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K-State Today

September 15, 2017

College of Arts and Sciences approves U.S. Multicultural Overlay

Submitted by Noelle Blood

The K-State College of Arts and Sciences approved a U.S. Multicultural Overlay for entering first-year arts and sciences students beginning this semester. The overlay provides a focused list of courses that address the structural nature of inequities in relation to race and ethnicity within contemporary U.S. culture. These courses would simultaneously fulfill the current K-State 8 requirement for Human Diversity in the U.S.

While the existing International Overlay addresses global issues, the purpose of the U.S. Multicultural Overlay differs in its focus on "how social, political, economic and historical issues impact race and/or ethnic relations" within the United States. The content also may intersect with analyses of gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, age, socio-economic status, citizenship status and immigration status.

Approval of the overlay represents two years of work by multiple subcommittees and includes research into diversity requirements at peer institutions. Its enactment was strongly supported by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Arts and Sciences Diversity Committee, the Student Senate and the Diversity 2025 Committee.

"We are very proud of the work our college diversity committee has done to organize and launch this overlay," said Amit Chakrabarti, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "Intersectional knowledge in context of our national culture is essential — now more than ever."

The overlay is recognized by the Degree Audit Reporting System, or DARS, and will not change the required number of hours for degree completion. Forty-nine existing courses from multiple departments currently satisfy the overlay, and the Arts and Sciences Diversity Committee will assess and approve additional courses as submitted by departments.

Students will be contacted annually to take an assessment survey developed by the overlay committee. This program evaluation will continue for a minimum of three years as the program matures.

For more information, contact the Arts and Sciences deans' office at 785-532-6904 or artsci@k-state.edu