This file was prepared for electronic distribution by the inforM staff. Questions or comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. CHAPTER 3: Various Views SETTING THE STAGE FOR FIELD PLACEMENT Marti Bombyk (Special thanks to Elizabeth Axelson, Gloria Klose, Lorraine Lafata, and Catherine McClary, supervisors of students enrolled in "Women and the Community" at the University of Michigan, who provided valuable suggestions for this essay. I also appreciate the feedback on previous drafts from participants of the Service Learning Institute.) When a faculty member starts teaching a service learning course, it is easy to overlook the significant preparation that must take place before the course can officially begin. The challenge to create lectures, exercises, assignments, and discussion topics to help students analyze (among other things) their placement experiences, may focus instructor attention on the seminar component of the course. The seminar component can easily become a demanding endeavor in itself. Yet, there are several other tasks related to the placement site and student intern supervision which the faculty member must fulfill before the term begins in order to provide a well-run, comprehensive learning program for her students. Generating placements for student interns is one of the most challenging responsibilities for instructors teaching a service learning course. Like the designing of a course syllabus, the work takes place before the students arrive for their first class. Only the final step of this process is visible to the students, the point where they are given a list of internship possibilities from which to choose. Though much of the "stage setting" is invisible to the students, these tasks are fundamental to the whole course because they provide the platform for launching the students into the community and the world of work. From my experience teaching a service learning course, "Women and the Community," at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and from constructive suggestions from supervisors who have worked with me and our students, I have put together some ideas for setting up placement sites and supporting the supervisor-student relationship. Hopefully, the procedures and strategies I have found most effective will be useful to other educators interested in generating field placements and accredited service learning at their schools. Setting Up Placements: Finding the Intersection When I develop placement sites, I consider three different sets of needs and interests: those of the community, those of the placement sponsors, and those of the students. In this balancing act, my goal is to find the intersection of these three need sets. (1) (figure on page 82 appears here) The Community's Needs and Interests I define the "community" as women who will benefit from the activities of the student interns. I consider the needs of women in my local area by taking into account both public identified needs and needs which have received little or no attention. My knowledge of identified and unrecognized needs stems from such ordinary daily experiences as reading newspapers, talking with women about the concerns of their lives, and walking the streets of my city. As I consider the needs of local women and placement opportunities which address those needs, I keep in mind Charlotte Bunch's five criteria for evaluating feminist reforms (2). Consideration of these criteria helps me think about the reforms that are needed by women and the ways in which these reforms should be implemented. Though any reform will not necessarily meet all five criteria, the greater a placement approximates one or more criteria, the more confident I am that it will empower the students as they work to empower other women: 1. Does the reform materially improve the lives of women, and if so,which women and how many? 2. Does it build an individual woman's self-respect, strength and confidence? 3. Does it give women a sense of power, strength, and imagination as a group and help build structures for further change? 4. Does it educate women politically, enhancing our ability to criticize and challenge the system in the future? 5. Does it weaken patriarchal control of society's institutions and help women gain power over them? (pp. 45-46) Organizations which work on relevant issues in ways which approximate these criteria, and which never oppose them, are more desirable as placement sites than organizations which do not. Selecting placement sites is a political act whereby instructors implicitly endorse the reform goals of those with whom the students work and learn from in their placements. Because of this, I attempt to put my "feminist politics in command" by arranging for students to help women in the community, who are in turn teaching their interns important skills. In this way, I am able to proudly take responsibility for the consequences of my work. The range of reform opportunities in a given locality varies from city to city. Not every city has a rich feminist infrastructure of crisis centers, bookstores, legal defense collectives, shelters, advocacy offices, etc. Fortunately, it isn't necessary to live in a feminist Utopia to find good placements. Most cities have organizations which may not be explicitly feminist but which nonetheless serve feminist goals. Day care centers are an example of this type of placement site. Most cities, in fact, have too many organizations which are in need of feminist reforms. Pat Miller at the University of Connecticut has successfully placed students in insurance companies with feminist supervisors who teach the students how to advocate for the women workers and help organize them. In my view, explicitly feminist organizations are a bonus; but a good analysis of women's oppression, a sense of strategies that might help local women, and imagination are the only prerequisites for developing placements in any city. The Placement Sponsors' Needs and Interests Placement sponsors appreciate the free labor that student interns supply, but often they impose requirements that student interns must meet in order to be placed with them. In my course, placement sponsors have made stipulations which include: good writing skills, public speaking skills, previous course work or experience in a particular area, ability to make an extended time commitment (six months to a year), access to transportation, ability to work certain shifts, etc. If an organization seems to be a good potential placement site, I determine if there are any prerequisites