Student Learning Outcomes & Portfolio Guidelines
I. Understanding of Concepts Central to the Field of Women’s Studies:
Students graduating from the Women’s Studies program should demonstrate knowledge of the following concepts and issues:
A. The socio-cultural and historical construction of gender
B. Intersectionality of race, ethnicity, religion, class, gender, sexuality, and nation
D. Varieties of feminism and feminist activism
E. Privilege and oppression, including internalized oppression
F. Major issues pertaining to women’s lives, historically and in contemporary societies, e.g. violence against women, representations of women and gender, reproductive justice, family and motherhood, work, beauty and body image
G. Connections between feminist theory and practice
II. Critical Thinking and Writing Skills:
Women’s Studies graduates should demonstrate competence in the following skill areas:
A. The consideration of issues from multiple perspectives
B. Identification and evaluation of theories and assumptions about women and gender
C. Self-reflection about the learning process
D. Critical analysis of written and visual texts
E. The application of key Women’s Studies concepts to activist projects, one’s life, and to non-Women’s Studies academic coursework
III. Research Skills:
A. Research Methodology and Analysis of Sources:
In a proposal for their research project, students should demonstrate their ability to:
1. Identify a problem for a specific Women’s Studies research project.
2. Identify the particular fields of scholarly literature necessary to review to provide a foundation for this particular project, noting the databases to be examined and search terms to be used to generate a wide net bibliography of at least 50 sources.
3. Identify and utilize at least one method of collecting original data appropriate for this project (e.g., survey, interview, content analysis, coding of key terms, archival research, close textual analysis, participant observation, experiment, etc.).
4. Evaluate research sources for their reliability and usefulness for the project proposed. (Measure: annotated bibliography of at least ten sources)
B. Synthesis of Research and Original Formulation of Ideas:
Students should demonstrate their ability to design and complete a research project that sheds new light on a Women’s Studies topic, including both a review of the literature and an interpretation of original data collected from appropriate sources.
Women’s Studies Portfolio Guidelines
Students graduating with a minor or major in Women’s Studies will compile a portfolio, which will be put together during the senior seminar, and will consist of six pieces of writing:
1. The research paper written during the Senior Seminar. The research paper may be a new piece of work, or students may choose to revise and expand upon a paper written for another course. Students will also include in the portfolio a statement of the research problem and an annotated bibliography of at least ten sources, both of which will be written during the planning and drafting stages of the research paper.
2. A 3-5 page reflective essay, written during the Senior Seminar, in which the student explains where and how the work contained in the portfolio demonstrates the skills-based and content-based learning outcomes of the minor.
3. A 4-5 page essay on feminist activism written during the Senior Seminar. This essay can take either of two forms:
a. an essay which analyzes a feminist activist project that the student has participated in (e.g. internship, service learning project, volunteer project, etc.), explaining its intended outcome and evaluating its effectiveness, both in promoting the social change envisioned and the personal growth it provoked; or
b. an essay emphasizing some effect(s) of feminist movement during the past two hundred years, and connecting this to the individual student’s development as a Women’s Studies minor.
4. Three additional papers written during his/her coursework in
the minor or major. These three papers will be chosen in consultation
with the professor teaching the Senior Seminar, and should represent
the student’s best work. Most importantly, these papers should clearly
demonstrate both the skills-based and content-based learning outcomes
of the program.
Not every individual paper in the portfolio has to meet every content-based and skill-based learning outcome, but the portfolio as a whole should clearly demonstrate all of them.
Portfolios will be evaluated anonymously as Very Good (A/AB), OK (B-C) or Poor (CD/D).