This file was prepared for electronic distribution by the inforM staff. Questions or comments should be directed to email@example.com. CHAPTER SIX CUNY-HUNTER COLLEGE FEMINIST EDUCATION BY MICHELE PALUDI AND JOAN TRONTO -1 Hunter College of the City University of New York, reflecting both the political commitment of its women's studies program and the richly diverse student population, assesses their goals and accomplishments in three areas: multiculturalism, critical thinking, and integration of knowledge. Particular attention is paid to the relationship of women's studies to the community and to the program's advocacy component. Founded by Thomas Hunter as a normal school to educate women whose career goals included teaching children and adolescents, City University of New York-Hunter College has sustained its century-and-a-quarter commitment to educating women. As one of the oldest branches of City University of New York, Hunter College is now coeducational but 73 percent of its nineteen thousand students are women, a percentage that has not varied since 1985. Even among undergraduate non-degree students--the majority of whom are participants in a Senior Citizen Program--two-thirds are women. In graduate training programs at Hunter, women represent a larger percentage of students than is found in the student population as a whole. In 1990, for example, 76.6 percent of the graduate students were women. And there are more women matriculating in graduate programs (78.7 percent) than among non-matriculating students (71.1 percent). Approximately 53 percent of Hunter's student population are minorities. The largest minority representation is in the African American, non- Hispanic category, with Hispanic Other and Asian or Pacific Islander second and third. The ethnic classifications of Hunter's student body have remained relatively stable over the past three years. Within the graduate programs, black, non-Hispanic constitutes the largest minority group (14.9 percent in 1990); 67.3 percent are white, non-Hispanic. The Women's Studies Program at Hunter College, officially begun in the mid-1970s, has been central in women's studies since the inception o~ this field of study. In 1983, the Hunter College Women's Studies Collective published Women's Realities, Women's Choices, the first comprehensive textbook for introductory women's studies. Since then. Hunter's Women's Studies Pro- gram has continued to grow and evolve, adding new faculty members and striving to offer a curriculum that reflects the diversity of women on a global basis while remaining at the forefront of women's studies scholarship. The Women's Studies Program at Hunter College has been one of three departments/programs (with Anthropology and Urban Affairs) that have shown the largest growth since 1985. Women's studies has gone from thirty-two FTEs in 1985 to fifty-eight in 1990. representing an 81 percent increase. An interdisciplinary academic program that seeks to preserve. expand, and share knowledge about women and gender, women's studies reexamines women's heritage and the role of women in contemporary society and in all cultures. It aims, through a focus on women's experiences, to open fresh perspectives throughout the entire curriculum. Women's studies at Hunter relies upon a broad community of affiliated faculty, staff, and students and is ad- ministered by a coordinator and a policy committee of elected student and faculty representatives. Women's studies at Hunter College includes three components: curriculum, scholarship, and advocacy. Through participation in the FIPSE project, our program has sought to assess our goals and accomplishments in three areas multiculturalism, critical thinking, and integration of knowledge. Throughout this project, we have tried to be as inclusive of our women's studies community as possible in the formulation of goals and in their assessment. As a result, we believe our assessment demonstrates that what we have hoped to develop as the strengths of our program are, in fact, strengths of our program. While work remains to be done, we believe that this assessment has helped us to recognize the crucial ways in which women's studies provides the students of Hunter College with "the courage to question." MULTICULTURALISM I remember in my "Women in the Third World" class, one of the first things my professor talked about was embracing similarity in the heart of difference. And it took me so long to understand what she meant, and maybe l...just took lit]...my own way, but I felt...it was about... getting yourself out of your context somehow, or recognizing that you are m your context, and everything that you see, and everything that you believe has so much to do with...where you come from. WOMEN'S STUDIES STUDENT, 1991 The goal of multicultural learning involves a complex set of intellectual and personal traits. In order to learn about other cultures, students need to be able to draw connecting links between their own experiences and the experiences of others; to comprehend cultural differences; to deal with "culture shock"; to clear away subjective obstacles to multicultural learning such as racism and ethnocentrism. New York City is a world city; the students at Hunter College reflect the extraordinary ethnic diversity of the globe. Nonetheless, a number of aspects of life in New York City and at Hunter College make the emergence of cosmopolitan citizens of the world problematic. First, though New York consists of people from all over the world, large parts of New York City are rigidly segregated by ethnic group and by class. Many New Yorkers live in extremely insulated communities. These structural problems are compounded by difficulties in establishing sufficient trust for multicultural understanding. As levels of incivility increase in the city as a whole, no single individual's or group's efforts for multicultural understanding will be automatically rewarded by the recognition, appreciation, or acknowledgment of others. Consequently, the high psychic costs of trying to understand others may seem too high a price to pay for uncertain results. To assess how effectively the Women's Studies Program accomplished its complex goal of reflecting multiculturalism, we examined data in three different areas: curriculum, scholarship, and collective conversations with students. CURRICULUM An examination of Hunter's women's studies curriculum reveals a concerted effort to offer multicultural courses, hire faculty members from diverse backgrounds, and prepare existing faculty members