The Porterville College Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) was organized in 2002 to enhance students’ awareness of certain important aspects of our society to which they may previously have had little or no exposure. A theme is chosen by CHAP members each school year, and faculty members across the campus are encouraged to integrate elements of that theme into their coursework. Additionally, a variety of field trips, guest speakers, panel discussions and videos are presented throughout the year and are all open to the public free of charge. By providing students with information about the chosen topic throughout the year, the awareness of the entire campus community is elevated.
Some past themes have included the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II (with a focus on the War Relocation Center at Manzanar), the early contributions of African Americans in the San Joaquin Valley (with an emphasis on the community of Allensworth) and the societal impacts of the Vietnam War era. In recent years the themes were expanded to include all events that took place within a specific decade such as the 1940s or 1950s.