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Gender & Women's Studies: Undergraduate Programs

Overview: 

Gender & Women’s Studies

Department Narrative on Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

 

Part I:  Feminist Knowledge and Epistemologies

 

The Gender and Studies curriculum is grounded in the study of feminist theories. Students learn the variety of ways in which theorists account for the inextricably interconnected processes by which social formations such as gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation are constructed. Feminist methodologies realize the implications of feminist theories and often challenge traditional modes of research. Feminist approaches to research are frequently interdisciplinary, examining the objects of scholarship from social, historical, economic, political, cultural, and/or literary perspectives. These perspectives are crucial to understanding how gender is constructed and represented across time and space.  By studying feminist theories, students will develop an understanding of key concepts, in particular, difference, power, knowledge, oppression, and representation.  Feminist methodologies often frame questions differently from traditional disciplines and give students new ways of approaching intellectual issues and research.

A student graduating with a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

1.        Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.

2.        Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally.

 

Part II: Praxis

One of the goals of Gender and Women’s Studies is to provide students with tools of gender analysis that will be used throughout their lives. To this end, many courses ask students to draw connections between contemporary events, the multiplicities of women’s experiences, and their own lives. Tools of feminist gender analysis also include learning to construct alternatives to the dominant perspectives on subjectivity, roles, human relationships, and social systems.  Social movements for women’s rights, along with movements grounded in issues of race, class, ethnicity, culture, nation or sexuality, play a significant role in shaping gender relations. Students learn about historical social movements, contemporary movements in the U.S. and throughout the world, and new forms of leadership. As Gender and Women’s Studies students learn about the struggles of women and other marginalized social groups, they are encouraged to continue that work through individual and collective action. Through opportunities for internships and other activities, students are encouraged to bring their expertise to community agencies and projects. Some Gender and Women’s Studies courses include an “activist” component that allows students to earn credit for community work. Social movements for women’s rights, along with movements grounded in issues of race, class, ethnicity, culture, nation or sexuality, play a significant part in the Gender and Women’s Studies curriculum.

A student graduating with a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

3.        Demonstrate the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

4.        Be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social action broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.

Part III: Critical Creative and Research Skills in a Collaborative Context

The Gender and Women’s Studies approach to scholarship relies on critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Small class size throughout the curriculum encourages student-faculty interaction and provides numerous opportunities to learn and practice critical thinking, rhetorical, and research skills. Students develop expertise in the formation of research problems and the construction of persuasive arguments, both written and oral, often in a group context. Women’s Studies courses teach information literacy through training in library and computer and Internet skills.

A student graduating with a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

5.        Communicate clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument and evidence to support it.

Part IV: Understanding and Appreciating the Diversity of Human Experience

Gender and Women’s Studies courses require students to understand a multiplicity of experiences grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation. The intersection of these categories is a foundational concept throughout the Gender and Women’s Studies undergraduate curriculum. In addition, Gender and Women’s Studies encourages students to take a critical transnational perspective on research, from the introductory course on Gender in a Transnational World, to upper division electives in cross-cultural theories.

A student graduating with a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

6.        Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.

Part V: Career Related Skills

A Gender and Women’s Studies degree often does not lead directly to a particular career, but students are encouraged to explore career and graduate school possibilities through internships and independent studies. We provide an annual workshop on graduate programs and careers for Women’s Studies graduates. The senior capstone course supports student applications to graduate and professional schools. The capstone course also provides an opportunity for students to reflect on what they have learned in their major or minor and how they will use these skills and perspectives in their post-baccalaureate experiences.

A student graduating with a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

7.        Possess the skills required to be competitive in pursuing professional and graduate schools in a range of disciplines and/or be competitive in a variety of career choices.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

B.A. in Gender & Women’s Studies

Learning Outcomes, Assessment Methods, and Results

Draft Approved by Undergraduate Committee

 

A student graduating with a BA in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

 

#

Outcome

Proposed Assessment Methods

Results

Changes Made Based upon Results

1

Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio (N=21)

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Final Exam

Indirect 1:  Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 (N=12)

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

2

Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio (N=21)

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of Paper from GWS 307 (N=17)

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 (N=12)

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

3

Develop the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

 

 

Direct 1: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio (N=21)

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 305 Papers (N=21)

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 (N=12)

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey


4

Be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social action broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio (N=21)

 

 

Direct 2: Evaluation of GWS 305 Manifesto (N=22)

Indirect 1:  Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 (N=12)

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

5

Communicate clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument and evidence to support it.

 

Direct 1: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio (N=21)

 

 

Direct 2:  Rubric Evaluation from GWS 325 Final Exam

Indirect 1:  Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 (N=12)

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

6

Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio (N=12)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct 2:Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Paper

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 (N=12)

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

7

Possess the skills required to be competitive in pursuing professional and graduate schools in a range of disciplines and/or be competitive in a variety of career choices.

