Mission and Goals

The mission of the Black World Studies Program is to provide an excellent university experience for majors and general education students in the discipline of black studies.

Black studies is a discipline that investigates African peoples' experience from the perspective of their interests, aspirations, possibilities, and envisioned destinies. These experiences range from the earliest human civilizations, to the tragic era of enslavement, colonization, forced migration, displacement, and reconstruction of African people's humanity and life ways.

The foundation of black studies intellectual inquiry begins with an appreciation and understanding of African philosophy and world view. Key distinguishing features of the discipline include its emphasis on the agency and intellectual achievements of Africana peoples. The mission of Black World Studies is accomplished generically through the accomplishment of specific goals which are then further clarified by learning objectives.

The goals of the Black World Studies program may be divided into the three domains:

  • cognitive (What should students know?)
  • performance/skill (What can students do?)
  • affective (What should students care about?)

Objectives are brief and clear statements of learning outcomes of instruction. Although goals express intended outcomes they are nevertheless conceived of as being broad and employ global language, whereas objectives use more precise terms. Objectives are related to and flow from the goals and take the goals to the level of action by operationalizing the goals.

* Adopted by BWS Executive Committee - 2012. Adapted from "Affecting Institutionalization: Assessment of Student Learning in Africana Studies" by Charles E. Jones, Adele Newson-Horst , Alfred Young, and Shawnrece Miller. 2008. Journal of Black Studies, vol. 39, no. 1 (Sept), pp. 43-56.