WomenÕs Studies

Assessment of the Discipline and the Major (2000-2004)


The main tool of assessment for the WomenÕs Studies discipline is the course WoSt 4901 Assessment of Student Learning in WomenÕs Studies in which students write a paper and participate in a panel focused on the strengths and weaknesses of the program.  The coordinator of the WomenÕs Studies major distributes these papers to, and discussed them with, the WomenÕs Studies Advisory Board.  To date, sixteen assessment papers have been collected.  During this last academic year 2003-2004 seven students have completed majors in WomenÕs Studies (three in the Fall Semester 2003 and four in the Spring Semester 2004).  The following is a list of the feedback provided by these papers.  The numbers in parentheses indicate different graduating majors who listed the relevant strength or weakness in their papers:


Strengths and Weaknesses of the Women's Studies Major



Interdisciplinary (6)

Directed Studies (3)

Promotes Awareness (2)

Helps to Learn to Define Yourself (2)

Flexibility (2)

Challenging Classes (2)

Small Class Sizes

Chance to Pick Your Own Topic

Variety of Teaching Methods

Develops Analytical Skills

Introductory Courses

Professors are accepting

Historical Perspective

Applicable to Other Majors

Theoretical and Political Approach

Dual Nature of Feminism

Women in Art

Writing and Discussion




Need for a Feminist Theory Class (5)

Requirement for an Internship (3)

Gay/Lesbian Class (3)

Only 2  identified WoSt Classes (2)

More Activism (2)

Needs to Be More In-Depth (2)

Incorporate Classes into Campus Life (2)

Cross-Cultural/International Class (2)

Other students Don't Know What WS Is (2)

If WS is the Only Major a Person Has, Needs to Have a Focus (2)

WoSt 1111 Only Taken Freshman or Sophomore Year

Course in Genetics Doesn't Apply

Need Service Learning

Doesn't Promote Skills for Addressing Problems

Intro Classes Overlap

Need Classes about the Women's Movement

Also a Law Class

Need a More Positive Approach towards Being a Woman

Need Male WS Majors

Class on Classic Feminist Texts

More Science Options

Need Only One Intro Course

Needs a Senior Project

Make Study Abroad More Applicable

Promote Directed Studies

Needs Eco-Feminism, Race and Feminism, and Women and Poverty Classes

Need more variety of offering of Classes

Possibly change the name to "Gender Studies"

Increased Content in Other Classes

Needs Courses on Families and Politics

Lack of Faculty

Not Being Taught How to Fight Against Those Who Are Opposed to Women's



In the upcoming years, the Coordinator and WomenÕs Studies Advisory Board are planning to discuss the above feedback find ways to address some of the concerns expressed by the students.  One first step in this direction is the offering of a course in Feminist Theory; pending some negotiation within disciplines, one such course will be offered during the Spring Semester 2005.   The need for one such course has been the one most commonly repeated complaint from students majoring in WomenÕs Studies.

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