 

Direct 1:  Success rate in finding employment or grad school placement

 

 

Direct 2: TBD

Indirect 1:  Alumni Survey

 


 

BA Minor in Gender & Women’s Studies

 

A student graduating with a BA Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies will:

 

#

Outcome

Proposed Assessment Methods

Results

Changes Made Based upon Results

1

Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Final Exam

Indirect 1:  Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

2

Develop the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

 

 

Direct 1: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Papers

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

3

Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct 2:Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

 


 

B.A. in Gender & Women’s Studies Concentrating in Chicana & Latina Studies

 

The Chicana/Latina Studies Concentration (CLSC) is an optional stream of coursework within the Gender & Women’s Studies major that focuses in Chicana and Latina studies. Designed to investigate the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest, the CLSC is comprised of a rich set of courses taught by both GWS core and affiliate faculty. Students will gain familiarity with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies, including the following: the relationship between different racial formations in the U.S.; the Chicano movement; Chicana and Latina feminist art; U.S. third world feminisms; transnational feminist approaches to Chicana and Latina studies; transgender and queer approaches to Chican@ and Latin@ embodiment, politics, and desire.

 

In addition to the learning outcomes listed above for the BA Program, students graduating with a concentration in Chicana and Latina Studies will:

 

#

Outcome

Proposed Assessment Methods

Results

Changes Made Based upon Results

1

Better understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of a paper submitted from GWS/MAS 307: Chicana Feminist Theories

Indirect 1:  Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

2

Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies, including at least two of the following: the relationship between different racial formations in the U.S.; the Chicano movement; Chicana and Latina feminist art; U.S. third world feminisms; transnational feminist approaches to Chicana and Latina studies; transgender and queer approaches to Chican@ and Latin@ embodiment, politics, and desire.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of a paper submitted from GWS/MAS 307: Chicana Feminist Theories

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

 

 


 

 

B.A. Major in Gender & Women’s Studies Concentrating in Sexualities & Queer Studies

 

Students concentrating in Queer and Sexuality Studies investigate theories, politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities and at local, national, and transnational scales. Students explore sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.

 

In addition to the learning outcomes listed above for the BA Program, students graduating with a concentration in Sexuality and Queer Studies will:

 

#

Outcome

Proposed Assessment Methods

Results

Changes Made Based upon Results

1

Better understand the politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities and at local, national, and transnational scales.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of a paper submitted from GWS 325, Gender, Sexuality, and International Migration

Indirect 1:  Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498

Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

2

Possess a good understanding of sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.

 

Direct 1:  Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

 

 

Direct 2: Rubric Evaluation of a paper submitted from GWS 325, Gender, Sexuality, and International Migration

Indirect 1: Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498 Indirect 2: Alumni Survey

 

 

 

 

 


 

Assessment Activities: 

Undergraduate Assessment Activities

As of October 31, 2013

Assessment Activity

BA1

BA2

BA3

BA4

BA5

BA6

BA7

Minor1

Minor2

Minor3

CLSC1

CLSC2

QSC1

QSC2

 

DIRECT MEASURES

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolio

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Rubric Evaluation of Papers from GWS 307

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

Evaluation of GWS 305 Manifesto

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubric Evaluation from GWS 325 Final Exam

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubric Evaluation of Essays from GWS 325

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

Rubric Evaluation of Self-Evaluations from GWS 325

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Success rate in finding employment or grad school placement (from Alumni Survey)

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INDIRECT MEASURES

Student Reflection Essays on Learning Outcomes in GWS 498

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Alumni Survey

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 305 Manifestos

 

Direct Measurement of Learning for

  • BA Outcomes: 3,4
  • 1 Total Outcome

 

Part I: Demographic Questions

 

  1. Evaluator: _____________________

 

  1. Portfolio Number: _________

 

  1. Student Name:  ____________________

 

  1. Year of Seminar _________________

 

  1. Check all that apply:  Major ______  Minor _________   CLSC _________  QSSC __________

 

Part II:  Assessment of Outcomes

 

Instructions:  Rate each student’s portfolio as to the extent with which the included papers show competency in the following learning outcomes on a scale from 0-10, where 10 means the papers show excellent competency, a zero means no competency whatsoever, and 5 means some competency.  DK means don’t know and NA means not appropriate.  Add comments as necessary.

 

#

Outcome Description

Rating

Comments

(these might include pointers to excellent passages, general impressions of the portfolio, insights about the outcomes or data, etc.) Use the other side of paper as needed!

BA3

Demonstrate the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

 

 

 

 

BA4

Be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social action broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.

 

 

 

 

Other Comments: 

 

 

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 307 Papers

 

Direct Measurement of Learning for

  • BA Outcomes: 2
  • Chicana/Latina Studies Concentration (CLSC): 1-2
  • 3 Total Outcomes

 

Part I: Demographic Questions

 

  1. Evaluator: _____________________
  2. Portfolio Number: _________
  3. Student Name:  ____________________
  4. Year of Seminar _________________
  5. Check all that apply:  Major ______  Minor _________   CLSC _________  QSSC __________

 

Part II:  Assessment of Outcomes

 

Instructions:  Rate each student’s portfolio as to the extent with which the included papers show competency in the following learning outcomes on a scale from 0-10, where 10 means the papers show excellent competency, a zero means no competency whatsoever, and 5 means some competency.  DK means don’t know and NA means not appropriate.  Add comments as necessary.

