African American Studies | JCTC

African American Studies

African American Studies

African American Studies will engage students as they seek to learn about African American society and their experiences through history, literature, music and more.

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What is African American Studies?

The African American Studies Certificate provides students with a comprehensive study of the African American, African, and Caribbean experience across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. 

Using an interdisciplinary approach, this program reinforces other courses in the humanities and social sciences including History, Music, Literature, Art, Communication, Sociology, and Anthropology. Students develop critical thinking and analysis skills, and they learn to value social equality, democracy, and humanitarianism. 

The objectives of the African American Studies Certificate also include developing and maintaining a strong tradition of study and research that serves communities at local, state, national, and international levels in the arts as well as within a broad social context.  The outcomes of this certificate program will produce scholars and citizens who are equipped to think critically. Students will also be able to engage with the issues confronting Africa and African Americans in the context of increasingly diverse local and global cultures upon completion of the program.

What are my career options?

Knowledge and skills acquired from this curriculum prepare students for career sectors, such as business, communications, archival management, higher education, K-12, government and public administration, law, nonprofit and community organization, performing arts, psychology, mental and public health, human services, and urban development. 

What are my degree, diploma, or certificate options?

The African American Studies program culminates in a certificate. Many of the courses taken can be used for students seeking to earn an Associate of Arts. Courses taken in the African American Studies program will transfer to four-year universities in Kentucky.


Length of Program

The program is 18 credit hours. If full-time, students can earn the certificate in one academic year.

This information should not be considered a substitute for the KCTCS Catalog. You should always choose classes in cooperation with your faculty advisor to ensure that you meet all degree requirements.


Launch Experience

Other Information

ART 205: African American Art

  • Provides an introduction to African American Art. Examines the creation of the painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, and performance art from the early settlements of the United States to the present. Pre-requisite: Current placement scores for college level- reading established by KCTCS, or completion of RDG 30 or RDG185, and ENC 91. Lecture: 3.0 credits

COM 299: African American Communication

  • A sophomore level study of a selected topic in communication. Pre-requisite:  COM 181 or COM 252 or consent of instructor.  Lecture:  3.0 credits

ENG 264: Major Black Writers

  • Provides a cross-cultural and historical approach to written and oral works by major Black authors of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.  Includes writers such as Chinua Achebe (Africa), Wilson Harris (Caribbean), and Toni Morrison (USA). Pre-requisite: ENG 101. Lecture: 3 credits

HIS 260: Introduction to African American History to 1865

  • Studies the African American experience through the Civil War. Examines African heritage, slavery, and growth of African American institutions.  Lecture:  3 credits

HIS 261: Introduction to African American History, 1865-Present

  • Examines the African American experience from Reconstruction to the present, with emphases on the rise of segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and race relations into the twenty-first century.  Lecture:  3 credits

MUS 207: African American Music History

  • A history of African American music from Pre-colonial West African diasporas through American colonial times to the present.  Requires listening to recordings, reading the primary text and suggested readings in books and periodicals.  Important names, places, events, and styles in music, as well as important historical and sociological trends will be presented within the context of the African American experience.  Lecture:  3 credits


Current FAFSA regulations allow for the cost of courses in the African American Studies program to be paid for via student loans.


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Program Contact

Marlisa Austin

African American Studies


(502) 213-5073

Dr. Susan Savage Lee

African American Studies

Assistant Professor

(502) 213-2398