and make note of them. I include this information in the placement description list I give students to facilitate the student-placement site matching process by reducing the risk of misunderstanding, wasted time, and embarrassment. Finally, I also attempt to discern if a potential placement sponsor has what I consider to be less-than-honorable motives for wanting volunteer labor. My particular sensitivity to volunteers replacing paid employees and volunteer exploitation leads me to make a quick check of the way the potential sponsor intends to use volunteers and how they will be treated. I ask if a volunteer program exists in the organization (a moot question if the entire organization is volunteer staffed). If they have one, I ask how it is structured and the effect of the volunteer program on employee morale. I attempt to determine if there is excessive stratification and segregation between paid and unpaid workers. If the response to my questions indicates employee replacement or unfair practices toward volunteers, I reject the possibility of placing student interns at that site. The Students' Needs and Interests Since student interns are highly dependent on the placement organization for their educational experience, I consider the ability of the placement site to meet the following criteria: 1. Is there an individual at the placement site who will willingly assume the responsibility of providing supervision for the student interns? At a minimum, adequate supervision consists of the supervisor's readiness to share skills and have routine contact with the student interns. 2. What work will the interns be asked to do and what skills can they acquire? If challenging work is not provided, interns will not be able to develop new skills. Though work considered mundane, boring, or repetitive, (e.g., typing, filing, collating, stapling) is not easy to avoid, I feel it is essential that the proportion of time during which an intern engages in such work not exceed the proportion of time during which she will have exposure to new tasks and be involved in planning and decision-making. 3. Will the placement provide training for the student interns? If a placement site wants relatively unskilled interns to perform difficult and responsible tasks (e.g., counseling a rape victim), it must provide the intern with the expertise to do the job effectively. 4. How flexible is the placement for allowing individualized job descriptions? I assess this dimension because students want to know how much an internship with a placement sponsor can be individually tailored to their personal interests. 5. How stable is the placement site organization? This criterion is important because a placement site governed by crises can place too much stress on both supervisors and student interns. New organizations are not necessarily "unstable." As long as an organization has adequate resources and realistic goals, it can usually provide students with a secure work place environment. I am primarily concerned with avoiding placements where "organizational craziness" is the norm because I have found that these contexts teach students how not to do a feminist reform. Such truncation of experience is never satisfying for my students. Negotiating the Placements With my criteria in mind for how I will find the intersection of the community's, placement sponsors', and student interns' needs, I begin contacting potential placement sponsors to negotiate placements. I find this phase of the work to be the most enjoyable because it allows me to exercise and expand my professional and personal network. Sometimes I am able to discover a new placement site that gives me the reassuring and recurring pleasure in knowing that "we are everywhere!" My goal in this phase is to create as many placement opportunities as possible in the time available. My motto is "the more, the better" because student preferential differences can be better accommodated with more placement opportunities and because with many opportunities, I can be more selective when I narrow down and finalize my placement description list. I have generated placement leads from reading women's referral guides, brochures, and handouts available at special events and in university and community offices. I've looked in the telephone book, especially under "W" for women's organizations and services. I've talked with colleagues, students, and friends who are affiliated with organizations which might meet my criteria. Especially helpful have been conversations with community activists who provide me with oral "Who's Who" directories of individuals and organizations working on feminist reforms. I have also contacted the local chapters of national organizations such as the National Organization of Women and the National Abortion Rights Action League. Not only can these chapters serve as placement sites, they can also refer me to other promising organizations. With each contact and confirmed placement, I always ask if they know someone else who could sponsor placements and if I can use the individual's name as a referral source. I continue to network until all leads have been exhausted or until I begin to get a sense of diminishing returns (it takes more and more effort to negotiate each placement). My goals during each contact are: 1. To give necessary information about the course and its methods so that interest can be generated in sponsoring a placement and so that, once interested, the site has a sense of what will be expected of them if they sponsor an internship. 2. To explore the degree to which the potential placement satisfies criteria I have developed for deciding whether an organization is suitable as a placement site. 3. To determine supervisor/organizational receptivity to sponsoring a placement. 