#

Outcome Description

Rating

Comments

(these might include pointers to excellent passages, general impressions of the portfolio, insights about the outcomes or data, etc.) Use the other side of paper as needed!

BA2

Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally.

 

 

 

CLSC1

Better understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.

 

 

 

CLSC2

Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies, including at least two of the following: the relationship between different racial formations in the U.S.; the Chicano movement; Chicana and Latina feminist art; U.S. third world feminisms; transnational feminist approaches to Chicana and Latina studies; transgender and queer approaches to Chican@ and Latin@ embodiment, politics, and desire.

 

 

Other Comments: 

 

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Final Exams

 

Direct Measurement of Learning for

  • BA Outcomes: 1 and 5 and Minor 1
  • 3 Total Outcomes, two with identical wording

 

Part I: Demographic Questions

 

  1. Evaluator: _____________________

 

  1. Portfolio Number: _________

 

  1. Student Name:  ____________________

 

  1. Year of Seminar _________________

 

  1. Check all that apply:  Major ______  Minor _________   CLSC _________  QSSC __________

 

Part II:  Assessment of Outcomes

 

Instructions:  Rate each student’s portfolio as to the extent with which the included papers show competency in the following learning outcomes on a scale from 0-10, where 10 means the papers show excellent competency, a zero means no competency whatsoever, and 5 means some competency.  DK means don’t know and NA means not appropriate.  Add comments as necessary.

 

#

Outcome Description

Rating

Comments

(these might include pointers to excellent passages, general impressions of the portfolio, insights about the outcomes or data, etc.) Use the other side of paper as needed!

BA 1 and Minor 1

Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.

 

 

 

BA5

Communicate clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument and evidence to support it.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Comments: 

 

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Papers

 

Direct Measurement of Learning for

  • BA Outcome: 6
  • Minor Outcomes: 2 and 3
  • Queer & Sexuality Studies Concentration (QSSC): 1 and 2
  • 5 Total Outcomes, 2 with identical wording

 

Part I: Demographic Questions

 

  1. Evaluator: _____________________
  2. Portfolio Number: _________
  3. Student Name:  ____________________
  4. Year of Seminar _________________
  5. Check all that apply:  Major ______  Minor _________   CLSC _________  QSSC __________

Part II:  Assessment of Outcomes

Instructions:  Rate each student’s portfolio as to the extent with which the included papers show competency in the following learning outcomes on a scale from 0-10, where 10 means the papers show excellent competency, a zero means no competency whatsoever, and 5 means some competency.  DK means don’t know and NA means not appropriate.  Add comments as necessary.

#

Outcome Description

Rating

Comments

(these might include pointers to excellent passages, general impressions of the portfolio, insights about the outcomes or data, etc.) Use the other side of paper as needed!

BA6

and Minor 3

Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.

 

 

 

Minor 2

Develop the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

 

 

 

 

QSSC1

Better understand the politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities and at local, national, and transnational scales.

 

 

 

QSSC

2

Possess a good understanding of sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.

 

 

 

 

Other Comments: 

 

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Self-Evaluation

 

Direct Measurement of Learning for

·       Minor Outcomes: 2

 

Part I: Demographic Questions

 

6.     Evaluator: _____________________

7.     Portfolio Number: _________

8.     Student Name:  ____________________

9.     Year of Seminar _________________

10.  Check all that apply:  Major ______  Minor _________   CLSC _________  QSSC __________

 

Part II:  Assessment of Outcomes

Instructions:  Rate each student’s portfolio as to the extent with which the included papers show competency in the following learning outcomes on a scale from 0-10, where 10 means the papers show excellent competency, a zero means no competency whatsoever, and 5 means some competency.  DK means don’t know and NA means not appropriate.  Add comments as necessary.

 

#

Outcome Description

Rating

Comments

(these might include pointers to excellent passages, general impressions of the portfolio, insights about the outcomes or data, etc.) Use the other side of paper as needed!

Minor 2

Develop the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

 

 

 

 

 

Other Comments: 

 

 

 

 

Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolios

 

Direct Measurement of Learning for

·       BA Outcomes: 1-6

·       Minor Outcomes: 1-3

·       Chicana/Latina Studies Concentration (CLSC): 1-2

·       Queer & Sexuality Studies Concentration (QSSC): 1-2

·       13 Total Outcomes

 

Part I: Demographic Questions

 

1.     Evaluator: _____________________

2.     Portfolio Number: _________

3.     Student Name:  ____________________

4.     Year of Seminar _________________

5.     Check all that apply:  Major ______  Minor _________   CLSC _________  QSSC __________

 

Part II:  Assessment of Outcomes

 

Instructions:  Rate each student’s portfolio as to the extent with which the included papers show competency in the following learning outcomes on a scale from 0-10, where 10 means the papers show excellent competency, a zero means no competency whatsoever, and 5 means some competency.  DK means don’t know and NA means not appropriate.  Add comments as necessary.

