picture of vpac

Central American Studies

Download (.pdf)


College of Humanities

  • Coordinator: Douglas Carranza Mena
  • Sierra Hal (SH) 194, Jerome Richfield (JR) 219
  • (818) 677-2736
  • www.csun.edu/cas

Overview

Programs

Mission Statement

The Central American Studies Program has a tri-fold mission: to empower the large and growing Central American community in the U.S. by promoting academic excellence, community involvement and cultural diversity; to open spaces of global citizenship and dialogue between academia and society that contribute to the construction of a Central American transnational identity; and to promote an understanding and appreciation of the diverse Central American cultures, ethnicities, experiences and worldviews from an interdisciplinary global perspective.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Undergraduate Program

The Central American Studies Program has identified five learning outcomes:

  1. 1. Students will develop critical thinking, writing and reading skills.
  2. 2. Students will acquire an awareness of the complexity of the historical, social and cultural developments in Central America as well as an understanding of the diverse Central American cultures, ethnicities, experiences and worldviews.
  3. 3. Students will expand their understanding of the transnational Central American community’s experience and its economic and cultural contributions to the U.S. and Central America.
  4. 4. Students will develop the intellectual and social foundations and leadership skills necessary for promoting social change in U.S. society, especially in relation to Central American peoples in the U.S.
  5. 5. Students will recognize, understand, evaluate and change the culture of exclusion that has been prevalent in Central America and the U.S.

Student Organization

The Central American United Student Association (CAUSA) strives for the growing Central American community in the U.S. to succeed in the world of higher education and to prepare an influential vanguard of future leaders who will impact the changing global, political and economic arenas. CAUSA’s objective also is to raise and promote awareness of the Central American community at CSUN and in the Los Angeles area. As a result, the Central American Studies Program works in collaboration with CAUSA in the organization of events and community programs. CAUSA maintains a collaborative partnership with other sister organizations on and off campus, works on student recruitment and community support and plays a significant role in the formation of student leadership.

Academic Advisement

All program faculty members are advisors: Douglas Carranza Mena and Beatriz Cortez. Call (818) 677-2736 for information on advisement office hours or for an appointment.

Research Institute

The Central American Research and Policy Institute (CARPI) was established in 2001 for the purpose of developing research, policy and knowledge supporting the socioeconomic, cultural and civic development of the transnational Central American community in the U.S. and Central America. Policy development and academic research includes issues of common concern such as immigration, civil society, economic development and cultural identity of Central Americans. The research sponsored by CARPI is:

  1. 1. Undertaken by faculty mentors, experts in the discipline and trained students.
  2. 2. Focused on concrete issues in the lives of the community.
  3. 3. Aimed at helping the community understand itself and the challenges and changes it faces.
  4. 4. The basis for viable proposals for community advancement in the future.

CARPI brings faculty, students and community together as partners and participants in creating and disseminating the knowledge that will enable the Central American community to live up to its tremendous potential.