4. To gather basic information about what a placement with an organization would involve, the names, phone numbers, and addresses of people students should contact, and any prerequisites the organization has. When I talk with potential placement sponsors, I've found it helpful to be friendly and not too aggressive about getting an immediate commitment from the organization. The format I tend to adopt in my "sales pitch" is to tell the person my name, my position at the university, how I got their name, general goals and methods of the course I teach and why I thought their organization might be suitable for and interested in sponsoring interns. I might give an example of other organizations which have agreed to sponsor interns and the kind of work the placements with them will entail. I let the person on the phone have time to think and I encourage her or him to ask questions. I offer to call back if they need time to check with others in the organization before they make a commitment. Once they decide to offer a placement, I attempt to clarify the nature of the relationship between myself, the students, and the placement site. I let them know what the next steps are, for example, when they can expect interested students to begin contacting them for interviews and setting up the placement. I also tell them that if students decide to work with them (leaving open the possibility that though they may offer a placement, no student might actually choose it), I will send a handout to the intern's supervisor that describes in more detail how the course will work and what can be expected throughout the semester. I point out to them that in their interviews with prospective student interns, they have the right to tactfully reject a student if they don't feel the relationship would be viable. With the final list of placement sponsors generated, I turn my attention to preparing a lengthy description of all the placement opportunities to handout to students on the first day of class. Preparing Students for their Placements On the first day of class I give my students a course description, a syllabus, and the placement description list. The focus of the first session is on the placements though we also take time to review the syllabus, course requirements, and to introduce ourselves to each other. I go over the placements with them and answer questions about the field work and how placements can be structured. Their assignment for the first week is: 1. Consider your goals for taking the course. Think of what you want from the course as you look over the placement opportunities. Do you want work experience in your preferred field? Do you want to explore a new field to see if you might choose it as an occupation? Do you need particular skills? Is there a feminist issue that arouses your anger that you want to do something about to help women? 2. Select two or three placement offerings to explore based on your goals and interests. Contact the preferred placements using information provided in the placement description lists. Arrange an in person interview (if possible, or at a minimum, a telephone interview) with the placement sponsor and attempt to finalize your placement choice by the next class. I tell the students that both they and the placement sponsors have the right to reject each other if either party considers the match as problematic. Students are fearful of being rejected so I try to assure them that if it does happen, it isn't the end of the world and that it is probably better to be turned down and find a different placement than to work somewhere where they don't feel welcome or appreciated. It's useful to conceptualize the process of finding a placement as similar to the process of looking for a job. They go through the want ads, prioritize their preferences, arrange an interview, find out if they are wanted, and, if there are two or more offers, they get to choose where they think they will be happiest working. Likewise, if they are turned down for a placement, the experience resembles being turned down for a job (a difficult yet common experience we all have to learn to deal with sooner or later). However, I have found it unusual for students to be rejected if prerequisites have been made clear; their interest in and enthusiasm for these self-selected preferences make a good match between the student and the placement site probable. After their interviews, students should make arrangements for finding out if they are accepted by the placement sponsor, they should make their decisions on where they want to work, and they should make arrangements for their first session at the placement site. Most students are successful in arranging their placement in one week, even if they require individual consultation with me by telephone or in office hours. Undoubtedly, though, there are always a few students who have not, for various legitimate reasons, arranged their placement by the second week of class. For this reason, I do not begin the seminar component of the course until the third week. For the second class session, we continue to get to know each other and I work on building group cohesiveness to set the stage for the seminar component of the course. One exercise I use for the second week both builds group cohesiveness for the seminar and further prepares the students to begin their placements. I use this exercise after we have gone around the room reminding each other of our names and reporting on whether their placement has been chosen, if so, where it is and, if not, what options they are still exploring, etc. I call this exercise "My Greatest Fear." It works like this: Divide the class into groups of five or six, and if there is space, have the groups go to separate rooms after the exercise is described. I tell the students to take out a scrap of paper and jot down, anonymously, their greatest fear (no matter how irrational) about working as an intern or at the particular placement they have chosen. When they are settled in their groups and have written down their greatest fears, I go to each group, collect the folded papers, mix them, and then let each student in the group draw someone else's greatest fear. Then, taking turns, each student (except those who were so confident they couldn't write down a single fear) draws someone else's greatest fear. Taking turns, each student reads aloud the anonymous statement. Sometimes the idiosyncracy of it gives the writer's identity away, but secrecy is not a big issue. Then the reader addresses the fear by providing some reassuring advice on how to view the problem, how to redefine it, how to handle it, etc. When the reader finishes, other students can join in and share their insights and suggestions for dealing with that fear. I avoid participating unless the advice (it's happened only once) was exceptionally superficial and did not respond to the writer's dilemma. It is important that I do not participate so the students learn to talk to each other and to respect each other's knowledge and contributions. And so, each student will have, by the end of the exercise, some suggestions for dealing with her fear and will also have experienced her own competency by coming up with some concrete advice to help another. I have found the quality of the advice be considerate, wise, and practical. The students learn a lot