Asian Studies is an important interdisciplinary field because of the substantial population of Asia and its prominence in the global economy, because of the humanistic, artistic and scientific contributions of Asian societies to world civilization, and because of the contribution that Asian immigrants have made in the development of the United States.
Furthermore, Asian Americans have made significant economic and cultural contributions to the state of Georgia, and Asian immigrants, the children of Asian immigrants, and Asian non-immigrants (i.e. visa students) comprise a substantial segment of the University System of Georgia student population. In recognition of this, the Asia Council of the University System of Georgia has instituted an Asia Studies Certificate (ASC) to further promote and develop Asian Studies across the system.
Area Focus – East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia
The Asia Council recognizes that Asian Studies is not limited to the above three regions, and includes Central Asia, Southwest Asia, the Asian region of the Russian Federation, and the Pacific region. However, one of the primary intents of the Certificate is to encourage and assist institutions with a limited or a growing focus on Asian Studies to further develop in this area. As such, concentrating on East, Southeast and South Asia is the most effective approach with regard to the resources of the Asia Council and the targeted institutions.
Institutions with enough resources and course offerings to include these other areas of Asia may do so, but the primary focus should be on East, Southeast and South Asia. Middle East Studies are not included in this certificate program.
Asian American Studies and Pan-Asian Studies (Asian Diaspora studies, or the study of Asian communities in Europe, Canada, Latin America, the Pacific Region, etc.) are included in this certificate program if the diaspora communities studied are from East, Southeast or South Asia.
Academic Focus – Core Curriculum
The focus on the core curriculum will allow all USG institutions, including two-year colleges and state colleges, full participation in the certificate program. However, senior institutions may elect to include upper division courses as part of their requirements (see Program Design), but are not required to do so.
Participating USG institutions must have a designated representative on the USG Asia Council. The representative serves as the primary contact person for the certificate program, but may appoint other interested faculty, professional staff or administrators at the institution to serve as ASC advisors to students.
Participating institutions will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asia Council.
18 semester hours (detailed in Academic Components)
The program design provides a basic framework of course requirements and minimum credits. However, individual institutions can make adaptations with the approval of the Asia Council.
Senior institutions may include upper division courses or increase the credit requirements to 24 semester hours if their course offerings in Asian Studies are extensive enough. Upper division courses should not exceed 50% of the total requirements of the Certificate in order to maintain a system-wide focus on the core curriculum. Students may elect to exceed the 50% upper division course limitation at their own discretion.
Institutions with limited resources and course offerings in Asian Studies can work with the Asia Council on appropriate course substitutions and other alternatives provided they have a plan for further developing Asian Studies and are making progress in that regard.
Completion of Certificate
The Certificate may be awarded at the Associate or Bachelors level.
The Certificate will be awarded upon completion of the requirements, and is not dependent upon graduation.
Institutions are encouraged to note the Certificate on transcripts, but are not required to do so.
It is the responsibility of participating students to plan and track their progress in consultation with their Asia Council representative or other appointed ASC advisors.
Representatives will give regular updates to the Asia Council regarding number of participating students, Certificate completions, progress in developing Asian Studies at the institution, and any other issues related to the certificate program.
Transfer of Coursework
A participating student may transfer coursework toward the Certificate from one participating institution to another participating institution. If necessary, the Asia Council will assist the receiving institution in determining appropriate recognition of credit.
If a participating student transfers from a participating institution to a non-participating USG institution, the Asia Council will assist the student, if possible, toward completion of the Certificate provided the student has recorded at least six semester hours toward the Certificate before transfer.
Participating institutions may accept transfer credit toward the Certificate from any regionally accredited institution, including courses taken before or after enrollment in the program.
Institutions with substantial offerings in Asian Studies may limit the number of transfer credits allowed toward the Certificate, but are not required to do so. However, the Asia Council encourages no limitations on transfer credit from within the USG.
Institutions with limited offerings in Asian Studies are advised to allow course transfer. Furthermore, they are encouraged to explore external options for participating students regarding Asian languages and other courses not offered at the institution. This could include cross-registration or transient matriculation with nearby institutions, transient matriculation during the summer, and online studies.
