Growing numbers of students of Armenian origin descending on the fledgling campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), prompted the founding of the Armenian Student Association (ASA) in 1976. Seven years later, in 1983, the first course in Armenian Language was offered, setting the groundwork for the establishment of the Armenian Studies Program (ASP).
In the time since those foundations were laid more than 30 years ago, CSUN has become the largest campus by enrollment in the 23-campus California State University system, averaging between 38,000 and 40,000 students on its campus each year. Along with this growth, there has also been a steady rise in the population of students and faculty of Armenian descent. Armenian CSUN students consistently number between 8 and 10 percent of the overall student body. It is estimated that the University graduates approximately 450 Armenian students annually. Additionally, CSUN has more than 100 Armenian faculty and staff, among them program directors, department chairs, and associate vice presidents.
Currently, the ASP consists of 12 courses. Students have four options for adding Armenian Studies to their academic program. A student may:
- Declare a major in Languages and Cultures/Armenian Option in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures;
- Declare a minor in Armenian Studies;
- Choose a concentration in Armenian with a Liberal Studies major; or
- Participate in the partnership with the Liberal Studies Program’s Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) to become credentialed teachers of Armenian language and culture.
ASP has one full-time tenured professor, who also serves as the Program’s director. Since 2013, the program has also had a part-time professor to meet the growing demand for ASP courses.