from hearing others' concerns, some of which might have been their second or third greatest fear. At the end of the exercise, anxiety is greatly diminished, self-esteem is bolstered, and the students feel cared for and caring towards each other. By the third week virtually all the students are placed into organizations and many have worked there at least once. The seminar begins with the topic of volunteerism. We discuss assigned readings and I give them the following journal assignment to help sensitize them to the various feminist perspectives on volunteerism and to help them realize that their volunteer relationship to their placement is a two-way proposition involving give and take for both parties: Critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the 1973 N.O.W. position on volunteerism (3). Next, analyze your role as a volunteer with regard to <1> its compatibility with the N.O.W. position, <2> what benefits you will gain by volunteering, <3> what costs or losses you will incur by volunteering, <4> what your placement site gains from your volunteerism, and <5> what are the costs to the placement site for having you work with them. Finally, I tell the students to negotiate a job description with their supervisor in the next two weeks and I give them written guidelines. Supervisors also receive job description guidelines in the handout they are sent. I emphasize the importance of clear expectations and open communication. I remind them that the supervisor is in that role in order to teach them skills and to help them, so they should always try to discuss problems with her as they arise. For the remainder of the term. I focus my efforts primarily on the seminar component of the course. I have individual appointments with each student twice during the semester. I also attempt to call each supervisor at least once during the semester to check on how things are going with the student interns. Conclusion The placements I have generated and my procedures for supporting the supervisor-student intern relationship have helped me run a smooth course which both placement sites and student interns have enjoyed. My intention is that this description of my approach will facilitate the work of others who are setting up a service learning course at their institutions. Though a considerable amount of time is needed to prepare students and supervisors, the time spent will help spare everyone a considerable amount of frustration and resentment. In the long run, advance preparation and planning makes everyone's work easier and more satisfying. NOTES 1. Alana Smart, National Center for Service Learning. Presentation at NWSA/FIPSE "Project to Improve Service Learning in Women's Studies" Institute, March 1930. 2. Bunch, Charlotte. "The Reform Tool Kit," Quest 1 (1), 1974, 37-87. 3. N.O.W. Task Force on Volunteerism, November 1973. Ms., February 1975, P. 73 APPENDIX Format for a Field Supervisor Manual I am including here an outline that abstracts the types of information instructors might include in a handout or manual adapted for the specific type of course they teach. The furnishing of written materials is important for several reasons: 1. It provides a permanent reference that can be consulted anytime without the supervisor having to contact the instructor. 2. Supervisors need certain information in order to fulfill their basic responsibilities, e.g., what criteria they will use to evaluate the students' work. 3. The more information about what the internship is and how it can work, the better prepared supervisors are for giving interns worthwhile experiences. 4. It indicates that you are seriously committed to giving the students quality education. Before discussing the content of the handout or manual, a word about "packaging" is in order. The information instructors provide is best taken when it is written, organized, and typed in a readable form that avoids academic jargon. Ideally, we want supervisors to read the whole piece in their spare (???) time. The handout should be reproduced as a clean, dark copy and, if possible, put in a folder of some sort to protect it. Be sure to prepare enough copies for each supervisor (only one is needed even if they have more than one intern) and make extras in case some get lost. Keep the original copy for simplified updating and revising in the future. The following outline can be adapted to the particular needs of the instructor, depending on the nature of the course, the number of supervisors, and time and resources available. I have attempted to be comprehensive, though different parts may be more relevant for different instructors: I. Title Page: title of handout, name of course, instructor's name, office address, and phone number(s). II. Table of Contents: include appendices titles and page numbers, if any. III. Course Description A. Goals and pedagogical philosophy of feminist experiential education. (You might also include here a brief description of your women's studies program for people who may not be familiar with its purpose and functions). B. How the Course Works 1. Placement: types and criteria for selection 2. Seminar: sample topics, time and place 3. Instructor-student contact: frequency of individual appointments, etc. C. Student Requirements 1. Number of hours per week in placement 2. Course grading system, including the type of placement evaluations and the weight of the placement evaluations in the students' final grades D. Calendar 1. When students begin and end work 2. Due dates for assignments that might involve additional supervisory time, e.g., discussing with the student the history of the organization. E. Reference to Appendices: you might include the following: 1. Course syllabus 2. Copy of evaluation forms supervisor will receive and be asked to complete 3. Copy of any assignments that might require additional supervisory-student interaction IV. The Supervisor-Intern Relationship A. Describe the process of how students get matched with placements, including interviews and the supervisors' right to reject students who might not be suited to the placement. B. Describe the supervisors' responsibility to orient the student to the placement, including: 1. Goals and purpose of organization 2. General way the organization works, e.g., who does what, why, when, and how. 3. Organizational policies and rules which will apply to interns, e.g., confidentiality of clients, washing out their used coffee cups. 4. If possible, the supervisor might prepare a handout that covers the major points the student needs to know about the organization. This could be used over again for future interns to help streamline the orientation process. C. Describe the responsibility of the supervisors to negotiate a job description and written agreement that explicates both parties' rights and responsibilities, including: 1. Type of training and dates, length of period. 