 

#

Outcome Description

Rating

Comments

(these might include pointers to excellent passages, general impressions of the portfolio, insights about the outcomes or data, etc.) Use the other side of paper as needed!

BA1

Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.

 

 

 

BA2

Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally.

 

 

 

BA3

Demonstrate the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

 

 

 

 

BA4

Be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social action broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.

 

 

BA5

Communicate clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument and evidence to support it.

 

 

 

BA6

Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.

 

 

 

CLSC1

Better understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.

 

 

 

CLSC2

Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies, including at least two of the following: the relationship between different racial formations in the U.S.; the Chicano movement; Chicana and Latina feminist art; U.S. third world feminisms; transnational feminist approaches to Chicana and Latina studies; transgender and queer approaches to Chican@ and Latin@ embodiment, politics, and desire.

 

 

QSSC1

Better understand the politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities and at local, national, and transnational scales.

 

 

 

QSSC

2

Possess a good understanding of sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Comments: 

 

Assessment Findings: 

Results from Rubric Evaluation of GWS 305 Manifestos

Spring 2013

Overview of the Assignment

The manifesto was written for a Final Essay in GWS 305, Feminist Theories.  It was required to be approximately 1000 words in length, including citations from at least three course texts and have at least 6 total citations.  It was meant to be partisan, ‘a declaration of principles” “on feminism … or a feminist position on a particular issue.”

Data

  1. Twenty students’ papers were assessed on two outcomes for the BA.
    1. BA3: “Demonstrate the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences”
    2. BA4: “Be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social action broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.”
  2. The students included 5 majors, 10 minors, and 5 students not majoring or minoring in GWS.

Results

  1. On a scale from 0-10, the scored on average a 8.05 on using feminist theory to think critically about the world, and moderately better (8.35) on creating an effective action plan.
  2. Overall, non-majors scored slightly higher than majors or minors on both outcomes, but the results were not significant (e.g., major vs. non-GWS students, t = 1.02, p = .351). 
  3. Students’ manifestoes evinced a great deal of passion and a very good application of the assigned theoretical issues to real-world problems through a feminist lens.  The students were especially good at describing feminism and how it applied to their lives. Some examples are listed below:
    1. A non-GWS student wrote, “If we feminists come together and are able to harvest this anger, beautiful things can happen.  We can paint a world without hate and bigotry.  Or we can at least punish those who are, instead of punishes those that are hated.  Currently, the world isn’t really that great a place for anyone.  Which is why we must, as Audre Lorde put it, ‘examine the ways in which our world can truly be different (Lorde 55).  That’s where feminism comes in.  It is the mechanism for change; it allows us to see the world a different and better place.”
    2. A GWS Major with an SQS Concentration wrote:  “There is no rest for the feminist spirit.  It cannot sleep while communities are terrorized, while homes are bombed and water poisoned, while women are beaten and because of their color, while whole nations are uprooted by invasion and greed.  The spirit of feminism is the spirit of solidarity and community, solidarity with all oppressed peoples as part of a community of the living.  At the core of this solidarity is a resolve to a radical reworking and challenging of social structures and institutions by embracing difference and drawing on theory and practice in equal parts.  But above all it is about love.  These must be the guiding principles of feminism.”
    3. A GWS minor wrote, “we must discard the dependence on hierarchies and notion of our bodies and minds as tools of efficiency and obedience and in order to transcend differences.  The roots of patriarchy run deep, and even aiming for equality with men hardly scratches the surface of what are inherently oppressive systems.  Feminism must advocate for the complete rejection of the institutions that have been built to maintain white hegemony.  This kind of feminism calls for a revolution.”
    4. A GWS minor nicely deployed Audre Lorde’s notion of the erotic:  “We have to redefine and reclaim the erotic.  The erotic is our supreme capacity for feeling.  It is the joy we know ourselves to be capable of…. Next must unleash the erotic.  To relegate it to sex is to forfeit utopia.  If we reserve fulfillment to one area of our lives, we resign ourselves to acceptance—we resign to capitalism, competition, individualism, and all the other bullshit that destroys our body, mind, and soul.  We must demand joy in every part of our lives.  We must be, become, perpetuate, promulgate, celebrate, protect, and cultivate the erotic everywhere.  We must demand utopia.”

Results from Rubric Evaluation of GWS 307 Final Papers

Spring 2013

Overview of the Assignment

We evaluated the final papers from GWS/MAS 307, Chicana Feminist Theories. This assignment required students to write a 8-10 page paper that “expands on one or more of the themes of the course and uses the ‘theoretical toolkit’ utilized in the course”.  

