published on August 24, 2016 - 6:36 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Fresno State’s newest minor program has already attracted more than 100 students.

The long-awaited minor program in Hmong language studies is now being offered through the Linguistics Department in the College of Arts and Humanities. With more than 1,500 Hmong students attending Fresno State — 6 percent of the total student population — the increased selection of courses offered through the minor focusing not only on the Hmong language, but the Hmong culture, are more than welcome additions to the curriculum, according to university officials.

“For Hmong people all over the world, having a Hmong minor program means their language and culture will be preserved, transmitted and adapted to the countries where they live,” Hmong program coordinator Dr. Kao-Ly Yang said in a statement. “The Hmong community will see a new generation of leaders equipped to understand and appreciate their culture, to adapt it to their modern lives and to communicate its challenges but also its beauty and humanistic values to mainstream society.”

Yang and Linguistics Department Chair Dr. Xinchun Wang began laying groundwork for the program in 2012 after seeing the need within the community.

Saul Jimenez-Sandoval, the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said the minor will connect and reconnect students to 4,000 years of Hmong heritage.

“The Hmong minor is a testament to the dynamic energy that characterizes our disciplines,” Jimenez-Sandoval said in a statement. “A connection to one’s language and culture are the key to a harmonious society. The Hmong minor will open doors to a past, allow students to envision a present full of promise and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our Valley and nation.”

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