2. Specific tasks they will do, including how much clerical work. 3. Frequency of meetings with interns. 4. Expected time commitments and days/hours the student will work. 5. Date(s) the job description will be reviewed and revised, if necessary (e.g., half-way point). 6. The days the student will be on vacation and what procedures they should follow if they are unable to make it to work when expected. 7. Other concerns they may have that they would like clarified. D. Emphasize the importance of open communication with the student that can be informal and "on the run" as well as formal. Supervisors should attempt to create a non-threatening and supportive relationship so that students will feel comfortable initiating discussions with them about their concerns, mistakes, frustrations, observations, etc. E. Discuss the need for supervisors to be sensitive and respectful of individual differences among students--some will be assertive and self-directing, others will be shy and need more structure, etc. F. Discuss the students' needs for constructive feedback and thanks for the work they do. G. Reiterate how important the supervisor is in providing a role model for the students. The interns will be affected by their attitudes toward their work and the organization, their values, how they deal with other co-workers, etc. The placement offers the students a stepping stone in the formation and attainment of their career goals and through it they will be socialized into the world of working with others. They are trying to acquire practical skills that will help them get and keep jobs and, hopefully, make a contribution to the improvement of other women's lives. The supervisor needs to be conscious that she is being a teacher and has the power to empower her interns. V. The Supervisor-Instructor Relationship A. How often they can expect you to initiate contact with them to see how things are going. B. Discuss how the relationship is designed to benefit both the students and the supervisors/organizations. When the costs outweigh the benefits, it is essential that problems be addressed together and an effort made to solve them. They should contact you if any problem arises (before it becomes catastrophic) and assure them that you are willing to do what you can to solve the problem, mediate, etc. C. Benefits the supervisor might receive if any. For example, can supervisors get some staff privileges through your university such as a library card? If material rewards are not possible to offer (and it is often the case that they aren't), you might discuss how the contact provided with the internship can be used to further their organizational or personal goals,e.g., the women's studies program can announce and help advertise events sponsored by the placement, or job openings in the organization. The program might be able to provide referrals, contacts, and information to the organization. The program could offer support in times of crisis, e.g., letters of endorsement, petition signatures, fundraising help. You might so arrange that announcements or flyers from the women's studies office be sent to the supervisors so that they will know about speakers the program is bringing, classes being offered, etc. D. Give sincere and appreciative thanks to the supervisor and the organization for participating in the internship. NOTES If the supervisor will be working with more than one student, recommend that they arrange such discussions in groups to save time. Or one student can share her information with the others. THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM AT WEAL FUND Maxine Forman "I wish it were felt that women who are labouring especially for women are not one-sided or selfish...We care for the evils affecting women most of all because they react upon the whole society, and abstract from the common good." Josephine E. Butler, ed., Introduction, Woman's Work and Woman's Culture, 1896 The Women's Equity Action League Educational and Legal Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. is a non-profit tax-exempt organization whose goal is to secure legal and economic rights for women by conducting educational and research projects, by monitoring the implementation and enforcement of laws prohibiting sex discrimination, and by supporting significant legal cases. The intern program of WEAL Fund, sponsored by the Ford Foundation in 1976, invites students and other individuals to work with us for a period of several months to see, first hand, the kind of work a women's rights organization does. As auxiliary workers, interns help the Fund fulfill its goals while they learn about the administration and staffing of an organization, improve their research and writing skills, increase their understanding of women's issues and feminism, acquire work experience, and gain new perspectives on the process of social change. Since 1976 approximately 180 interns from throughout the nation, ranging in age from 15 to 70, have participated in the program. The majority are voluntary interns who receive $4 a day to help defray the costs of volunteering; some receive academic credit from their university or college as well. Voluntary interns spend two-thirds of their time on a research project and the remainder on administrative and clerical duties. The administrative internship, a paid position, is usually reserved for an older woman returning to the work force; she spends the major portion of her time on administrative and clerical tasks, and a smaller portion on a special project. The legal internship, also a paid position, is offered to a second or third year law student who helps the staff provide information and referral services to those requesting it, assists in the preparation of materials informing women of their rights, updates and maintains the docket of legal cases supported by WEAL Fund and assists in efforts to monitor regulatory developments. Who Are the Interns? "Interns are more trouble than they're worth." No doubt you have heard that statement at least once. I have said it myself at times when there was unusual pressure to produce under rigid and difficult deadlines. In such instances one would like interns to be better than bright, have extensive work experience, possess