In August 2022, the U.S. Department of Education designated the KU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies as a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC) in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, with over $900,000 in funding for activities that promote knowledge and expertise on the region. It also provided over $1 million in Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for our students over the following four years.
International and area studies have long been a historical strength at KU, a member of the prestigious AAU; the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, with its nationally renowned faculty, deep and broad area studies curriculum, and rich Study Abroad opportunities, is a key component of KU’s strength in international education. As of 2022, the Center is part of KU's Institute for International & Global Engagement.
The funding amounts to approximately $2.1 million in the four-year cycle. Our initiatives during the 2022-2026 period focus on the theme of Strengthening Communities in KU and the heartland to Latin American and Caribbean communities and institutions, in part by leveraging our existing partnerships locally and abroad. Both designations reflect not only the hard work of KU, but also a common mission shared by regional institutions and organizations.
CLACS partners with educational institutions in the region for continuing language learning for educators; with the other KU Area Studies Centers, Donnelly College in Kansas City, and area Community Colleges like Johnson County Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College on an annual Global Opportunities Expo; and with the Lied Center and the Spencer Museum of Art on arts and cultural programming and exhibits, with accompanying materials to support public school educators in Kansas.
CLACS will also has an online graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean studies, which allows even students in other parts of Kansas and the Midwest to develop expertise in the region. Another major component is funding for field schools and service learning / study abroad programs abroad in Mexico, Cuba, the Northern Triangle of Central America, Paraguay, Costa Rica, and more.
CLACS has used Title VI funding to build up our program in indigenous and less-commonly-taught Latin American and Caribbean languages such as Kaqchikel Maya, Quechua, Yucatec Maya, Mískitu, Haitian Creole, Guaraní, Portuguese, and Tlapanec.
FLAS fellowships are available to KU and Non-KU graduate and undergraduate students interested in learning a less commonly taught language, providing up to $18,000 for tuition / fees and a $20,000 stipend during the academic year for graduate students and $10,000 for tuition / fees and $5000 for the year for undergraduates. For both graduate and undergraduate students, summer fellowships are also available at $5,000 for tuition / fees and $2,500 for subsistence. An additional $1,000 may be requested for travel in special circumstances.