Data

1.              Eighteen students’ papers were assessed on one outcome for the GWS major and the two outcomes for the Chicana/Latina Studies Concentration (CLSC):

a.     Major 2: Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally.

b.     CLSC 1: Better understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.

c.     CLSC 2: Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies, including at least two of the following: the relationship between different racial formations in the U.S.; the Chicano movement; Chicana and Latina feminist art; U.S. third world feminisms; transnational feminist approaches to Chicana and Latina studies; transgender and queer approaches to Chican@ and Latin@ embodiment, politics, and desire.

d.     The students included 6 majors, 3 minors, and 9 students not majoring or minoring in GWS. 

2.              Three of the six majors were in the Sexualities & Queer Studies Concentration and one was in the Chicana/Latina Studies Concentration.

Results

  1. The students scored well on the learning outcome with an average of 8.7 on a scale from 0-10 on two outcomes Major 2 (Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally) and CLSC 1 (Better understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.).  The students scored slightly lower (8.5) on CLSC 2 (Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies...)
  2. GWS students (majors and minors considered together) scored significantly higher than non-GWS students:

 

Outcome

Mean for GWS Students

Mean for Non-GWS Students

t

p

Major 2

8.9

8.6

.98

.346

CLSC 1

9.3

8.2

2.29

.049

CLSC 2

8.9

8.2

2.25

.046

  1. Students’ responses showed excellent understanding of social movements, especially Chicano movements and Chican@ feminisms:
    1. The student with a CSLC concentration wrote of the Chicano movement of the 1960s: “when Chicanas chose to speak about gender and their experiences as Chicanas they were labeled as divisive and accused of undermining the success of the movement.  The role of women in La Familia was in the home and in the private sphere.  These behind-the-scenes roles were echoed within the movement.  Women were supposed to organized in private and leave the public representation and involvement to men.  Public space was supposed to be where men could interact with other men, in this case it was for Chicano men to protest against institutions supported by white men” (Wright 713).
    2. The student later wrote, “Defining malintZine as a Chicana space has been challenging because other identities such as queerness and (dis)ability inform people’s Chicana identity (Soto 3).  This makes defining a Chicana identity politic more complex because ideally for malintZine a Chicana identity politic would encompass all the ways Chican@ is experienced.  However, for some members of malintZine Chicana identity is rigidly defined.”
    3. A non-GWS student considered the role of Latin and Central American women in Chicana feminisms: “The Chicana feminisms continue to do what the white women feminist movement has done, which is excluding the minority.  As Ana Patricia Rodriguez lays out, “Chicanas, Latinas, and Central Americans may particpation int he elaboration of cross-border, or tranfronterista affinities, alliances, and solidarities’ (Ana Patricia Rodriguez 201). . . . On the other hand Professor Cardenas really grounds the issue of Chicanas and Central American women, by putting it in the contest of the current issues within the Chicano Studies attacks and pointing out the fact that even those courses which are supposed to be inclusive of a diverse range of groups that inhabit the United States continues to exclude the Latin and Central American woman.”
    4. A GWS minor wrote, “The Chicana Feminist movement grew out print culture that created an imagined political community through which those going through the same experiences can form a collective identity separate from the Chicano identity.  The pritn culture documented the critical moment in the development of a Chicana feminist theories and practices and a gendered shift that was continuously ignored within the Chicano movement.  The Chicano movement had erased the women’s early participation, creating a masculine, hegemonic narrative (Blackwell, 59).”
  2. Other students showed an excellent ability to “understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.”
  3. A GWS minor wrote, “Murder and disappearance of women in Juarez, Mexico cannot be considered the work of one psychopath or simply an aberration of a single individual or group but rather, the murder of these young women is politically motivated sexual violence rooted in a system of patriarchy and facilitated by multinational corporations through the exploitation of culturally gendered inequalities.”
  4. A non-GWS student wrote of Ana Castillo’s poem “My Father was a Toltec”: “it provides the realization of my expectations as a Chicana woman within society, it also inspires and motivates me to live my life as a Xicana, a feminist, a volcano that meant to erupt, spreading my beliefs and passions everywhere, seeking change, equality, agency.”

 

 

Results from Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Final Exams

Spring 2013

Overview of the Assignment

We evaluated the first part of the exam which focused on critical concepts covered in the course, with students addressing four of ten possible concepts.  These included common struggles for immigrant and & LGBTQ communities, investments in respectable femininities, protests that involve “learning to represent yourself to others,” the challenging of public places, difficulties in proving identity to an immigration judge, and the symbolic and material effects of the barring of immigrants from public benefits. 

Data

1.              Twenty-five students’ papers were assessed on two outcomes for the BA and one for the Minor

a.     BA 1 and Minor 1: Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.

b.     BA 5: Communicate clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument and evidence to support it.