C or better in all courses included in the Certificate.
Definitions & Examples
Asian Studies course: A course in any discipline which is focused entirely on the study of Asia, or one region or country of Asia, as it pertains to that discipline.
Examples: Asian Art, Geography of Southeast Asia, History of China
Asian-infused course: For purposes of this certificate program, a course which is infused with a minimum of 30% Asian content, but may include more than 30%. This infusion would not typically change the title of the course. However, the Asian-infused content and its percentage should be noted in the course syllabus. For infused courses, students are required to submit a syllabus to the Asia Council representative or their ASC advisor for tracking and verification purposes.
Institutions are advised to include special notes for Asian-infused courses in the semester course listing (print and electronic versions) in order to better publicize the courses and the certificate program.
Example: Art Appreciation (with Asian focus)
This Art Appreciation course, in addition to covering content described in the catalog, includes a special focus on Asian Art that comprises 30% of the course. This is a designated course in the Asian Studies Certificate.
Asian American & Pan-Asian courses: May be entire or infused, but must relate to the designated regions of Asia.
Examples: Asian American Literature
Japanese Diaspora in Latin American (likely an upper-division course)
1. Asian Languages – 6 semester credits
At least two semesters (six semester hours) of the same Asian language, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, etc.
The languages should be indigenous to East/Southeast/South Asia.
Russian and Arabic do not satisfy the language requirements.
Students may complete language coursework online at any regionally accredited institution, especially if their home institution does not offer Asian languages.
Demonstration of language proficiency in an Asian language at the 1001-1002 level or higher may substitute for the six semester hours of an Asian language. The following means are acceptable:
Awarding of academic credit at the 1001-1002 level or higher through a nationally recognized language proficiency examination.
Awarding of advanced placement at the 2001 level or higher through a nationally recognized language proficiency examination.
Proficiency above the beginner level as defined by ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of foreign Languages) standards (equivalent to completion of 1001-1002 or higher) through examination.
o To be administered by a qualified instructor in a USG or other regionally accredited instruction, as approved by the Asia Council representative.
o Must include both a written examination and an oral examination.
o May be administered by distance testing format with oversight from the Asia Council representative (e.g. proctored on-campus written test; telephone or video-conference oral test).
Completion of a minimum of two years of full-time study at the high school level or one year of full-time study at the college or university level where the medium of instruction was in a recognized Asian language.
o Note: Heritage Language Speakers are native speakers of a language who have spent their formative years in the United States or other English-speaking environment. While they may be bilingual and speak their mother tongue at home or in their community, they may not be proficient in reading, writing and grammar, and their oral skills may be limited to a non-standard version. As such, Heritage Language Speakers are subject to the criteria above regarding demonstration of language proficiency in an Asian language at the 1001-1002 level or higher.
2. Academic Subject Areas – 12 semester credits
The remaining 12 credits must include at least two different areas from the following:
1. English or Literature
2. Humanities (Communication, Linguistics, Religion, Philosophy, Humanities)
3. Fine Arts (Art, Music, Theatre, Film, Dance)
5. Social Sciences (Political Science, Economics, Geography)
6. Behavioral Sciences (Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology)
Courses that are interdisciplinary in nature or that do not fit into one of the above categories will be evaluated by the Asia Council representative.
Credit in the above academic subject areas can be earned through Asian Studies courses, Asian-infused courses, or a combination (see Additional Requirements for Infused Courses).
Additional Foreign Language Credits
Students with more than 6 institutionally-earned semester credits of an Asian language may count the additional credits as Humanities, up to a maximum of 6 credits.
A student who earns 18 institutional credits in 1001, 1002, 2001, 2002, 3010, and 3020 (USG foreign language course numbers are consistent through the 2002 level, but vary after that) can count 6 credits toward the foreign language requirement and 6 credits toward the Humanities requirement. The remaining 6 credits cannot count toward the Humanities requirement or any other part of the Certificate.