top notch research and writing skills, require no supervision, type 65-100 words per minute and ask few questions--in short, to function like competent and experienced staff members. And sometimes we are pleasantly surprised. But common sense dictates that few individuals seeking experiential learning opportunities have such qualifications. Fortunately, WEAL Fund's philosophy and flexibility allow staff to choose some interns who may have more energy than experience and more commitment than skills. Although we give priority to individuals who have leadership potential, research and writing skills, and background in women's issues, we select interns who come from various educational experiences and backgrounds, with not only different levels of skills but also varying levels of commitment to the women's movement. We subscribe to the notion that if one scratches a woman one will discover a feminist underneath, and structure interviews with an eye (or shall I say a finger nail) toward discovery. For example, while some applicants are experienced feminists and advocates, others are simply enthusiastic learners with good skills who think that the concerns of women can be reduced to "equal pay for equal work." Sometimes an applicant will emphasize that she herself has never experienced sex discrimination, but then goes on to reveal, unwittingly, instances in which she was in fact a victim of sex bias. In such cases we usually welcome the opportunity to raise a consciousness, offer the internship and make special efforts to provide the intern with every chance to learn how sex bias and discrimination operate. As one might expect, these individuals are often more profoundly affected by the internship than those who came with a feminist perspective. Most of WEAL Fund interns are students, but some are career changers, women returning to the work force, job hunters or retired people. Their academic and employment backgrounds span fields from music to psychiatric nursing; their goals range from making a contribution to society to seeking a different perspective on work to gaining recent job experience and new data for a 10-year-old resume. What WEAL Fund interns have in common, however, is the ability to communicate their interest in women's rights and the Fund's work, a desire to improve their present skills and learn new ones, the ability to write concisely and clearly or the desire to develop this skill, the willingness to commit 15-35 hours a week over a three month period and, most importantly, the potential to use this experience to promote positive change in their own lives and communities, or on their campuses. Learning and Making a Contribution The intern program is an integral part of WEAL Fund. After a two day orientation led by the staff, interns select an investigative project in one of WEAL Fund's areas of concern. These include educational policy, employment discrimination, women and sports, women in the military, women's access to fellowships and training and the economic problems of older women. Under the supervision of a staff member interns do basic research for developing and updating kits and publications, learn to respond to requests for information, and assist staff members in project and administrative work. The supervisor meets periodically with the intern to review project work and to revise, if necessary, the job description and its goals and objectives, both of which were jointly developed during the first week. WEAL Fund views the supervisor as a facilitator who can help bring the research project to life by explaining its rationale and potential, and who can help the intern use there sources of the Fund as well as of other organizations and agencies in the Washington, D.C. area. Although project deadlines and meeting times are mutually agreed upon by intern and the supervisor, the intern sets her own priorities and manages her time so that she can complete her project work and also take advantage of other opportunities the program offers. These include brown-bag lunches on women's issues with invited guest speakers as well as out-side meetings, hearings and conferences. Attending these events provides opportunities for interns to gain knowledge and to understand how strategies are developed, how decisions are made and how leadership styles differ. For example, interns attending a meeting at the Pentagon could observe the leader of a coalition of women's organizations change the rules at a briefing in which coalition members were supposed to sit passively and listen to information prepared for them, a singular lesson in both leadership and assertiveness. Similarly, an intern accompanying a staff member to meetings of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education broadens her understanding of educational equity issues, group dynamics and strategies for changing policies. It is somewhat unrealistic to work with an organization for a brief period of time and expect to make a substantial contribution to its work. Nevertheless, this is the expectation of many interns. We try to emphasize that contributions are made in many different ways. Initiating a new project, building upon, or completing one already developed, are all ways to contribute. In each case, staff members help the intern structure a project that can be completed within a short time, with the understanding that the resulting product may or may not be published, but will be used as the basis for further work on the issue. Examples of past intern projects include: - developing a brief paper on women and social security and analyzing proposals for reform; - researching the status of women in higher education and updating WEAL Fund's paper, Facts on Women in Higher Education; - developing comments on equal opportunity guidelines set forth by the National Endowment for the Arts; - developing and publicizing a brief report which focused attention on the employment of women scientists and engineers at 50 leading colleges and universities; - reviewing stacks of Title IX complaints submitted to the United States Office for Civil Rights to assess the quality of their resolution (a joint project with the National Education Association); - analyzing public comments on proposed Title IX Athletic Guidelines to determine public sentiment (a joint project with the National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs); - collecting, preserving and making available for study the personal papers of Black women, the records of Black women's organizations and other materials documenting the history