2.              The students included 7 majors, 5 minors, and 13 students not majoring or minoring in GWS. 

3.              Four of the seven majors were in the Queer and Sexuality Studies Concentration.

Results

  1. The students scored quite high on both learning outcomes.  On a scale from 0-10, the scored averaged 8.4 on both developing facility in applying major concepts, and communicating clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument, and evidence to support it. 
  2. GWS students scored significantly higher than non-GWS students on the BA1 outcome (t=2.78, p = .011) and higher (but not significantly so, on the BA5 outcome (t=1.59, p = .126). 
  3. The GWS majors with SQS concentrations scored the highest of all with means of 9.1 and 9.3 on the two measures.  The score on BA5 was significantly higher than non-SQS concentration students (t = 2.65, p = .037).
  4. Students’ responses showed very good understanding of some very difficult concepts in feminist thought and were able to apply them to a variety of immigration issues in Arizona and beyond.  Their ability to critically analyze identities and forms of resistance were especially provocative.  See below:
    1. An SQS student:  “Stories that offer empathy through a shared identity can allow the reader to wonder, “what if this happened to me?” and construct these stories in potential reference to their personal circumstances (Pratt, 8).  This strategy of empathetic identification is problematic in that it allows that person to focus more on self-reflection rather than understanding the specific experiences of those who provide the testimony.  Furthermore, this can allow those who receive the testimony to ‘feel good about themselves as liberal persons able to empathize across difference’ and because this is self-validating, it makes these stories easier to bear (Pratt, 8).  Because the utilization of empathy as a tool can create stereotypes, contribute to our culture’s numbness to trauma, and be misused as a means of self-validation for those who receive it, Pratt shows how this use of empathy can be ineffective in inspiring action for social change.”
    2. A GWS minor wrote, “What Baker-Cristales is saying that we need to see the implications of a protest as a form of self-formation and self-presentation, and therefore, as a cultural struggle as well as political and economic struggles (70).  Because political expression is shaped and formed by social discourse, social representations are synonymous with political representations (70).  Therefore, ‘learning to represent yourself’ is an example of how the personal is political”
    3. A GWS major wrote, “The stigma of social welfare also stems from the demographics of its beneficiaries.  Though African-American and Mexican-American women were initially barred from receiving benefits, the current average recipient is assumed to be a woman of color, despite the statistical inaccuracy of that image.  This legitimization of only certain users as worthy of public assistance is an example of biopolitics.  Within the Value of Immigrant Life, Jonathan Inda explains that the practice of biopolitics determines that the lives of immigrants and people of color are ‘not quite worth living’ (Inda 137).  This contrasts with corporations and wealthy, white elite men that run them, who are considered the epitome of what it means to be American and are therefore socially worth spending money on.” 
    4. A GWS minor wrote, “By simply saying, ‘we are not criminals!” many protestors failed to ask the question “why do you see us as criminals in the first place?” Baker-Cristales argued that by representing themselves within the confines of U.S. hegemonic structures, it left the U.S. to assess the validity of their claims, as opposed to protestors asserting their human rights and attempting to expose the racism they frequently experienced.”

Results from Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Essays

Spring 2013

Overview of the Assignment

We evaluated the second part of the final exam which required students to write a 3-page essay on one of four essay questions.  The students were required to incorporate at least 3 course readings or lectures.  The questions considered issues such as biopolitics and U.S. immigration policies, protests around immigration especially how they relate to cultural norms and values, right-wing attitudes about childbearing Latina immigrant women, representations and policies about immigrants. 

Data

1.              Twenty-five students’ papers were assessed on one outcome for the BA, one for the Minor, and both of the outcomes for the Queer & Sexuality Studies Concentration:

a.     BA 6 and Minor 3: Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.

b.     QSSC 1: Better understand the politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities and at local, national, and transnational scales.

c.     QSSC 2: Possess a good understanding of sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.

2.              The students included 8 majors, 5 minors, and 12 students not majoring or minoring in GWS. 

3.              Five of the eight majors were in the Queer and Sexuality Studies Concentration.

Results

  1. The students scored quite high on each of the learning outcomes.  On a scale from 0-10, they averaged: 8.9 on demonstrating an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understanding structural inequalities; 8.9 on better understanding the politics and cultures of sexualities; and 9.1 on possessing a good understanding of sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.
  2. On all three outcomes, GWS students (both majors and minors considered together) scored significantly higher than non-GWS students. 

 

Outcome

Mean for GWS Students

Mean for Non-GWS Students

t

p

BA 6 and Minor 3

9.3

8.6

3.35

.004

QSSC 1

9.2

8.6

2.80

.016

QSSC 2

9.3

8.7

3.27

.005

 

 

 

