Skip to main content

Strategic Plan for the African American Studies Department

Fall 2023-Spring 2029

With the approval and agreement of the chair, faculty, staff, and student advisory board of the AAS Department at the University of Houston, we will work towards achieving the following strategic goals.

1) Strengthen Undergraduate Experience for today’s student and tomorrow’s AAS graduate
  1. Increase Experiential Learning:
    • Develop more internships for AAS majors and minors.
    • Integrate community engagement into at least three AAS courses.
  2. Prepare AAS majors and minors for graduate and professional school admission:
    • Offer programs that provide information about careers for AAS graduates.
    • Create opportunities for majors and minors to meet alumni and community leaders.
    • Provide career advising in the AAS Office.
  3. Provide intellectual and physical space for student engagement:
    • Design a space within or near the AAS main office that is designated for student study and collaboration.
    • Have at least two events per year where majors can meet and engage with AAS faculty outside the classroom.
  4. Build interesting and relevant curriculum that ignites imaginative ideas:
    • Revise the current curriculum (2022-2023) to reflect the continuum between the past, present, and future.
    • Introduce new courses with studies on health in the US and global Africa.
    • Include studies on gender, sexuality, and disability across the curriculum.
    • Create learning opportunities that are futuristic in goal and scope.
    • Develop and offer an Honor’s program in conjunction with the College’s program.
  5. Ensure pathways towards graduation:
    • Create pipeline programs for high school students that prepare them to major in AAS at UH.
    • Offer programs designed to prepare current students for success at the university.
    • Increase scholarship funding to support current and incoming students.
  6. Integrate global studies into curriculum:
    • Expand support for short and long term study abroad opportunities in Africa and other countries.
    • Build relationships with local African world communities.

 2) Expand and support AAS Research among faculty and students

  • Expand the number of Tenure/Tenure track faculty from 3.5 to 6.5.
  • Become a hub for solutions that address local and global challenges, today and in the future.
  • Increase student engagement in research.
  • Build interdisciplinary research networks and collaborations across CLASS, campus, and the nation.
  • Increase external funding by 2 submissions each year.

 3) Increase Community Engagement

  • Identify and build relationships with local organizations that serve majority Black populations and that can offer internships or other opportunities for student experiential learning.
  • Identify and build relationships with national and international organizations that support Black studies-related endeavors.
  • Develop incubator for African American Studies thought.
  • Build partnerships with high schools and community colleges.
  • Offer programs/events that are open and accessible to the public.