University News

WIU Offers African and African Diaspora World Studies Graduate Certificate

January 17, 2006

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MACOMB, IL – Interdisciplinary perspectives on the study of Africa and the African Diaspora is now offered as a post-baccalaureate certificate through Western Illinois University and the department of African American Studies. The new certificate program, approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, is effective Spring 2006.

“This is a truly global interdisciplinary area of study that offers students advanced opportunity for intellectual inquiry about people of African descent in the United States, Africa, South America and the Caribbean, Europe and other parts of the world that people of African ancestry call home,” said Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, associate professor and chair of Western’s department of African American studies.

“Because of its global focus, this program will increase the students’ opportunities in employment areas that require knowledge of international studies. Educators interested in increasing their competence in diversity education or in issues relating to African Americans, or those who want greater knowledge and competence in teaching cultures and traditions of people of African ancestry, will find this program most rewarding,” he added.

The program would also greatly benefit individuals who have served or intend to serve in the Peace Corps in Africa or its Diaspora by giving them additional world knowledge and a new academic passion, according to Na’Allah, who noted its natural link to Western’s Peace Corps Fellows Program.

The 12-sememster hour program will include theory, research methods and study electives that promote the thoughtful analysis in literacy, political, cultural, educational, legal, health and other disciplines in African and African Diaspora World Studies beyond the realms of traditional disciplines of mainstream academia, according to Na’Allah.

Applicants for admission to the certificate program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and be admissible to Western as a non-degree graduate student. Currently enrolled or future master's degree students can also enroll in the certificate program. For more information contact Na’Allah at, call 309/298-1181 or visit the web site at

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