In 1989, the Women’s Studies program proposed an undergraduate minor in Women’s and Gender Studies for IUP students. More information about the history of the minor is available through excerpts from the program proposal.
Women’s and Gender Studies as a minor course of study is designed to examine the status and experiences of women from a multidisciplinary perspective. The courses use a variety of methods and disciplinary perspectives to explore the impact of gender. Students are encouraged to challenge traditional theories and research regarding women and to develop a critical, multidisciplinary, multicultural, and gendered view of the world. Courses in Women’s and Gender Studies address social equity issues and encourage students to perceive themselves as capable of transforming society.
No longer can education be primarily involved with preparing men and women for traditional, sex role stereotypic, or gender segregated roles and careers. Students attending college now and in the future must be prepared for the new family structures and the gender integrated workplace of the new millennium. Women’s and Gender Studies offers a body of courses which explains gender bias and can help women and men challenge and overcome such prejudices in their own minds.
A minor in Women’s and Gender Studies indicates to the prospective employer an awareness of and sensitivity to gender issues. This awareness may be needed in the following positions: personnel specialist, affirmative action officer, crisis intervention specialist, family and youth services provider, or legal advocate. A minor in Women’s and Gender Studies can contribute to success in a variety of fields, including communication, counseling, criminology, education, health, journalism, law, politics, psychology, and applied sociology.
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