of Whiteness 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
An examination of the various ethnic groups that came to America from Europe. Topics include: motives for migration, immigration, assimilation, social mobility, social change, the evolution of a racialized white identity over time, and the creation of a modern multicultural society. Special attention will be given to the migration of Euro-Americans into the San Joaquin Valley.
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: ENGL 001 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C or better.
ETHN 010 Introduction to Social Justice Studies 3 unit(s)
Hours: 3 Lecture/Discussion
Equivalent Course: ETHN 110
Inter-disciplinary study to race, and ethnicity, in the United States. Examines social justice movements in relation to ethnic and racial groups in the United States to provide a basis for a better understanding of the socio-economic, cultural and political conditions among key social groups.
Advisory on Recommended Preparation: ENGL 251 or ENGL 261 or equivalent college course with a minimum grade of C or eligibility for ENGL 001 determined by COS Placement Procedures.

Ethnic Studies

Barajas, Octavio
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., University of Texas at Austin