History of Chicano Studies
The University of Texas at El Paso has 25,078 students, of which 80% are mostly of Mexican origin, reflecting the ethnic composition of the U.S.-Mexico border region it serves. In addition, UTEP has one of the largest enrollments of Mexican nationals and a strong nexus with Mexican institutions of higher education. UTEP aspires to become a tier-one University with a 21st Century demographic profile.
The Chicano Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso was founded in 1970 as a result of strong community and student political action. The Program has grown tremendously since then in scope and student enrollment. Chicano Studies continues to be an instructional and research program dedicated to the study of the Mexican origin population in the United States, its antecedents and salient contemporary socioeconomic issues. The program is expanding its scope to include other Latino groups. Chicano Studies currently offers an undergraduate academic major and four academic minors under the Bachelor of Arts degree program. In addition, under the auspices of the Extended University, Chicano Studies offers a BA degree online. The unit intends to become an academic department and to offer a graduate curriculum that includes a certificate and MA degree.
Chicano Studies offers a comprehensive cultural dissemination program to the El Paso community and student body. Regional cultural production is conveyed through the annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration in the fall, the César Chávez Celebration in the spring and various publication outlets, such as an Occasional Papers Series and the book series Diversidad sin Violencia by Eón Ediciones in Mexico City. Faculty, students and community members participate in a wide range of research fellowship, internship and community service initiatives, as well as international academic exchange and research programs.
Chicano Studies has a well-established U.S.-Mexico Border research component. The program regularly houses scholars from the U.S., Europe, Cuba, Asia and Mexico that are engaged in research projects that focus on the region and/or the Mexican origin population. The UTEP Library and Chicano Studies archives are significant resources of the University that attract scholars. Chicano Studies is an active member of research consortia like the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, the Cátedra Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos para Estudios de Violencia de Género and the Seminario Binacional Diversidad sin Violencia. Additionally, Chicano Studies has operated a research exchange program with the Centro de Estudios Hemisféricos y sobre Estados Unidos (CEHSEU) at the Universidad de La Habana since 1994