College - Author 1

College of Liberal Arts

Department - Author 1

History Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BA in History



Primary Advisor

Anne Reid


Ethnic studies in California's high schools has a 51-year history, beginning in 1968. The growth of ethnic studies has occurred through this period and can be separated into four key time periods. The growth of ethnic studies across these time periods have been issues of ethnic segregation, ethnic self-determination, educational inequalities and immigration issues The greatest period of expansion for ethnic studies has been the 5-year period from 2014-2018, when numerous high school districts adopted new courses and requirements for ethnic studies.

One such high school district to expand its ethnic studies department was Santa Maria Joint Union High School District (SMJUHSD). These course offers a key case study in the way it follows the statewide trends of growth over time, but also is unique in its course offerings, namely with the course "Ethnic and Social Justice in US History." It is important to study SMJUHSD and other school districts as there is currently no statewide requirement for ethnic studies courses.