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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Anaheim introduces first Korean-American studies course for high schoolers

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The Anaheim Union High School District will introduce a new Korean-American Ethnic Studies class this upcoming fall.

After approving the Korean-American Studies course in February, the district has recently confirmed that it will be offering a one-year course starting in the 2023-2024 school year, commencing in August. This course is believed to be the first of its kind at the high school level in the country, let alone in Orange County.

The Korean-American Studies course will be offered as an AP class by the district. It will fulfill the Ethnic Studies graduation requirement and also meet one of the UC system’s A-G GE requirements.

Open to students in grades 9 through 12 within the Anaheim Union High School District, the Korean-American Ethnic Studies classes will be conducted online through the Cambridge Virtual Academy. Classes will commence every Monday at 7:30 p.m., specifically scheduled to avoid conflicts with the school’s extracurricular activities.

Additionally, the district has extended enrollment in the Korean-American Studies class to out-of-district students. These students will have the option to take the course without receiving a grade or credit.

Jeff Kim, who developed the Korean-American Studies curriculum for the district, explained, “We cannot provide credit to out-of-district students, so it will be the responsibility of their respective school districts to determine credit allocation. Nevertheless, our district will send letters to other districts informing them of the students’ participation in the course.” Dr. Kim is a member of the Irvine District 4 school board and teaches history at the Cambridge Virtual Academy.

Students enrolled in the Korean-American Studies class will delve into various topics, including the history of Korean-American immigration, settlement, social movements, community issues, art, and intersections with other Asian-American groups and ethnicities, as connected with the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum.

“We are also planning field trips,” Kim mentioned.

On May 11, Kim held an online information session for Korean-American parents, where he expressed, “Many Korean-American students and parents have shown interest in the Korean-American Studies course. I was particularly impressed by the number of students who expressed excitement about exploring their heritage through this course.”

Kim added, “As the class commences, we will be able to incorporate the ideas of the students to create more advanced class materials. The possibilities are endless.”

The Anaheim Union High School District oversees 12 high schools, including Oxford Academy, Cypress High School, and Kennedy High School, which have a significant number of Korean-American students.

BY SANGWHAN KIM [support@koreadaily.com]