of Black women in the U.S. (a joint project with the National Archives for Black Women's History); - developing a paper on women, registration and the draft for inclusion in WEAL Fund's Women and the Military kit; - developing a paper on financial aid opportunities for older women who are seeking education and training to reenter the work force; - researching the status of women as fellowship winners and review panelists at the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities as well as at other fellowship programs; and - assisting WEAL Fund's SPRINT project staff in research and answering requests for information on Title IX and sports. In addition to work on an individual project, each intern contributes to the organization as Intern of the Day, spending a portion of her time every week assisting staff members with typing labels, xeroxing, collating, filing or preparing mailings. This assignment gives the intern a glimpse into the importance of "women's work" as well as insight into the concept of equal pay for work of equal value. Recently staff and interns found an unexpected opportunity to make a contribution to the Fund. In less than a week's time, they planned and executed a large reception to honor Elizabeth Janeway on the publication of her new book, Powers of the Weak. Without the help of interns in developing mailing lists, preparing invitations, making follow-up phone calls to invitees, contacting the press, and hosting the reception itself, the event probably would not have been the success that it was. What the Interns Take with Them While each of the 180 individuals has had a different experience, discussions with interns reveal a number of recurring themes. First, interns are impressed by the organization's struggle simply to stay alive, both financially and ideologically, at a time when funding is scarce and the country is leaning toward conservatism; proposal writing, direct mail campaigns and other fund-raising activities rarely fit into an intern's prior conceptions of the work of a women's organization. Second, interns are amazed at the amount of nitty-gritty support activities necessary to maintain a productive, visible organization; they learn that stuffing envelopes, typing, xeroxing, filing, recording contributions and sending out thank-you notes, and sorting and routing mail--simply managing an office and staff efficiently--are critical tasks. Third, interns begin to develop an understanding of the legislative and regulatory process, as well as an appreciation of how slowly goes the process of change; so many interns come to Washington in awe of the power of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), e.g., and leave in awe of the power and persistence of the groups who exert pressure on OCR to enforce anti-discrimination legislation that has been so long in coming and is in such constant danger of being eroded. Fourth, and perhaps most significant: many interns emphasize that they never before had the opportunity to work so closely with women, especially in an all women's organization where they are in a position of authority. Interns take with them a healthy respect for the power that results from the information sharing, networking and strategizing that are so much a part of the way Washington women's organizations have an impact on public policy. One concern, however, that is often expressed by interns is how they will react to the sexism they will undoubtedly encounter when they return to their campuses or to a job which is not concerned with feminist issues. Some fear they will find it difficult to handle; they had lost touch with the "real world" feeling protected in an organization staffed almost entirely with women whose primary goal at work, and often during leisure time, is to secure equal rights for women. They wonder if they will be able to change conservative attitudes. Other interns, however, feel strengthened by the support they found in the experience. They leave WEAL Fund armed with new documentation, facts, statistics, and ideas--ready to wage battle with any and all enemies of the cause--or at least eager to engage a skeptic in animated debate. In any event, interns find the experience a valuable one. A former intern expressed it well: I realize that having interns can sometimes be disruptive to a functioning staff, but am glad that you feel the inconvenience is worth the effort. Working at WEAL Fund has raised my expectations of myself. Time and effort are conducive to achievement. Thank you for a very valuable learning experience. STUDENT IMPACT IN TWO COMMUNITY SETTINGS I. THE INVISIBLE WOMEN Carolyn Mulford (This article originally appeared in "Synergist", Journal of ACTION's National Student Volunteer Program, Spring 1980, Vol. 9, No. 1, and is reprinted with permission.) As the police car turned into the alley a figure hunched down behind an open garbage can. "Pull over, Susie," said the passenger to his partner. "I just saw one of the bag ladies at the back of that restaurant. She'll freeze if she stays out on a night like this." "Let me handle it," said Susie as she stopped the police car. "She's more likely to listen to another woman." She stepped out and called, "Got a problem, lady?" Clasping the garbage can for support, a woman on the far side of middle age pulled herself up. "Just out for a walk," she said with dignity. "Thought you were some hoodlums. That's why I hid." "It's pretty cold tonight, almost zero with the wind factor. We'll give you a ride home." "Thank you, but I need the exercise." She shivered. "I can't leave you here," the officer said gently but firmly. "I ain't breaking no law." "It's got nothing to do with the law. You haven't got any place to go, have you?" "I'm no vagrant. I've worked all my life," said the woman proudly. Her voice faltered. "I just don't see how this could happen to me." The officer opened the back door. "Come on, we'll take you - " "Not the crazy house!" cried the woman, shrinking back. "Course not. It's a place where you'll be warm and welcome, but you'll have to work." She took the woman by the arm and propelled her to the car. "They'll help you get back on your feet." A few minutes later Susie drove up to an old brick school building. "This is it, the Madison Center, part of the House of Ruth." * * * * * * * * * * The night resident finished binding the young mother's two broken ribs. Glancing at the two preschool youngsters and baby asleep in one chair, he asked softly, "What do you plan to do now? Will you call the police?" The woman shook her head. "It was