TCU Aims to Draw Students of Color, Build ‘Cultural Competence’ in New Program

(This story by KERA reporter Chris Connelly, originally aired on KERA Jan. 3, 2018.)

There’s a new major at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth dedicated to shining a light on issues around race and ethnicity. It’s part of broader efforts at the university to attract and retain more students of color and improve the campus culture.

TCU launched the new Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies program this past fall with two introductory classes aimed at equipping students with tools to analyze how race and ethnicity play out in politics, culture, and society — and giving them a grounding in literature from and about marginalized communities.

On the last week of class of the fall semester, students in one of the intro classes gave final group presentations on African-American college athletes, the experiences of students of color at TCU and on racial health disparities.

There’s another goal to this class and the new program in general: to help students build cultural competence, said Lynn Hampton, a sociologist in the honors college who teaches the intro course.

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