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PRLS 1001: Introduction to Puerto Rican and Latin@ Studies (Santiago)

Updated Spring 2024 Originally created Fall 2023 OER Santiago

Requirements and Grade Percentages

  • Attendance & Class Participation (in-class discussion(s) & activities) 20%
  • Weekly writing assignments 20%
  • Research paper or project 25%
  • Final 35%

*Extra Credit Assignments will be available

Requirements and Assignments

Attendance & Class Participation (in-class discussion(s) & activities)

Attendance and Punctuality

  • are critical to the successful completion of this course. Exams will consist of course readings as well as class lectures and discussions.
  • Missing more than two classes will affect your attendance & participation grade, unless you have an extraordinary circumstance.
  • Lateness is discouraged as it disrupts lectures and discussions.

Active/Informed Participation

Student-centered pedagogy: The student-centered approach put participants’ interest first by acknowledging their needs as central to the learning experience. Rather than designing the course from the professor’s perspective, it is designed from the learner’s perspective. The learner-centered approach encourages a dynamic relationship between learners and the professor. The students take ownership of the content, determine how it will be useful or relevant to them, and build the connections to allow learning to happen. When the student, rather than the professor, is the focus of the instruction, the learning becomes more meaningful.

Due to the nature of the course and the importance of engaging in a dynamic learning experience, all students will complete course readings and assignments prior to class meetings and contribute meaningfully to class discussions. As such, quizzes may be administered throughout the semester without notice and will count towards participation. During discussion, please always be mindful that everyone participates. Our course/classroom is both a SAFE and BRAVE space respectful and supportive of each others experiences, culture, religion, abilities, appearance, language(s), nationalities, immigration journey, and identities.

*No student may record any classroom activity without the consent of the professor.

Throughout the semester you are required to complete short writing assignments (as indicated in the course schedule below). These writing assignments are linked to current affairs, your lived experience(s) and course readings (some weeks require you to write about the in-class film). Emailed writing assignments are NOT accepted- no exceptions.

The purpose of these writing assignments is for you to discuss how you have critically assessed the readings, and/or content in relation to your experiences. These are NOT summaries of the readings/content, that’s what class meetings are for. I am interested in learning how you interacted, interpreted and/or related (or not) to the material(s). You must include reference to an excerpt from the readings that directly relates to your reaction/reflection. Students may be randomly called on to share for participation credit.

An original research paper of 5 pages (plus a references section) is expected for this course. Your topic must be about “Latinx and the U.S.” (as stated in the course description) and will not be discussed during our course this semester. Thus, research paper topics must be submitted for approval in advance, by the date noted in the syllabus. Only soft copy word documents are accepted for all of the components of the paper.


You are required to submit a research paper proposal, including:

  1. Your approved topic, and
  2. Tentative list of five annotated references (Three of which have to be scholarly/academic/peer reviewed books, journals and/or articles). *I will return these to you with comments quickly so that you can proceed with your research.

Final Papers*

  • Are due by the beginning of class on the date specified within the “course schedule”.
  • Note: All written papers must be typed, double-spaced, using 12-point font with 1” margins. Papers will be graded for organization and clarity of writing, persuasiveness of argument, spelling & grammar, and its relation to the course, topics and content. Late assignments will incur a penalty. Please be sure to keep a copy of all your work.

*An alternative project will be made available and will be discussed further during course overview.

The final exam is composed of readings and lectures (including class discussions). Several of the concepts we will discuss all semester do build on each other. Theories and terminology that are introduced will continue throughout the course and you will be expected to refer, identify and use these theories and terminology for your final exam. The final exam is cumulative. The exam will cover all the assigned readings and films, as well as any material developed from class discussions. There will be no make-up exams except in cases of emergency which must be documented. Please notify the instructor in advance if a legitimate conflict exists that will prevent taking the exam on the scheduled date listed in the course outline below.

Grade Breakdown

Final Grades

Percentage Grade
93% and above A
90-92.99% A-
87-89.99% B+
83-86.99% B
80-82.99% B-
77-79.99% C+
73-76.99% C
70-72.99% C-
60-69.99% D
Below 60% F