Scholars offering free online Chicano Studies classes

September 18, 2020 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — A group of Chicano Studies professors has launched a program to offer free Chicano Studies classes amid the pandemic.

MeXicanos 2070 this week began holding virtual courses through their program called Colegio Chicano del Pueblo and so far have enrolled more than 75 students from Arizona, California, Illinois, and Michigan.

Prescott College’s Ernesto Todd Mireles says the classes will run eight weeks and cover issues around Chicano politics and Chicano history. At the end of each course, students will be required to hold a virtual town hall meeting in their communities around a certain issue.

He said the classes are rolling and students will have an option later to earn college credit for the courses. The curriculum’s goal is to build a 32-credit program equivalent to a minor in an academic field.

The new effort comes as colleges around the country have seen a drop in enrollments after being forced to hold classes virtually because of COVID-19.

Before the pandemic, Chicano Studies programs and departments nationally were reporting a jump in enrollment. At the University of New Mexico, for example, enrollment in Chicano studies classes on campus jumped from 96 in 2011 to 707 last fall.