to weave multicultural issues throughout their courses. The data suggest that the program's goal to infuse a multicultural perspective in the women's studies program is being met. The proportion of the curriculum that focuses on explicitly multicultural themes is significant. During fall 1990, for example, the Women's Studies Program offered six out of twelve multicultural courses: "Women in the Third World"; "Women and Music in World Cultures"; "Autobiographies of Black Women Literary Artists"; "Working Class Women in the United States, 1865-1960"; "Changing Roles of Women in China/Japan"; and "The Politics of AIDS: Seminar in Political Behavior." During spring 1991, the Women's Studies Program offered seven out of sixteen courses on explicitly multicultural themes: "Women and Development"; "Race, Gender, and the Movies"; "Black Women Literary Artists"; "Lesbian Voices in the Twentieth Century"; "Women in the Middle East"; "Women, Art, and Culture"; and "Decolonizing Desire: Fiction By Third World Women." Students also can choose from among several additional women's studies courses regularly offered in the program that have explicitly multicultural subjects: "Black Women in the Americas," "Puerto Rican and Latina Women," and "Immigrant Women in New York City." Two other cross-listed courses regularly offered are "Gender. Ethnicity, and Disease" and "Black Women Writers: Cross Cultural Connections." To expand such course offerings, the Women's Studies Program has hired new faculty members and worked with existing faculty. Over the past several years, the program has hired additional faculty members who bring an international and multicultural perspective to women's studies and has hired adjuncts to offer additional courses in subjects such as "Black Women in the Americas," "Immigrant Women in New York City," and "Lesbian Voices." In order to prepare faculty members in multicultural women's studies scholarship, the college has continued to support faculty development seminars on a university-wide basis. During summer 1990, a Ford Foundation- sponsored project to integrate materia] on women of color into the curriculum received support from Hunter College and included faculty members from women's studies. The college supported for the third year the City University- wide Faculty Development Seminar on Balancing the Curriculum for Gender, Race, Class, and Ethnicity, in which women's studies faculty members played a central role. The newly renovated Women's Studies Library/Resource Center also contains books, articles, and audio/visual materials rich in multicultural resources to assist faculty with their curriculum integration projects. Additionally, faculty members teaching "Women's Studies 100" and other cross-listed courses made concerted efforts to balance their class materials for ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, race, and class. Almost every section, for instance, in the "Women's Studies 100" course included either Audre Lorde's Sister/Outsider or Johnnetta Cole's All American Women. A review of the syllabi in general revealed that numerous articles on the experiences of lesbians, older women, African American women, Afro-Caribbean women, Puerto Rican women, Latinas, Asian American women, Native American women, and others also were typical. Funds from the Hunter College Pluralism and Diversity Grant were used for integrating global materials into the introductory course in women's studies. Funds from this grant also are being used to help faculty members work on race and gender balancing curricula in a variety of disciplines. The Women's Studies Program in conjunction with the Psychology Department, for example, has designed a program that will encourage students and faculty members to consider culture, ethnicity, sex, gender, class, and race as important psychological variables and to note the bias in traditional psychological theories and research paradigms. Designed by the current women's studies coordinator, Michele Paludi, the course includes four components: (1) acquisition of educational materials dealing with curriculum integration, (2) development of a resource manual on curriculum integration, (3) faculty development seminars to address curricular and pedagogical issues, and (4) development of a new course in the Department of Psychology called "Psychology of Gender, Ethnicity, and Race," which was taught in spring 1992. Like several other institutions nationally, Hunter College has begun to explore adding a pluralism and diversity requirement to its distribution requirements. Not surprisingly, faculty members in women's studies have been actively involved in the discussion. Among the tenets of the proposal is the requirement that all students take a course focusing on women and women's contributions to the disciplines. Expanding the multicultural emphasis in the curriculum beyond the classroom walls, Hunter also received grants from the Ford Foundation and the Aaron Diamond Foundation to support women's studies student internships in women's reproductive health care in New York City and to sponsor a three-day conference on balancing the curriculum for reproductive rights issues in a global perspective. Currently the project is focusing on developing a training program to enhance the reproductive health awareness of Latinas in New York City. The success of such efforts in attracting diverse students to women's studies can be seen in the number of women of color, lesbians, and older women who are women's studies majors. In 1991, twelve women graduated with majors in women's studies. Among them, one older lesbian is attending Harvard Law School, one older African American woman is attending graduate school in creative writing at Michigan State University, and an African American woman is studying genetics at MIT. Suggesting both their training in multiculturalism through women's studies and the encouragement to do multicultural research, recipients of the 1991 Women's Studies Prizes wrote papers and poems reflecting multicultural issues such as "Race and the Press: Newspaper Coverage of the Central Park Jogger Case." Likewise, the Community Service Awards, presented to the Returning Women Magazine collective and to Satoko Yagiura and Adelaide Sakeflyo, demonstrate a similar affirmation of multicultural work. SCHOLARSHIP Further evidence of the multicultural focus of our Women's Studies Program is illustrated by our monthly colloquium series. For fall 1991, the program de- voted one month to the following themes, all of which included