Ethnic Studies Empowerment Certificate

The College of Ethnic Studies offers an undergraduate certificate in Ethnic Studies for incarcerated youth in collaboration with Project Rebound and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Through the certificate program, the college is helping with lowering recidivism rates and empowering incarcerated youth to become change agents for their communities. Studies show that a liberal arts education lowers recidivism rates more so than a technical degree.

The College of Ethnic Studies, which was founded with principles of culturally relevant and accessible education, takes pride in offering transformative degree programs that resonate with students’ present-day issues. Our classes bring a broader context to the struggles that our students face, and simultaneously inspire them to take action. Through our curriculum we shed light on structural inequalities and ask students to seriously consider ways in which they can participate in social change through movement-building.

The certificate program consists of four online courses (12 units) in Ethnic Studies taught by SF State faculty that will fulfill lower division general education requirements at any California State University. Students in the program will receive special assistance with admission into SF State after completing the certificate.

Students sitting in desks in a classroom

More About the Program

SF State program lets incarcerated youth pursue higher education

In Fall 2021, the Ethnic Studies Empowerment Certificate Program launched, and it has given the incarcerated youth another opportunity to change their futures. Alex is one of the youths enrolled in the program's first few classes. He says: “It’s just a really great feeling. It’s also been awesome to, within the role of academia, feel accepted. That’s something I can be part of when I do reenter society.”


Contact Us


For information about participating in the Ethnic Studies Empowerment Certificate program, please email


For more information on making a donation, please contact Alex Sanchez at or call (415) 338-1032.