FAQ for Instructors

Q: What is the CC Certificate?
The Certificate is a unique interdisciplinary minor anchored by the “Multicultural America 150” core courses and community engagement through service learning. Only courses carrying General Education accreditation may be affiliated, so students can complete most of their “Gen Ed” requirements while also earning the Certificate.

Q: I see in the schedule that my class is a CC affiliate. How did that happen?
Your department has chosen to affiliate the course permanently because it meets our learning goals and conforms to our guidelines. Whoever teaches the course should make sure the syllabus is in alignment with this commitment. Affiliation means a student can count this course towards fulfillment of the Certificate.

Q: How does affiliation affect my course design?
All affiliated courses should include a number of relevant CC Learning Goals and assignments that enable students to meet those goals. See our CC Learning Goals page for more information.

Q: Do all CC courses require Service Learning?
No, this is only true of the “Multicultural America” core courses. But we do encourage instructors to consider integrating a service learning assignment into their course. The UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research office will be happy to meet with you to discuss the possibilities and assist you in the logistics. Call 414 229-3161.

Q: Must all CC classes focus on “cultural diversity”?
This is a complicated question. At UWM, all students must take one 3 credit course focused on “Minority Cultural Diversity in America,” which must be approved at the campus level. Many CC courses carry that designation, but many do not. Yet questions about diversity are often important in these other classes. Our “Guidelines for Courses” suggest how critical examinations of diversity can be incorporated in your syllabus. The CC program thus aims to infuse scholarship, teaching, and student reflection about diversity across the curriculum, and not simply in the officially designated required courses.

Q: I would like to teach for CC. Where do I start?
Begin by contacting CC Director Dr. Robert Smith. He meets with interested faculty to explore course possibilities, pedagogical ideas, engagement projects, and student assignments. It may be that a currently approved course can be revised so as to meet the affiliation requirements. Or a new course could be designed. Call 414 229-5960 or email smithrs@uwm.edu.

Multicultural America 150 Course

Q: What must the course cover?
MA 150 must fulfill the UWM General Education criteria for “Minority Cultural Diversity in America”. CC asks that each version of MA 150 offer a comparative approach to the experience of multiple ethno-racial groups in the United States. Normally the course also fulfills UWM General Education criteria for one of the divisions (Natural Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts).

Q: How is MA 150 related to the Cultures & Communities Certificate Program?
MA 150 is the required Certificate core course. The requirement may be fulfilled with any section of MA 150 from any department. Students often come to MA 150 after learning about the Program by taking other related classes. There is no limit to the number of MA 150 courses in different departments that a student may take.

Q: Is Service Learning required in MA 150?
Yes. The standard is 15 hours during the semester. Service learning placements are normally set up and coordinated by our Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research. Winterim and Summer sections of MA 150 usually do not include a service learning component. Online sections of MA 150 during regular semesters include service learning.

Q: How many students does a typical MA 150 enroll?
This depends on the norms of the department and discipline, but CC prefers that sections be limited to 40 students or less. This is in part because of the extra effort for everyone that Service Learning entails. Most CC classes also involve numerous written reflections that are time-consuming to read and grade.

Q: Are there prerequisites for enrollment in MA 150?
No. The course is open to any UWM undergraduate. Sections typically enroll students at every level, since many are seeking to fulfill GER requirements before graduation or have just learned about the CC Certificate Program and want to earn it before graduation.

Q: How do I create an MA 150 for my department?
Once you are familiar with the CC program, talk to your department Chair or Undergraduate Director to clarify your department’s process for creating new permanent courses. Meet with the CC staff to review ideas for the syllabus. Study the UWM GER criteria carefully, especially the requirements for documenting assessment on the proposed syllabus. Work with the department to create a Course Approval Request (CAR) form, which must be reviewed by the CC Director. Submit the final CAR form for approval by UWM’s Academic Program and Curriculum Committee.