material about diverse women: "Women's Studies in the Academy: Scholarship, Pedagogy, and Advocacy," "Current Issues in Women's Health: Research and Social Policy Applications," and "Women's Mental Health and Well Being." For spring 1992, the following themes were featured: "Literary and Media Images of Women," "Violence Against Women," and "Women and Disabilities." The 1991 Bella Abzug Lectureship was given by Loretta Ross and Adetoun Ilumoka and devoted to "Reproductive Rights: An African/African-American Dialogue." In 1992, the lectureship will be devoted to sex and race discrimination in the academy and workplace and will be presented by Catharine Stimpson. In addition, Hunter is one of twenty-six Rockefeller Foundation Humanist-in-Residence sites in the country. This grant-funded program has offered two fellowships each year, beginning in 1990-91, enabling feminist scholars to work on a research project related to gender and feminism in Third World contexts and to participate with women's studies students and faculty in a monthly seminar on this topic. Annual themes for the humanist- in-residence program have been Social Constructions and Representations of Gender in Third World Societies, Women's Cultures of Resistance and Organized Feminist Movements, and 'Third World' Women/'Western' Women: Differences, Commonalities, and Cross-Currents of Experience. To date, Hunter has hosted four scholars: Vivien Ng (a historian at the University of Oklahoma), Sylvia Marcos (a psychotherapist in Mexico), Jacqueline Alexander (a sociologist at Brandeis University), and Sitralega Maunaguru (a poet, peace activist, and lecturer in literature at the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka). Faculty members also collaborate with students on a variety of research projects, publish papers, and present work at conferences. Examples of research currently being conducted at Hunter that have a multicultural theme include: the interface of racism and sexism in academic and workplace sexual harassment; Greek-American women; immigrant women in the United States, 1840-2000; Italian women authors, Medieval-Renaissance; minority women in academia; women and international migration; women in Central America; women in Latin America; and cross-race mentoring in the academy. COLLECTIVE CONVERSATIONS Donna Murdock, a women's studies student, organized a series of collective conversations with students to evaluate whether, in their experience, the Women's Studies Program fostered multicultural awareness. In a series of small-group discussions with alumnae and current students, most of whom were women's studies majors, students recognized that progress has been made in recentering the Women's Studies Program to reflect the wide diversity that typifies women's lives. As one student put it: ...the Women's Studies Program has really evolved, evolved into something that's really helpful to women.... [T]hey've put in more courses and they're always bringing in...speakers...it's not only about white women. And for me, that's important, being a black woman.... I couldn't identify with something where I never see myself! Confirming the sense that women's studies courses had made serious progress toward being multiracial in content, another student revealed how different women's studies classes were than she had imagined: ...my mother's always told me, "there's certain things you don't say around white people!"...so me coming with this kind of prejudice, I really felt that they had to prove themselves to me. You know, it was..."So what is this women's studies about, if it's all about white women?" But I found that it really wasn't like that. Echoing this student's sentiments, a white student commented on the transformative effect of her classes on her own consciousness: I have learned a lot about...how other women feel...how black women feel in society...with...racism and sexism. I wasn't aware of how they felt until they spoke up and told me. How Indian women feel and...Asian women feel, and I think I have less now of an ethnocentric view...where I think our culture is the best. I no longer feel that way at all. Overall, students also felt women's studies addressed multicultural issues far more directly and productively than other departments Other students commented on how the atmosphere established in the classroom helped students as they negotiated their multicultural differences. One student commented, "The class was made up of very diverse ethnic groups, and the respect and interaction and sharing that went on was emotionally and intellectually supportive." Another expressed it this way: I think that women's studies has...helped me learn not to stomp on other people s opinions and other people's feelings, and how to get across "this is why I don't agree with you and this is what I believe in and this is why." And...that has helped me in my political science courses and my political life and in my life. In addition to the overall praise of the program, students offered suggestions for meeting their need for more dialogue in courses about racism and other "isms." "I would also like to see some more stuff implemented on racism in our...classes and dealing with white people's racism," suggested one student. A few women felt that inclusion of women of color sometimes only came in special sections or at the end of courses. The insistence on continuing to improve the multicultural aspects of the Women's Studies Program is represented by a student who praises the program highly even as she demands it strive to do more: "I think we have a very good multicultural, multiracial program, and I think...it's just admirable...seeing...the program [change] to where it's more multicultural, multiracial. And I...still think we have a ways to go with it, you know, I...really do." Overall, students also felt women's studies addressed multicultural issues far more directly and productively than other departments. As one student put it, the "women's studies community is more sensitive than other communities in Hunter College. And I have many friends who...are really sensitive to my differences, and I can talk about that. And that's really great." CRITICAL THINKING ...women's studies opens up with questions, and so...that clicked for me.... That's really the biggest difference in women's studies and any other courses I've taken.... [you question all the time, all the time. WOMEN'S STUDIES STUDENT, 1991 Perhaps no single goal is more often repeated as a central tenet of liberal arts education than the goal of