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Francophone Studies Program Proposed at KU

The University of Kansas Department of French and Italian is launching a new program for undergraduate students to study French culture.

The department has a long history of teaching Francophone courses, and now they will offer an entire program about the different cultures of French Speakers.

Chair of the French and Italian Department Bruce Hayes said the Francophone Studies Program will offer more insight into the French Language.

For this certificate, students would learn more about the world of French speakers outside of France, especially in areas like Northern Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti and other Caribbean countries.

Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies Cecile Accilien said the program will allow people to get a broader understanding of the French language.

“Many people do not understand that when we talk about the French language, it is not just France,” Accilien said.

Administration said the benefits of this program are countless. In order to finalize the program, the Committee on Undergraduate Studies and Advising will need to approve the final recommendations. From there, it will be sent to the College Academic Council for approval.

“I think the main advantage will be to expose students to the variety of the French speaking world, and to let them know that French is not just equivalent to Europe,” Accilien said.

The committee has put together a four-course sequence plan for undergraduates wanting to participate in the program. The Department of French and Italian hopes to officially launch the program fall of 2017.