ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Oct. 3, 2005 – One year after the Women’s Studies program celebrated its ten-year anniversary, it has now been approved as a major at St. Bonaventure University.
The program aims to introduce students to the field of women’s studies by offering specialized courses in content and theory, and to promote insight of women’s and feminist scholarship into the general curriculum, according the undergraduate program catalog.
Dr. Karen Robbins, director of women’s studies, is excited about this new major and what it brings to the university. She talked about how this major helps you to learn to take a critical approach to solving situations.
“Gender impacts society in profound ways,” Robbins said. “These courses are a helpful prep for life.”
The University has offered a Women’s Studies minor since the program was introduced in the 1993-94 academic school year. The minor had its core requirement of “Introduction to Women’s Studies,” a selection of four courses in the field, and a senior seminar, “Colloquium in Women’s Studies.”
Robbins expects that students will use this as a double major. Several students have approached her about this new program and she is hoping that the number will grow. Robbins wants students to know that the program is here and both males and females are encouraged to take these classes.
“We’re here, come take us, we want you,” Robbins promotes.
This program is run by a small but dedicated committee. It was accredited over the summer by New York State with no budget. The program encourages different professors of different fields to teach classes about women based on their area of study. The courses available range from “Women and Politics” to “Women in Religion” and “Women, Minorities and the Media.”
The coursework has goals of studying women’s issues while promoting interdisciplinary research and critical thinking and to raise questions about the exclusionary functions of existing knowledge, according the undergraduate program catalog. Robbins’ main goal of this major is to make it more visible on campus, so people know it’s here.
Robbins expects this major to be an admissions tool to help the University. She imagines it will attract students especially from all-girl Catholic schools.
Robbins said anybody that graduates with a Women’s Studies degree usually can get jobs that any humanities major can.
“This program incorporates writing skills with critical thinking,” Robbins said. “And that is what employers are generally looking for.”
This field of study takes an interdisciplinary route. It gives you more insight into how things are set up in our society and how women are portrayed in various situations.
“This program shows you how to live life,” Robbins said. “Women’s Studies is something all the students should consider.”