helping students learn to think critically. Although the goal of critical thinking may seem to be an issue of "learning skills" rather than a broader goal, we conceive of critical thinking as a more complex activity. In order to engage in critical thinking, a learner must be able to see herself as capable of critical analysis, to use tools of analysis, to possess sufficient knowledge and perspective to engage in fruitful and substantive critical analysis. Thus, the goal of critical thinking involves several components: it requires "empowerment," in both a structural and a subjective sense; it requires knowledge of tools of analysis; and it requires a reservoir of situated, comprehended knowledge. Hunter College as an urban public institution primarily consists of working-class and first-generation college students. Students at Hunter frequently come from backgrounds that either are educationally deficient (where low demands have been placed on them to write or to comprehend large bodies of material, theoretical perspectives, abstract ideas and thinking), or they perceive themselves to come from deficient backgrounds. Sixty percent of students entering Hunter require remedial work in reading, writing, or mathematics in order to do college-level work. In addition, many students are older and returning women who are unsure of their skills even when they are adequate. Consequently, it is important that we not take for granted the students' temperamental preparation for critical thinking. Thus, in order to speak of the goal of critical thinking at Hunter College we must speak about the development of a base of knowledge, tools of analysis, and a way to instill in our students the confidence and sense of self that are necessary for critical thinking. Three assessment instruments were used in analyzing our progress in helping students in critical thinking skills: course syllabi, exams and paper assignments, and informal classroom writings. Evidence derived from this assessment supports the conclusion that students in women's studies courses are encouraged to think critically in their classes but that we might be more self-conscious about the importance of this goal. COURSE SYLLABI Syllabi of women's studies courses stress the need for students to develop skills of critical thinking. Although not all of the ten introductory women's studies syllabi reviewed used the language of "critical thinking," at least one did, defining it as "an ability to direct informed questions at everything you read, see, and hear." Another syllabus included, as a course goal, "to develop our intellectual ability of analysis." One instructor, for example, teaches the introductory course in women's studies in a way that helps students learn foundations for a feminist restructuring of the academic disciplines. She focuses on methodologies and theories in a variety of disciplines, including psychology, economics, political science, and history, and offers feminist correctives to the portrayal of women in these disciplines. Her goal is to have students question the treatment of women in subsequent courses they take. Other faculty members teaching the introductory course revolve their lectures/presentations and discussions around themes, such as gender as socially constructed, the distinction between sex and gender, women's health concerns, and women's career development. EXAMS AND PAPER ASSIGNMENTS Course assignments can be a vehicle through which students can develop skills in critical thinking. To foster critical thinking, women's studies courses at Hunter stress paper writing and essay exams--unlike many other courses in the college, especially at the introductory level. Often, assignments require students to engage in research, assess the adequacy of that material, and reflect on the importance of the research. For example, the first assignment in one introductory women's studies course required students to browse through professional journals in women's studies and think about the importance of one essay in contemporary scholarship. Rosalind Petchesky's "work" assignment required students to interview two women whose work experiences were likely to have been different and to compare them. Joan Tronto's "caring" assignment required students to track the kinds of caring work done in their households and reflect upon these results to investigate gender roles in their households. Exam essay questions frequently require integration of material from several sources that necessitates a critical reflection of ideas. Marnia Lazreg's "Women in the Middle East" course, for example, required students to compare Edward Said's "orientalist" practice with an essay on Arab Women in the Field. Joan Tronto asked students in the introductory course to discuss some implications of claims such as, "Patriarchy oppresses all women." This provided an opportunity for students to reflect a broad range of knowledge and the need to define, to qualify, and to dispute commonly heard over generalizations. Additional evidence that students do learn analytical skills are apparent from the Women's Studies Prizes. While several awards went to collections of poems, others have been awarded to students who have written analytical essays, such as "Fetal Protection Policies: A Discriminatory Policy or a Business Necessity?" "Race and the Press: Newspaper Coverage of the Central Park Jogger Case," and "Dangerous Appetites: Eating as Metaphor in Christine Rosetti's 'Goblin Market'." INFORMAL CLASSROOM WRITINGS Students in the introductory women's studies classes were asked to informally provide information about whether the course fits with their educational goals. As one woman stated: This women's studies course has helped me to see things in a different light. I've realized that I've believed many things that are not true, so in general, my overall awareness has expanded. I am more critical of what I hear [and] read. In the course survey conducted of introductory women's studies classes during fall 1990 and spring 1991 (see pages 154-55~, many students commented on aspects of critical thinking as an outcome of the course. A typical range of remarks included statements such as: "an empowering experience"; "This course definitely made me think for myself'; and "It introduced me to a whole new world of ideas and concepts." Another woman wrote: This class was much more in-depth and required much more work on the part of the student. Most intro courses consist of at least 100 students, 2 multiple choice tests and a text that is opened twice. In