  1. There were no significant differences between GWS majors, minors, or majors with QSSC concentrations. 
  2. Students’ responses showed excellent understanding of the diversity of human experience and structural inequalities, the politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities, and sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender, and geopolitics.  See below:
    1. A non-GWS student wrote, “those affiliated with right-wring politics feel very threatened by colored women, particularly Latinas, having children.  They fear that they are unjustly siphoning resources from the US, purposely coming here pregnant because they ‘know’ that their children would be granted citizenship status.  They assume that pregnant Latina women make these insidious, mooching cost-benefit analyses and [this] has earned the progeny of these women slurs like ‘anchor babies’.   Such attacks on childbearing are not unprecedented, since they follow a well-established history of racism and sexism in the United States and examples of the ruling party exercising biopower.”
    2. A GWS major wrote about the film Immigration Nation: “by using [Elvira Arrellano] as the face for the immigration march in the movie, the immigrants are using the cultural idea of the family under heteronormative terms in order to represent themselves as being like any other American family in the country.”
    3. A non-GWS student wrote, “All citizens of color are affected by the negative media coverage surrounding Mexican immigrants because it creates a stereotype that they all must live with.  Their children are more likely to be targeted by racism.  The women’s morality comes into question about why they choose to have children.  White middle-class women do not get questioned on whether or not their child was produced to help to gain citizenship.” 
    4. A GWS major with an SQS concentration discussed the importance of immigration protests this way:  “the act of protesting is not produced by fully-formed political subjects, rather it is part of a process where the protesters serve as actors who help to develop an understanding of citizenship and rights (Pratt 69).  Because protesters can help to evolve political discourse, they have the power to change the cultural norms that they are conforming to.”
    5. A GWS minor nicely described the inter-connectedness of biopower, immigration, and human rights in this way: “Biopower functions at the expense of other groups whose lives are not valued equally, and are often seen as a threat to the majority group.  Their lives are often seen as a necessary sacrifice in order for the majority group to maintain its superior position, so they are pushed into debilitating and dangerous positions and effectively stripped of many human rights in the process.  Biopolitics are clearly evident in the U.S. regarding Mexican immigrants, who have been exploited for decades as low cost labor, while simultaneously being blamed when the U.S. economy is not flourishing.”

 

Results from Rubric Evaluation of GWS 325 Self-Evaluations

Spring 2013

Overview of the Assignment

We evaluated the self-evaluations that students completed near the end of the semester for GWS 325 Gender, Sexuality & International Migration.  This assignment required students to assess their own learning experiences in the course as well the major course material.  While such self-evaluations are usually considered indirect measures of learning, the nature of the assignment including in-depth discussion of the course material allowed for this to count as a direct measure.

Data

1.              Twenty-five students’ papers were assessed on one outcome for the GWS Minor: 

a.     Minor 2:  Develop the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences

2.              The students included 8 majors, 5 minors, and 12 students not majoring or minoring in GWS. 

3.              Five of the eight majors were in the Queer and Sexuality Studies Concentration.

Results

  1. The students scored quite high on the learning outcome with an average of 9.1 on a scale from 0-10 on the outcome “Develop the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences.”
  2. There were no significant differences between majors, minors, majors with concentrations, or non-GWS students.  In other words, they all scored basically the same on average.
  3. Students’ responses showed excellent “ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences.” See below:
    1. A GWS major wrote, “I think that living so close to the U.S.-Mexican border will make it so that the ideas from this course will always be relevant to me.  I plan on pursuing a career in medicine and I have seen that, when a border patrol agent sees fit, undocumented immigrants are often patients in emergency rooms.  I want to take the teachings of this course into account when I advocate for their care.”
    2. A GWS major with an SQS concentration wrote, “when I started this course, I thought I had a good grasp on some immigration issues, but truly had no idea about the oppression, abuse, and problems in immigration, especially surrounding the border.”
    3. A non-GWS student wrote, “Another idea I will take away from this course is how cultural conflict comes into play [from the testimonies from] Massey et al, and Sotelo.  I was moved by much of their work and my views on immigration have shifted dramatically in that immigration is now an issue I feel strongly about and want to voice my opinion about, [but] in the pass I was more passive and indifferent towards the issue.”
    4. A GWS major with an SQS concentration wrote, “”One major idea that I will take with me from this course is that U.S. colonialism causes a lot of the migration to the United States.  I found Espiritu’s explanation of how the U.S. rejected Filipino immigration despite the fact that U.S. colonialism is the thing that caused many Filipinos to migrate to be really interesting.  Another thing I will take away from this class is the stringent gender binary that is found throughout the U.S. immigration process.  I intend on going to law school to focus on transgender advocacy so the story of Christina Madrazo really interested me.  I think that this story will have relevance to me after the course as I hope to work for more trans-inclusive processes in the United States.”  
    5. Another GWS major with an SQS concentration wrote, “I feel like I understand the economic and political side of immigration much better than I did before the class.  I feel like I could hold my own in a conversation about policy and that means a lot to me because before I considered immigration to be an issue that was so political and complicated that I would not argue any opinions or thoughts that I had on the subject because I was not well informed.”
    6. A GWS minor related the course material to gender and sexuality: “After finishing this course, I can much better explain how gender and sexuality are directly related to immigration.  Before the course, I would have never thought that gender and sexuality had a place in the discussion concerning immigration.  I have gained a whole new perspective on immigration by looking at through a GWS perspective.  I can also much better explain why people migrate.  Although it seems like a simple question, I feel much better prepared and educated on how to approach this question that considers the historical and social implications.”