Once 6 credits are earned in the same language for the Asian language requirement, any additional language credits used for Humanities may be in the same language or a different Asian language.
A student earns 6 credits in Japanese, which is used for the Asian language requirements, and 3 credits in Chinese, which counts toward Humanities credit.
Foreign language credit or proficiency recognized though other means other than formal matriculation, as described above, may not count for credit beyond the 6 language credits.
A student with recognized language proficiency at the intermediate level that results in academic credit or advanced placement would be equivalent to a student who earned institutional credit in 1001, 1002, 2001, and 2002. This student can exempt the required 6 language credits, but may not count recognized language proficiency beyond the 6 language credits toward Humanities credit the same as a student who earned more than 6 credits of an Asian language through formal matriculation.
Independent Study, Directed Study, Special Topics courses and Research Projects for academic credit may be included in the certificate program if the focus is on Asian or
Pan-Asian studies, even if the course is not a formal Asian Studies or Asian-infused course.
Learning Communities with an Asian focus will be evaluated based on the number of courses in the cluster and the extent of the Asian content.
Students may earn up to 3 credits for a service learning course or a service learning infused course where the service focuses on Asian or Asian-American issues, even if the actual course is not an Asian Studies course or Asian-infused course.
Students may count up to 6 credits of non-Asian Studies courses or non-Asian-infused courses if those courses were taken on a study abroad trip in Asia.
Semester (other than Summer)
Students may count up to 12 credits of non-Asian Studies courses or non-Asian-infused courses if those courses were taken on a study abroad trip in Asia.
Academic Year (two semesters)
Students may count up to 18 credits of non-Asian Studies courses or non-Asian-infused courses if those courses were taken on a study abroad trip in Asia.
The Asia Council encourages study abroad in Asia, and will work with the Asia Council representative of students studying abroad in Asia on the appropriate recognition of credits for the Certificate if coursework does not easily fit within the defined parameters.
Additional Requirements for Infused Courses
While credit in the academic subject areas can be earned through Asian Studies courses or Asian-infused courses, the Asia Council recognizes that Asian-infused courses do not provide as much Asian content as Asian Studies courses. However, the Asia Council also recognizes that Asian-infused courses are essential in the development of Asian Studies programs for institutions with limited resources and course offerings in Asian Studies.
The following requirements are in effect in order to accommodate for the quantitative difference in content between Asian Studies courses and Asian-infused courses.
Students who earn fewer than 3 semester credit hours of Asian-infused courses are not required to complete a project.
Students who earn 3-6 semester credit hours of Asian-infused courses are required to complete one project.
Students who earn more than 6 semester credit hours of Asian-infused courses are required to complete two projects.
Projects may include the following and must be Asia related. Asia Council representatives may consult with the Asia Council on the scope and rigor of various projects, and may approve additional projects.
Conference presentation, conference poster session, campus presentation, or local workshop on a student’s area of interest.
Display table at an international or cultural festival or any other type festival or event, either on campus or in the community.
Attending conferences, workshops, or seminars on Asian issues.
Attending community programs or events related to Asia.
Assisting a professor with research or special projects on Asia.
Assisting the Study Abroad office with Asia programs.
Assisting the International Student Office with programs for Asian students.
Short-term community service or other volunteer work other than service completed for a service learning course used toward the Certificate. (Long-term volunteer work may count as two projects.)
Asian Studies Development & Leadership Development
The Asia Council will work with interested institutions
To develop Asian Studies and Asian-infused courses
To implement the Asian Studies Certificate program
The Asia Council will work with targeted institutions to develop model programs and courses which can be duplicated at other institutions.
The Asia Council will work with targeted institutions to offer online courses, especially in Asian languages, which will enable more institutions to participate in the certificate program.
Asian Studies Certificate Committee
The Asian Studies Certificate is overseen by a Committee from the Asia Council whose responsibilities include the following, as well as any additional responsibilities determined by the Council:
Implementation of the Certificate
Responding to and addressing issues related to the Certificate
Making any necessary minor changes in the Certificate