the collective conversations, Donna Murdock noted that students felt the program had become more self-conscious over the years in its goal of fostering critical thinking. The consensus among students was that it was important to make critical thinking an expressed goal. In comment after comment, the students felt challenged to think in their women's studies courses. For some it was overwhelming, but they suggest that the kind of thinking demanded of them was distinctive and worth the extra work: ...a lot of people take women's studies courses because they think they're going to be easy, and then they flip when they get in there and they find out these are probably the hardest courses! Because, first of all, you have to think.... It's not like math, it's not like just about any Some students experience a new tension between exercising their critical faculties in women's studies and repressing them elsewhere other discipline in the school where you don't have to think. Another student found she could transfer to other courses what she learned in women's studies about critical thinking: ...in terms of looking at things...in more of an analytic type way...and using critical skills,...I really owe that to women's studies and it also helped me in my other courses...because it's not as much what you see, it's how you see it....I've always thought the more ways you can see something, the more of it you'll see. Another woman stated: Women's studies is a very participatory kind of education.... [I]t offers us a way to empower ourselves and to obtain a voice, and when you have that voice, you're going to start using it.... You turn around and you say, "now wait a minute!" Students in the collective conversations valued learning to speak their minds: ...part of the difference about being in women's studies is you have...input into the course and you say..."I didn't see such and such included in this...[or] this experience is limited." And that's one of the things you can do in a women's studies course that you can't do when you're taking [another] course. The quotations underscore the importance of how students conceive of critical learning. It requires an opportunity to talk in the first instance. Second, it requires a willingness by the instructor to surrender the role of sole expert. Third, it requires a willingness by the instructor to show how scholars ask and formulate questions or do their work. Fourth, it requires practice at these skills. And, fifth, it requires support and patience on the part of faculty members who ask students to critically analyze academic disciplines. For some students, their newly acquired critical thinking skills are not always invited in other courses. As represented by the following quotation, some students experience a new tension between exercising their critical faculties in women's studies courses and repressing them elsewhere: ...taking women's studies courses has a good effect and a bad effect for me, ...[the good effect is] bringing this awareness of diversity to you.... [T]he bad effect [is] the resultant critique that you bring to your other classes.... [Y]ou're almost forced to put these blinders on, you know, when you start looking at other materials...where you're expected to look at it in a traditional way, so...I find myself having two personalities here you know, the kind of analysis and freedom I have in a women's studies course and then the more narrow view I'm expected to take and I'm graded on in other courses. INTEGRATION OF KNOWLEDGE When I got into...women's studies...the professor encouraged [me to] "Speak up, talk louder" and I was like "wow, this is different from...how the world is. " And...I felt good being in a place where I could express myself the way...of my choosing....I didn't have to stifle my voice.... WOMEN'S STUDIES STUDENT, 1991 Although Hunter College is a liberal arts college and does not view the task of education in narrowly vocational terms, we do expect that the kinds of critical learning in a multicultural environment that we offer will deeply affect our students' lives. We expect that students will change their perspectives; we also expect that students will act to integrate their new perspectives into their lives. They may change their course of study, for example, to avoid courses that do not consider women's studies perspectives as valid. They may change their majors. They may change their career plans or how they think about key issues that affect their lives. We expect that the decisions students make during and after their women's studies courses will reflect their new learning and knowledge. Additionally, women's studies students are likely to experience dissonance and conflict as they juxtapose new material and perspectives from their women's studies classes with their values and lives in a predominantly sexist, racist, ethnocentric society. The integration of the women's studies perspective into their lives is likely to prove difficult; these difficulties will be reflected in our classes. We need somehow to convey to students, though, that it is possible (to use Elizabeth Minnich's phrase) to be "tough-minded and tender-hearted." Such a goal is of special importance at Hunter College because many students view education in terms that are too narrowly vocational or instrumental. Furthermore, a criticism often heard of American higher education is that it lacks integration. In assessing the integration of knowledge gained in women's studies courses into students' academic plans and lives, we also can assess the contribution that women's studies makes to the broader goal of liberal arts education. In women's studies classes, students are given opportunities to analyze their experiences outside the classroom for underlying sexist and feminist principles. The juxtaposition of theoretical and personal, experiential knowledge contributes to students' anger and guilt at the same time it fosters their awareness of feminist frameworks. In order to assess students' integration of knowledge, the Women's Studies Curriculum Committee devised a survey for participants in the introductory women's studies courses during the fall 1990 and spring 1991 semesters. Students were asked to comment on the following issues: the value of the course to them as a whole, whether a sense of community was built in the class, whether the course met their expectations, and comparisons be- tween this course and other introductory courses. Responses from these open-ended questions include: * On the overall value of the class: