ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico’s Chicana and Chicano Studies Department has submitted a proposal aimed at allowing the program to issue graduate degrees.

Department chair Irene Vasquez announced last week that the program turned in a preliminary plan to expand the university’s program that focuses on Mexican-American history and literature.

Chicana and Chicano Studies became an official department at the school two years ago amid pressure from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to get state colleges to cut the number of hours needed to earn a degree.

The University of New Mexico’s program is part of a nationwide movement to have education include minority students more and to expand ethnic studies at colleges and in high schools.

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