Academic Senate Approves Women's Studies Changes
September 9, 2004 3:46 PM
The Academic Senate unanimously approved department requirement changes proposed by Women's Studies program chair Minoo Moallem, this past Tuesday.
These new changes will update the department while maintaining their current curriculum and without having to eliminate any courses.
According to Moallem, chair of the Women's Studies department, the reason for revision is multifold. Some of the reasons she listed include,creating space for an interdisciplinary and multicultural approach to knowledge in the core courses, to enhance our capacity to advise our students both qualitatively and quantitatively, and to create more space for faculty to work collaboratively in relation to core courses.
Moallem said that these changes would focus on issues of race, with an emphasis on women of color in particular.
Further, according to Moallem, the updated major will provide a wider array of choice in electives outside the department by requiring students to have six units worth of electives outside the department, and reducing the number of core requirement units in Women's Studies from 18 to 12 units.
The Women's Studies program was introduced to SF State in 1976 as a response to an active group of feminists on campus.
In 1986, the program evolved into a department which offered both a major and minor in the field. Today, nearly thirty years after its conception, a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and minor are offered by the department.
According to a report released by the department, the number of students majoring in Women's Studies has almost doubled in the past four years. In 2000, there were 30 students; during Spring of 2004 there were 51.
"The program exists to focus on women's issues in literature, history, sociology, anthropology, as well as cultural and ethnic studies," Moallem said.
A degree in Women's Studies can prepare its students for a wide array of career opportunities including teaching, journalism, counseling, law, social work, health and administration.
"I am extremely excited about the changes being made," said assistant professor and graduate advisor of Women's Studies, Deborah Cohler. “This is a terrific revision. I feel that we are moving forward in a positive way."
Cohler said that the core courses in the Women's Studies major will begin to be more integrated, (in that) all courses will look at race, gender, sexuality, and not just a few.
The new proposed plan has been in the works since 1999 and will go into effect in 2005.
Jillian Sandell, Women's Studies undergradute advisor and assistant professor said that she was excited by the changes.
"We can now offer an integrated major that reflects current scholarship in women's studies," said Sandell, "especially the importance of interdisciplinary methodologies and transnational approaches to the study of gender, sexuality and race."
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