I feel that it has had a large impact on how I view the world. I find more and more that I notice behaviors, situations, and find them disturbing for reasons that had never occurred to me before. I hit apathy and despair a few times because the anger just got to be too much to bear. I think that there needs to be some kind of weekly discussion group or something to vent feelings of frustration. This course had a big impact on my way of thinking. It enabled me to view my way of life and the world around me. It forced me to become aware of a lot of realities that perhaps I didn't want to face . I'm much more aware of the discriminatory attitudes against women that are around me everywhere. * On community: The class was made up of very diverse ethnic groups and the respect and interaction and sharing that went on was emotionally and intellectually supportive. I feel that our class has become a community. When I had to speak in front of the class, I never felt nervous. All of my classmates gave me encouragement and a feeling of belonging. In the discussion from the collective conversations, women generally noted that they made connections between their women's studies courses and their daily lives. However, these connections often were problematic. Students suggested the need for support groups, ongoing contacts, and more dialogue among students to foster further connections between their cognitive and emotional learning. Sample responses include: ...the women's studies courses that I take go beyond this classroom, this paper that I'm writing, it goes out and just...touches everything else that I'm involved in...because it gives me a way to see, a way to think, a way to question everything, so it's applicable everywhere for me. Women's studies has for me merged my education with my own life process, my own personal development and brought them together so it's much more enriching and much more real, where...in other classes you memorize, you read and...you put it away in compartments. That Hunter's Women's Studies Program does not want students to put away their new knowledge into compartments is emphasized overtly by one of the women's studies awards established, by its internship programs, and by its Women's Studies Club. Through these vehicles, students are encouraged, rewarded, and given college credit for integrating knowledge in such a way that it affects one's behavior. Significantly, it was an alumna, Sylvia Faulkner, who established a fund in her name that is used each year to award a $500 prize to a women's studies major who has written an essay that integrates her experiences in the Women's Studies Program at Hunter College. To date, five Sylvia Faulkner Awards have been presented. Through internships, women's studies students are challenged to move knowledge out of compartments and into the world. Transforming their own thinking and actions, integrated knowledge becomes for many students a way of applying that knowledge to transform society itself. During 1990-91, student interns participated in a variety of projects, especially those sponsored by a Reproductive Rights Grant. Students were placed at Students Organizing Students; the Reproductive Rights Task Force, Policy Development Unit, Manhattan Borough President's Office; Childbearing Center, Morris Heights, the Bronx; HELP/AYUDA (an AIDS education organization in East Harlem); STD Education Project, New York City Health Department; New York Community Trust;. Latina Roundtable on Health and Reproductive Rights; Boehm Foundation; ASTRAEA Foundation; NOW-NYC, National Congress of Neighborhood Women's You Can Community School; Returning Women Magazine; Women's Health Education Project; and the American Civil Liberties Union-Reproductive Freedom Project. Many interns expressed in their reports that they were able to connect the theory and scholarship from women's studies courses into their work. Many students also were offered jobs as a result of their internships; others discovered new career goals and options. Similarly, students who are members of the Women's Studies Club have transferred what they have learned about integrated knowledge into the activities they organize. During the 1990-91 academic year the Women's Studies Club facilitated several workshops and discussion groups to deal with the integration of scholarship and action. Sample topics included academic and workplace sexual harassment, relationships, and racism. WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED, WHAT WE NEED TO DO Participating in the FIPSE assessment project definitely has affected our program. Most importantly, our participation has created a tone and an opportunity for self-conscious thought and action about what we are doing as a program. It has confirmed in many cases our intuitive judgments about how well we are succeeding with our program goals, but it also has given us areas to focus on for improvement as well as entirely new areas to investigate as we continue to incorporate assessment into our regular routine of evaluating what we are doing educationally. The FIPSE project has provided us with a focus around which we have organized our annual retreats for the past three years. One of our serendipitous findings, then, is how valuable it is for the program--majors, new students, regular faculty members, adjuncts, staff--to set aside a day for discussion and consideration of our goals, pedagogy, and direction. For example, since our program has been striving for some years to increase the amount and kind of multicultural offerings in women's studies and on the campus at large, it has been extremely important for us to assess both our accomplishments and our needs for the future. One of the most difficult aspects of making education more multicultural is creating an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. The assessment techniques we have used this year show that we are moving toward accomplishing this end, even though no one yet believes that we have dealt entirely satisfactorily with this issue. Faculty retreats that focused on the assessment project have helped us sort out where we want to do additional work. One concern, for instance, raised repeatedly in retreat discussions, has been the way new knowledge, especially new knowledge that causes one to reevaluate old ways of seeing the world and other people, often results in emotionally charged class sessions. Many of the students who participate in the introductory course in women's studies never have encountered feminist philosophies in prior