 

Results from Rubric Evaluation of GWS 498 Portfolios

Fall 2012

Overview of the Assignment

Each student in GWS 498 compiled a portfolio representative of their best work throughout their GWS career.  These portfolios consisted of 3-5 term papers from a range of courses.  They were generally 4-8 pages in length.

Data

  1. Eighteen portfolios were assessed on six outcomes for the BA, and two outcomes for both the Sexuality & Queer Studies Concentration and the Chicana & Latina Studies Concentration.
    1. BA1: Distinguish Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, develop facility in applying its major concepts (e.g., difference, power, knowledge, oppression, representation, intersectionality, and resistance), history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and comprehend its epistemological and methodological diversity.
    2. BA2: Develop awareness and knowledge of current and historical social justice issues and social movements locally (the U.S. Southwest and borderlands), nationally, and transnationally.
    3. BA3: “Demonstrate the ability to apply insights from feminist theory to think critically about the world, their place in it, and their lived experiences”
    4. BA4: “Be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social action broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.”
    5. BA5: Communicate clearly in writing, marshaling a persuasive argument and evidence to support it.
    6. BA6: Demonstrate an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and understand structural inequalities grounded in gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nation.
    7. CLSC1: Better understand the dynamic relationships of gender, sexuality, race, and class in and beyond the U.S. Southwest.
    8. CLSC2: Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies, including at least two of the following: the relationship between different racial formations in the U.S.; the Chicano movement; Chicana and Latina feminist art; U.S. third world feminisms; transnational feminist approaches to Chicana and Latina studies; transgender and queer approaches to Chican@ and Latin@ embodiment, politics, and desire.
    9. SQSC1: Better understand the politics and cultures of sexualities in diverse communities and at local, national, and transnational scales.
    10. SQSC2: Possess a good understanding of sexuality in dynamic relationship to inequalities of race, class, gender and geopolitics.
  2. The students included 16 majors, 2 minors, and 1 of the majors was in the Sexuality & Queer Studies Concentration.
  3. Two evaluators scored each of the portfolios and thus it was possible to calculate Cronbach’s Alpha to measure inter-rater reliability.  The reliability was generally good with typical Alphas of .670, .781, and .669. 

Results

  1. The means and standard deviations for each of the learning outcomes are below:

 

Learning Outcome

Mean

S.D.

BA 1

8.8

.74

BA 2

8.9

.69

BA 3

8.9

.88

BA 4

8.8

.94

BA 5

9.1

.71

BA 6

8.6

.73

CLSC 1

8.6

.91

CLSC 2

8.2

1.31

SQSC 1

8.5

1.06

SQSC 2

8.7

.86

 

 

  1. Each of the BA learning outcomes scored about the same except BA 6 on the diversity of the human experience was slightly lower than the others.
  2. The scores on the learning outcomes for the concentrations were lower, especially CLSC 2, “Demonstrate facility with a number of important concepts and movements in Chicana/Latina Studies...” This would have been even lower, except many of the portfolios did not touch on this issue at all, and were thus scored as N/A.

 

 

Change in Response to Findings: 

Changes in Response to Findings

Overall, the findings were overwhelmingly positive, which reflects the department’s dedication to constantly reviewing and updating the curriculum. Several areas were identified that do merit collective discussion by the faculty and may lead to changes.

One finding concerned BA Outcome 2. Direct measures showed that students were meeting this outcome, but “indirect measures were more mixed, especially in relation to awareness of social movements.” As a department, we have discussed whether and how students should learn about the history of feminist and other social movements, and at what stage in the curriculum. We will revisit that discussion in light of the assessment findings.

Another area that requires discussion concerned BA outcome 4, “be empowered to, and possess the skills to, galvanize social movements broadly construed as evidenced by the ability to create an effective action plan for a contemporary issue.” The findings showed that “this is being met at a pretty good rate” according to direct measures, but “indirect measures showed that many students did not feel they were meeting that outcome.” As a faculty, we want to think through what’s causing students to feel they are not meeting this measure, even when direct measures suggest that they are meeting it. We will also discuss which courses help students to achieve this outcome, and how, and whether any refinements are needed. The internship program, which has been growing significantly, is an important mechanism through which this issue is already being addressed.

Finally, on outcome 2 for the Chicana/Latina Studies concentration, the assessment found that “students did not score as high on the direct measures for this outcome as for others.” As a faculty, we will have a discussion about why that finding emerged, but we suspect that the materials selected as a basis for performing the assessment may have a strong part to play in this finding. Therefore, we’ll rethink the basis for this part of the assessment, as well as whether there is a more general lesson to which we should pay attention.

Overall, we were very encouraged and pleased by the findings of the assessment, and we also value the questions that were raised, because they help us with the ongoing work of refining the curriculum, to which the Undergraduate Committee and the faculty as a whole is very committed.

Updated date: Tue, 06/03/2014 - 11:00