Kennesaw State University faced recent pushback from student protestors when it revealed plans to deactivate its African American studies degree. The university has since said it will continue the program, at least through the 2017-18 academic year, and will decide whether to continue its African and African Diaspora Studies program after the 2017-2018 academic year, pending successful recruiting efforts.
According to the university, the program, which started in 2004, consistently failed to meet the minimum number of enrollees and graduates recommended by the Georgia State Board of Regents.
In the last five years, an average of only 10 students were enrolled in the program as majors, according to an enrollment report from the Board of Regents.
This year, no one will graduate from the African and African Diaspora Studies program like in years 2014 and 2015; five students graduated with the degree in 2016; and the program produced one graduate in 2013, according to KSU’s Office of Academic Affairs.
A total of 10 students are currently enrolled in the program, the university reports.
Enrollment numbers for African-American studies programs at other state universities aren’t much higher. In the last five years, the University of Georgia enrolled an average of just four students in its African-American Studies program. Savannah State University, a smaller, historically black college, had an average of nine students.
Georgia State University is an exception to that trend, enrolling an average of 46 students over those five years.
Kennesaw State is now working with its African and African Diaspora Studies program leaders to develop a plan to attract more students. In the spring of 2018, the university intends to evaluate the program again to determine its viability.