courses. They may have no one at home with whom to discuss the class content, they may be seen as "rocking the boat," questioning their family's religion and values, and/or called derogatory names because of their association with feminism and women's studies. At Hunter, we believe that the classroom needs to become a place where women can feel good about themselves and others without the fear of being laughed at or considered "unfeminine." Pedagogical techniques including journal writing, experiential exercises, introspective autobiographies, and cooperative learning structures have had the power to replace self-doubt with certainty, low self-esteem with respect and caring. Expressions of anger in the classroom sometimes stem from students realizing they may not be living their lives according to feminist principles; they also may feel that their voices as women of color are not being heard. Students may, as a result, fail to attend class regularly, play devil's advocate in each session, and/or attempt to take leadership in the classroom. Very commonly, manifestations of anger in the classroom become fixed on the instructor because of her expressions of feminism and multiculturalism as she interprets them. One way that some of our faculty members deal with this anger is to acknowledge it, claim its transformative powers, and direct it toward individual and social change. In order to meet this goal, for example, Michele Paludi devotes class time to interpersonal communication skills, especially the use of "I" statements--for example, "I feel_______when you_______because of_________." This technique has helped participants give constructive feedback in a supportive atmosphere, producing a more honest classroom. Occasionally, students' anger becomes fixed on other students. This has manifested itself in directing homophobic and racist remarks toward other women in the classroom. Some faculty members have translated these comments into a discussion about a "continuum of feminism"--that there is not one kind of feminist. In addition, devoting class time to how to argue with ideas rather than people has been helpful. Faculty members have discovered from such conversations how helpful and reassuring it is to discuss pedagogy with committed colleagues. We discovered that we need to hold more discussion of women's studies pedagogy within the women's studies faculty and with faculty members in the disciplines. The FIPSE project also has provided additional opportunities to pull together and share ongoing work on pedagogy, especially research in that area done by our own women's studies faculty. Given how beneficial the faculty members felt their participation was in the project, it is no surprise that students felt similarly. The students and alumnae were quick to point out to the program coordinators how much they valued being consulted in the assessment project. It became a concrete way of enacting the empowerment and critical thinking that the project it- self hoped to investigate. Several students hoped that the program would continue such collective discussions and figure out a way to build them into the program's regular activities, both for the eager students and for those who were more reluctant to participate initially. For a group of faculty members, assessment has lost its negative overtones of coercion from outside forces. Especially for faculty members most involved in this project, learning about assessment as a tool for curriculum improvement, and not as a means of disciplining the faculty and student workforce, has been extremely valuable. At Hunter College, women's studies faculty members are important constituents of the college community, often serving on major committees elsewhere. Another consequence of this grant, then, is that we have created a core advocacy group for assessment. Such a core has an impact university-wide in terms of Freshman Year Initiative, work done on the Undergraduate Course of Study Committee, the Committee on Remediation, the Provost's Advisory Committee on Remedial and Developmental Programs, and within the Faculty Delegate Assembly and University Faculty Senate. Materials collected for the FIPSE project also are useful in explaining the nature and extent of gender harassment and will be used by members of the Sexual Harassment Panel to train the President's Hunter College Cabinet. Certain assessment instruments developed for the FIPSE project, such as the surveys in "Women's Studies 100," are going to become an ongoing source of assessment in the future. The surveys turned out to be an invaluable way to monitor from one semester to the next how a particular course fared. The curriculum committee in women's studies plans to continue its use and perhaps extend it to other women's studies classes as well. Similarly, we discovered how useful our newsletter and annual report are as assessment documents because they reveal much about the program, its history, concerns, and areas of focus. The FIPSE project also has caused us to consider some new areas of investigation and collaboration. The project, for example, has focused our attention in a new way on the relationship between women's studies and the liberal arts curriculum. This focus is particularly valuable at Hunter College at the moment since there is an ongoing debate about whether to include a pluralism and diversity requirement in the basic distribution requirement. Another area we hope to explore further, both in more precise focus groups and with more help from Hunter's Office of Institutional Research, is the question of the relationship of women's studies to retention. We might hypothesize that, since retention seems to be strongly linked with a sense of attachment, the kind of community formed in women's studies classes (which was clearly demonstrated by our work on the FIPSE project) might prove useful in retaining students. The Women's Studies Program also is thinking in new ways about its relationship to remedial and developmental programs. Thinking about basic pedagogical questions such as reading and writing skills in "Women's Studies 100" has raised within the curriculum committee in women's studies the question of whether women's studies courses might not be linked effectively with sections of remedial and developmental courses at Hunter. One of the most serious problems for students in developmental courses here is their lack of access to regular courses in Hunter's curriculum so that they may begin to do college-level work. "Women's Studies 100" seems a most appropriate