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Gender & Women's Studies Faculty Guidelines


Guidelines for Women’s Studies Faculty and Approved Electives

Mission Statement

The Gender & Women’s Studies Program broadens women’s and men’s knowledge of gender dynamics, globally and historically, with an emphasis on issues central to women’s lives. Through an interdisciplinary classroom experience, community outreach, and special events, the Gender & Women’s Studies Program advances understanding of the social and cultural institutions and practices that affect us.


  • sharpen ability to critically analyze gender issues
  • encourage the practice of feminist scholarship
  • enhance intellectual and personal growth
  • foster an atmosphere in which diversity is valued
  • advocate ethical conduct, social justice, and responsible global citizenship

These goals support the university’s goals in a number of ways. As an interdisciplinary program, Gender & Women’s Studies enhances intellectual and personal growth by synthesizing various ways of knowing, learning, and communication. For the undergraduate minor, approved electives must be taken in both the humanities and the sciences/social sciences, thus exposing students to alternative methods of social, political, scientific, and literary analysis. The core course in the interdisciplinary minor (Introduction to Women’s Studies) meets Category C (social sciences) of the general education requirements. The graduate certificate, which is fully available online, consists of at least five courses: two core courses and three electives, one of which must be outside the student’s home discipline.


I. Gender & Women’s Studies Faculty

Gender & women’s studies faculty include all faculty under current contract with Western Kentucky University who teach a course listed as a Gender & Women’s Studies core course or elective, as determined by the Gender & Women’s Studies Steering Committee.


II. Gender & Women’s Studies Courses/Guidelines

Given the mission of the Gender & Women’s Studies Program, it is understood that our courses focus on women and gender and aim to

1. assist students in exploring how social constructions of gender have contributed to the oppression and/or empowerment of women and men, historically and in contemporary America and the world;

2. introduce students to differences, including, but not limited to, those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, family composition, gender identity, race, region, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and the distribution of resources in and among countries and groups globally;

3. use authors whose work reflects current feminist scholarship;

4. incorporate pedagogies that stress collaborative and active learning and that facilitate critical thinking, reading, and writing.

We ask that all faculty teaching an elective for the Gender & Women’s Studies Program include in their syllabus a statement explaining that the course counts towards the GWS minor and/or graduate certificate. Example:

WKU has a strong and growing Gender & Women’s Studies Program. We offer courses that are cross-listed in over eleven other departments. Undergraduates can minor in gender & women’s studies, and graduate students can earn a graduate certificate. Every semester the program sponsors several on-campus events, including films and speakers. Taking gender & women’s studies courses and attending our events is a great way for both women and men to become part of a smaller community of interesting and intelligent people at the university. If you are interested in learning more about gender & women’s studies at WKU, contact the instructor, drop by the Gender & Women’s Studies Center at 1532 State Street, or visit the website: http://www.wku.edu/Dept/Academic/womenstudies/

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 Last Modified 12/10/18