The Women’s Studies Program was created at UW Oshkosh in 1974. It became the Women’s and Gender Studies Program in 2013, to more accurately reflect the contents of its curriculum. The program seamlessly aligns with the four priorities described in UWO’s strategic plan: enhance student success, promote academic excellence, expand community engagement and economic development, and build an inclusive and supportive institutional environment.
Student Learning Outcomes
Understanding of Concepts Central to the Field of Women’s and Gender Studies
Students graduating from the Women’s and Gender Studies program should demonstrate knowledge of the following concepts and issues:
- The social construction of gender
- Systems of privilege and oppression
- Intersectionality and difference
- Varieties of feminism and feminist activism
- Major feminist issues, historically and in contemporary societies, e.g. gendered violence, representations of women and gender, reproductive justice, family and parenting, work, beauty and body image
- Connections between feminist theory and practice
Critical Thinking and Writing Skills
Women’s and Gender Studies graduates should demonstrate competence in the following skill areas:
- The consideration of multiple sides or positions of an argument or issue
- Evaluation of arguments and claims about women and gender
- The ability to identify a question or problem for a research project
- The location, evaluation, and interpretation of diverse scholarly sources
- The use of theoretical concepts and frameworks in the service of the critical analysis of written and visual texts
- The collection, analysis, and interpretation of data (e.g. survey, interview, content analysis, coding of key terms, archival research, close textual analysis, participant observation, experiment, etc.)
- The construction of arguments with evidence obtained from research
- Self-reflection about the learning process
- The application of key Women’s and Gender Studies concepts to activist projects, one’s life, and/or to non-Women’s and Gender Studies academic coursework
Students graduating with a minor or major in Women’s and Gender Studies will compile a portfolio, which will be put together during the senior seminar, and will consist of six pieces of writing:
- 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 seven sources, both of which will be written during the planning and drafting stages of the research paper.
- 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 program.
- A 4-5 page essay on feminist activism written during the Senior Seminar. This essay can take either of two forms:
- 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
- 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 and Gender Studies major or minor.
- 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 by the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering and Curriculum Committee. Each student learning outcome will be assessed as “exceeding expectations,” “meeting expectations,” or “fails to meet expectations.”