bridge course. The program has contacted members of the developmental programs to discuss this future collaboration. Finally, the FIPSE assessment has influenced directly the activities and programs in women's studies. As a result of the project, the program has created for itself for the first time a list of alumnae and majors. Now that these lists have been prepared, it will be much easier to keep them up-to-date and accurate. As such, they will become a rich source of new data for questions we will continue to raise about what happens to students who take women's studies courses. The project's focus on fostering multicultural awareness has contributed to two of the faculty development workshops for the 1991-92 academic year. One concerned applying for funding for research on women and ethnic minority women in particular, and one concerned publishing textbooks in the areas of race and gender. We also have prepared a list of faculty research interests in the interface of race, class, and gender, making such copies avail- able at a variety of places on campus. The project's work on integrating knowledge into our lives has been partly responsible for several other program activities this year. The first was a "Women's Fair," something the program hopes to offer each semester, at which organizations from Hunter College as well as throughout New York City display materials and discuss their work in a variety of areas students requested. Among those subjects are AIDS, cancer, gynecological care, and mental health practice. That same semester, a resource manual was prepared and distributed with referrals and resources for women's studies students that contains information about physical and psychological care in New York City. A second manual dealing with multicultural issues was prepared in spring 1992. Hunter's Women's Studies Program also is in the process of establishing a mentoring program for women's studies students. Mentors will be Hunter alumnae who are doing feminist advocacy in New York City, providing students with concrete examples of how to implement knowledge to transform people's lives. Emphasizing the importance of applying new knowledge to the society in which we live, the Women's Studies Program also plans to collaborate more closely with the National Council for Research on Women, a ten-year-old coalition of sixty-nine research and policy centers around the country. NCRW's centers have a special mission to create opportunities for connecting research to policy issues and practitioners' needs. Hunter's Women's Studies Program already has helped the council prepare a resource manual on academic sexual harassment. The FIPSE project, then, has been effective in helping us assess where we have been, what we have done well, and what directions we need to go in as the program moves into a new phase of development with the recent appointment of a new coordinator. Hunter women's studies faculty members share a continuing commitment to create a climate where a variety of students' cultural experiences are valued, where students are taught to think critically, and where students are encouraged to integrate knowledge with life. The FIPSE project has extended the collaborative model of working together with students and faculty members, all of us learning cooperatively in the process. This, we believe, is the major goal of feminist education. 1. We wish to extend our appreciation to Donna Murdock and Ruth Weisgal for providing us with demographic information and summarizing the material from Hunter College's participation in the NWSA grant on "The Courage to Question." Donna Murdock deserves special recognition for her role in conducting interviews with women's studies students and alumnae. We also wish to thank Provost Laura Strumingher and Associate Provost Shirely Hune for their support of this project. Our colleagues Marnia Lazreg, Rosalind Petchesky, and Barbara Winslow deserve recognition for administering surveys to students in their classes during the 1990-91 academic year. And we thank the women's studies students and alumnae who were gracious in participating in our projects. Finally, we would like to recognize the coordinators of Hunter's Women's Studies Program since its inception in the mid-1970s: Sarah Pomeroy, Dorothy Helly, Rosalind Petchesky, and Michele Paludi. SURVEY OF PARTICIPANTS IN INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S STUDIES CUNY-HUNTER COLLEGE 1. Your year at Hunter: first-year student sophomore junior senior 2. Your sex: Female Male 3. How do you identify yourself in terms of your ethnic identity? 4. Your age: 15-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71 + 5. Your major: Your Co-Major or minor: 6. Why did you take "Introduction to Women's Studies"? (check all that apply) A friend recommended it It was one of the few open at the time I wanted I wanted to take a/another women's studies course I am a women's studies collateral major I am thinking about becoming a women's studies collateral major The subject matter intrigued me I wanted to take a course with this professor Other (please list) 7. Additional information about yourself you would like to share with us: PART II: We would like to know the ways the introductory course has had an impact on you. ne following questions deal with this issue. 1. Comment on the value of this course to you as a whole. 2. If you had to describe this course to a friend, what three adjectives would you use? Why ? 3. Did this course meet your expectations? Why or why not? 4. If the instructor of this course could have done something differently, what would that have been ' 5. If you could have done something differently in this course, what would that have been ? 6. Please suggest three topics you believe need to be discussed in the introductory course ? 7. Compared to other introductory courses you have taken (e.g., introductory sociology, introductory psychology), how has "Introduction to Women's Studies" been similar? 8. Was there a balance between the survey-scope of the course and some more in-depth investigation? Please explain. 9. Please identify three major themes from the introductory course in women's studies. 10. Do you think that a sense of community was built in your introductory course? Why or why not? 11. What readings did you find particularly useful in this course? Why? 12. This is your space! We welcome your comments about any of the items in the survey and additional information about the introductory course you would like to share with us. Thank you again.