RMC Establishes Black Studies Major

News Story categories: Black Studies Faculty

Randolph-Macon College is pleased to announce that the faculty recently approved a major in Black Studies. The new major, which entails a series of structured elective and required classes in multiple departments and programs, is designed to complement the college’s wide variety of majors and minors. The college has for many years offered a Black Studies minor; its popularity inspired the creation of the new major. Randolph-Macon College is the first Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) school to offer this major.

“The Black Studies major, which was implemented in spring 2020, is an important area of academic inquiry missing in most colleges and universities in Central Virginia,” says History Professor Alphine Jefferson, director of the Black Studies program. “The major offers students unique opportunities to learn and grow, and it exemplifies RMC’s ongoing commitment to fostering a community of culturally aware, globally conscious and socially responsible citizens.”

Multiple Applications
The Black Studies major is an important addition to the curriculum because students can deeply explore a subject that has academic, cultural, ethical, and practical applications.

“In many ways, a major in Black Studies is the perfect diversity, inclusion and multicultural credential,” says Jefferson. In addition to Introduction to Black Studies and the Senior Seminar in Black Studies, which are required courses, students can explore a variety of other classes that complement majors and minors in other departments and programs. African American History,  the Antebellum South, the Black Novel as History, African History and Civilization, African Politics, African American Psychology, Racial and Ethnic Relations, African American Religion, National Model African Union, Peoples of Africa, and Social Inequality have been popular Black Studies courses at RMC.

Beyond the Classroom
Like all RMC students, Black Studies majors can participate in a tailor-made internship, conduct research under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and study abroad. Throughout the years, students in Black Studies classes have traveled to Brazil, the Caribbean, Cuba, Ghana, Guatemala, and Kenya.  

Dynamic Academic and Career Opportunities
“As the world becomes more connected and businesses and companies seek a more culturally aware and globally educated work force, Black Studies is an ideal area of study for a variety of careers,” notes Jefferson.

With international and local businesses and organizations increasingly recruiting and serving diverse populations, Black Studies majors will find themselves with multiple career choices. Many make careers as a coordinator, director or vice president of diversity and inclusion programs in a variety of organizations. Black Studies majors also work in local and municipal government agencies, private and public companies, law enforcement, and social service agencies. In addition, Black Studies majors are accepted into first-tier graduate programs in law, graduate, medical, and theology schools.