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Dr. Ron Lopez Controversial program "Ethnic Studies with a Cop" prompts community backlash: Dr. Ron Lopez spoke out in an interview with Bohemian “When the farmworkers’ struggle was going on, the police did not represent the farmworkers or Dolores Huerta; they were there to protect the landowners and property,” López says. “They attacked farmworkers, arrested them and participated in their deportations. And now you’re telling me that a police officer is going to be assisting in instruction of Huerta’s story? It just sort of stretches the imagination.”

The department of Chicano & Latino Studies (CALS) is housed in the School of Arts and Humanities at Sonoma State University and offers several programs of study. Our degree programs offer students the opportunity to employ an interdisciplinary approach to the study of one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Courses in CALS invite students to critically examine the experiences and contributions of Latino populations in relation to issues of political representation, linguistic policy, educational inequality, poverty, immigration, and symbolic struggles in media, literature, and the arts.

  • KNOWLEDGE: Students in our programs explore the concerns, social problems and political issues that inform contemporary Latino experiences. They become familiar with the history of Latino populations in the United States, including forms of resistance and activism such as Chicano rights movement, labor activism, the Puerto Rican struggle for independence, and others.
  • SKILLS: The CALS curriculum aids in the development of students’ writing ability, critical thinking, group project planning and public speaking. All of our majors are required to design and conduct an original capstone research project to hone their skills in qualitative data collection and analysis, written communication, and time management.
  • FUTURE CAREERS: CALS alumni have embarked on a variety of career paths after graduation in fields such as banking, sales, law enforcement, administration and labor organizing. As broadly trained and culturally astute professionals, CALS graduates can take on the challenges of careers in either public service or private enterprise. Graduates who select a Spanish emphasis further enhanced their marketability by refining their oral and written skills in a second language.

Our programs are designed to make a double major/minor possible. We encourage our students to develop a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latinos in the United States.