First community college in Massachusetts to offer Black Studies as a major

BROCKTON, Mass (July 24, 2023) – This fall, Massasoit Community College will offer students the opportunity to major in Black Studies. The two-year degree program is the first of its kind at a community college in Massachusetts and is designed to meet the growing interest for culturally responsive programs at Massasoit.

The new Black Studies associate of arts degree program will provide an interdisciplinary arena in which students learn to critically examine, analyze, and interpret Black experiences in American society. Black Studies and related programs have been offered at four-year colleges since the 1960s, and Massasoit’s new program – designed with transfers to these schools in mind – will make the discipline more accessible. Graduates can look forward to promising careers in education, human/social services, non-profits, government, and private industry.

“As interest in Black and African American studies increases among our current and future students, we are excited to launch this new degree program to teach the Black experience and prepare our students for lifelong, rewarding careers,” said Ray DiPasquale, president of Massasoit Community College. “At an interdisciplinary level, Massasoit’s outstanding faculty are ready to explore and share the rich history, culture, and contributions of Black people in our country.”

Many of the courses available to complete the Black Studies degree, including African American Literature, Black Images in Film, and The Black Experience Through Music have been offered at Massasoit since 2012. New courses to complement these include Intro to Black Studies, Caribbean: History, People, and Culture, Contemporary Issues in the Black Community, and the Black Arts Movement. These courses will prepare students to complete a four-year degree at many schools across Massachusetts and all qualify for the MassTransfer program.

“The Black Studies Program at Massasoit demonstrates our commitment to teaching liberatory and timely curricula that centers the rich history and experiences of Black Americans,” said Rachel Jessica Daniel, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Employee Enrichment and Development and an adjunct professor of English who teaches African American Literature at Massasoit. “We are excited to share this critical body of scholarship so that our students can continue to make meaningful connections between their lived experiences, the classroom, and our communities, while also preparing them for successful careers in the workplace and in other higher education institutions.”

The Black Studies degree program is one of many ways that Massasoit is working to help address the Commonwealth’s higher education Equity Agenda. In May, Massasoit was the first community college to host a Black graduating student recognition ceremony in partnership with the National Council on Black American Affairs Bay State Chapter. Several Massasoit faculty and staff play leading roles in the chapter, which seeks to promote the academic success of African American students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

About Massasoit Community College
Founded in 1966, Massasoit Community College offers students from southeastern Massachusetts and beyond access to more than 60 associate degree and certificate programs across arts, sciences, applied sciences, healthcare, and technology at locations in Brockton, Canton, Middleborough, and online. More than 900 students graduate with a degree or certificate each year from Massasoit, and 2,600 students annually enroll in non-credit community education or workforce development courses. Massasoit students are given access to wraparound services provided on campus to support their success inside and outside the classroom. For more information, visit

Learn more about Black Studies

Alex J. Villanueva
508-588-9100 x1846