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Division Of Interdisciplinary Studies At The Center For Worker Education



The Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education offers students the opportunity to focus their studies through a number of key concentration areas. Most courses are offered in rotation over the span of several semesters. Keep in mind that the B.A. degree is interdisciplinary, which means that students usually take courses from several disciplines, along with courses from outside the chosen concentration area.

Childhood Studies
Urban Studies and Public Administration
Literature, Communication, and the Arts
Cultural and Historical Studies
Human Services
Labor Studies


Literature, Communication & The Arts
This concentration is designed for students interested in studying literature, art history, writing and journalism, public speaking and rhetoric, film, theatre, music, and media communications. The concentration is also designed for students who work in arts administration and education, public speaking, writing, public relations, publishing, and mass media. This concentration prepares students for further studies in literature, Journalism, Creative Writing, Media Studies, American Studies, and, paired with history and political science course offerings, the concentration can be a preparation for law school. All students within the literature and communication concentration are strongly urged to take coursework in cultural and social theory as well as history courses that enable a student to bring a social/historical context to the study of the movements within literature, the arts, and media institutions.

These courses are recommended as a foundation for the concentration:

English Composition or Writing, Knowing, and Current Events
Core Humanities I and II
Writing for the Humanities
Introduction to Media and Communication Arts
Introduction to Journalism
Foundations of Speech, Oral Interpretation, Advanced Public Speaking, and/or Argumentation and Debate
Introduction to Creative Writing
Critical Reading and Writing

Students interested in literature and creative writing should consider courses from the categories of Creative Writing Workshops, English Literature, American Literature, Africana Literature, Literary Perspectives on Women, and Historical Studies in World and Comparative Literature. See the CCNY Bulletin for more detailed course descriptions and listings and consult with your advisor.

Students interested in Journalism should consider:

Introduction to Journalism
Reporting and Writing
News & Society

Students interested in language, literacy, and pedagogy should consider:

Creole Sociolinguistics
Black English
Literacy, Culture, and Power
Sociology of Education
Language and Literacy
Advanced Grammar
Peer Tutoring Workshop

Those interested in Media Studies should consider:

Video Documentary Workshop I and II
Introduction to Film Studies
New York City in Film
Labor and Film
Special topics in film/filmmaking

Students of this concentration are also encouraged to develop critical skills and content knowledge in the disciplines of music, music history, art, art history, philosophy courses, as well as interdisciplinary courses in science and the arts:

Drawing I and II
Art History I & II
Courses in the art and architecture of African, Oceanic, and New World Cultures
Women and World Art
Women and Art in New York City
African American Visual Artists
Jazz History
Music and Social Narrative
Latin American Music
Introduction to Classical Music
Reason, Knowledge, and Values
The History of Philosophy
From Frankenstein to Frankenfoods

Cultural and Historical Studies
Cultural and Historical Studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the social contexts of cultural expression. Students gain an appreciation for the multi-layered levels of meaning involved in producing and interpreting literature, music, art, media, and other forms of popular expression as well as the institutional frameworks that contribute to cultural discourse.

The following courses may be considered as a foundation for this concentration:

General Anthropology
Cross-cultural perspectives
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Culture, Knowledge, Power
Urban Anthropology
Critical Reading and Writing
American Cultural Patterns
African American Art and Aesthetics
Foundations of Social Theory I & II

A distribution of courses from Women’s Studies/Gender Studies, African-American Studies, Latin American/Caribbean Studies, Literature and Communication Arts is fundamental to a well-rounded concentration in Cultural Studies.

Human Services

The Human Services concentration prepares students to work in such fields as public and community-based education, health, housing, employment, job training, and welfare. These services are usually delivered by public or private non-profit agencies. Students interested in careers or further study in the area of human resources or personnel management might also consider courses within the human services concentration.

Preparation for entry into M.S.W. programs, as well as for entry-level social service positions, should include the following courses:

Principles of Social WorkSociology of Social Welfare Institutions I
Sociology of Social Welfare Institutions II
(all three of the above courses include a fieldwork component)
Community Organization
Sociological Statistics
Psychology in the Modern World
Social Science Interviewing

Human Services students are encouraged to take a wide range of courses in the social sciences that help to illuminate those areas of the Human Services that interest them. For example, one might take courses dealing with youth, aging, employment, housing, as well as courses in government, law, history, anthropology, ethnic studies, gender studies, and social and cultural theory.

Preparation for admission to graduate Psychology programs requires completion of a major in Psychology. Talk to your advisor about this possibility and consider taking the following courses:

Psychology in the Modern World
Psychology as the Science of Behavior
Applied Statistics (or Sociological Statistics)
Experimental Psychology

Students interested in the Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology at CUNY, a highly competitive program, should consult with faculty members in the CCNY Psychology Department as early as possible.

Those interested in careers in schools as School Psychologists or Guidance Counselors should know that the entry or license requirement for New York City public schools is an appropriate graduate degree in one of those fields. Most graduate programs in those fields are open only to those with a teaching background.

Those interested in Human Resources should take the following courses:

Psychology in the Modern World
Psychology as the Science of Behavior
Psychology Applied to Work
Behavior in Organizations
Psychological Testing
Experimental Psychology
Sociological Statistics
Social Science Interviewing
Introduction to Labor Studies
Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations
Workers’ Rights & the Law
Work and Workers
Women and Work

Other career possibilities in the Human Services include Community Health Education specialists, who should follow the recommendations for social work and take such courses in health issues as these:

Health & Health Care in NYC
American Health Systems
History of American Health CareThe Human Body
Plagues Past and Present

Labor Studies
Labor Studies focuses on work and workers, both union members and the unorganized, and includes their communities and the organizations that represent them and it does so from the perspectives of such disciplines as economics, history, and political science. Students in this concentration will become familiar with the major issues affecting workers today, such as the impact of technology, economic globalization, and the changing contexts of politics and labor law. They will also examine the intersections of race and gender and the term “workers.” This concentration prepares students for graduate work in labor relations or the social sciences, and for positions such as union organizer, researcher, or education director in labor organizations. Labor Studies also prepares students to work in community organizations, in human resources departments, and in governmental agencies.

Students are encouraged to develop their skills in effective written and oral communications, and to take as many courses as possible in economics, history and political science, social theory and cultural studies.

The following courses are suggested for all students interested in completing a concentration in Labor Studies:

Introduction to Labor Studies
The History of American Labor
Economics of Labor
Trade Unionism in the U.S.
Comparative Labor Movements
Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations
Workers Rights and the Law
Seminar in Labor Studies-internships and research projects with labor unions.

The Seminar in Labor Studies, involving an internship or research position in a labor union, is an important part of the concentration. The seminar involves working one day or two evenings per week for a local or national union. Students are supervised by union leaders or staff members and will work in areas such as organizing, education, grievances and arbitration, collective bargaining, research, and occupational health and safety.

Further study in history includes:

The Age of Revolution
Progressivism and Radicalism
Comparative Slavery: Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, U.S.
Modern Radical Movements

Further study of labor and race, gender, and ethnicity includes:

African-American Labor
Women and Work
Hispanics in U.S.-Migration

Further study in other social sciences includes:

Cross-cultural Perspectives
Work & WorkersIntroduction to Public Policy
Introduction to the Legal Process
Psychology of Work
Behavior in Organizations
Urban Sociology