just an accident. I fell downstairs." "I suppose you got those bruises on your cheek from running into a door last week. Mrs. Smith, these beatings will get worse. You must do something to protect yourself - and your children." She gulped. "What can I do? I have no family within 1,000 miles, no friends who live where he couldn't find me, no money. I left the house in my gown after he fell asleep because I couldn't stand the pain any more." She wiped away tears. "You tell me where I can find food and shelter for me and my children with no money, no job, not even any work experience. I've barely got the cab fare to get back home." "There's a place I know about. We refer someone like you to them two or three times a month. You get dressed while a nurse makes a phone call." Half an hour later, the woman gave her last cent to the cab driver who had taken her to a large, somewhat decrepit house on a side street in an inner city neighborhood. He didn't growl about the smallness of the tip. Instead he said, "Good luck, lady. You listen to them folks in there. This shelter is supposed to be secret, but you aren't the first woman and kids I brought here in the middle of the night. Lots of folks got trouble bad as yours, and the House of Ruth helps them - long as they are ready to help themselves." * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Seven blocks from the Capitol, a car moved slowly down busy Massachusetts Avenue in the early morning rush hour. The driver pulled over, jumped out of the car, ran around it, and took two large suitcases from the back seat. He opened the front door. "Come on, Mother. Get out." "I want to go home." "You can't. We're leaving for Hawaii in three hours and we won't be back for two weeks. Now get out!" "I can stay by myself." "And start another fire? The whole house could have burned down without you waking up." He sighed. "It's not a nursing home or a hospital." He reached around her thin shoulder and tugged her from the car. "Doris found out all about the House of Ruth when she gave them that bunch of old clothes. It's a nice place." She clung to him. "It's for people who've got nobody." He jerked away. "I'll check on you in a month." She sank on to a suitcase as the car sped away. She didn't move until a young woman came out of a huge old brick house and approached her. The old woman stood up. "I have no son. I have nobody. But I can still knit." The younger woman picked up a suitcase. THE HOUSE OF RUTH Scenes like the preceding occur daily throughout the nation, but frequently penniless, battered, and unwanted women have no shelter to go to. The House of Ruth grew out of the recognition of the unmet needs of a growing number (currently about 5,000) of homeless and destitute women in Washington, D.C. Founded four years ago by a former sociology professor, the House of Ruth is a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and sustenance, support and counseling, referral and information to women who have no other source of assistance. Its three sections are the headquarters and residence (capacity: 35), the Madison Center (capacity: 65), and the shelter for battered women and their children (capacity: 12). Reflecting the District's population pattern, approximately 80 percent of those who come to the House of Ruth are black. Students, from grade school to graduate school, have contributed significantly to the shelters' operation from the beginning. A brief history of the House of Ruth illustrates the pragmatic philosophy underpinning its operation, the need and potential for replication by small but determined bands in other parts of the country, and the suitability of such shelters for service-learning experiences for students of all ages and interests. It began in the early 1970's when Veronica Maz, a Georgetown University sociology professor, helped organize a soup kitchen called So Others Might Eat (SOME). She soon saw that homeless men had places to go at night, but such charitable institutions as the Salvation Army and gospel missions had few places for women. The women who came to the soup kitchen spent the night in the parks, the railway station, the bus station, doorways, unlocked cars, wherever they could find a spot. To most of the population, and to virtually all the social service agencies, they were invisible. Caught in an increasingly vicious cycle of dirt and dissolution, most found it harder and harder to combat the causes that had started the downswing. The women were of all ages, races, religions, and social classes. They had an infinite number of stories to tell - an expensive car repair while moving somewhere to take a new job, the death of a breadwinner after a bank-breaking illness, eviction leaving them with no place to live, flight from an abusive relative or mate, release from a public hospital or from jail, computer or bureaucratic foul-ups delaying retirement, unemployment, or public assistance checks. For some women, the problem was short term, its solution awaiting the arrival of assistance from family or friends. They simply had to survive a few days. For others, the problem dominated the future as well as the present, its solution not even envisioned. The women had in common immediate basic needs - food, shelter, friendship. In large part they were the victims of a changing society in which family and friends cannot be taken for granted, in which caring for the unfortunate is seen as a public rather than a personal concern. Committing all her time, Dr. Maz organized Shalom House, which had a capacity of nine. She recalls, "That is where we learned from practical experience that we needed a larger place. You have to start with a small place to get the experience." The next step was to search for a bigger house. Dr. Maz walked the streets of the inner city looking for something suitable. She saw "For Sale" on an old tourist home midway between the train station and the bus station (two favorite hangouts of the homeless) and knocked on the door. The owner told her she would rent her the house for $440 a month. At the time Dr. Maz had $1, but she raised the $440 from individuals in less than two weeks. She moved in with 12 women who had been living in a nearby park - and had to find food for the next meal. And they did, by going to individuals, Catholic nuns who had some leftovers, and a Safeway manager with food that would have been thrown away. GLEANING FOR SURVIVAL The former tourist home became the House of Ruth and remains its head-quarters as well as a shelter. Its name is derived from the Biblical story of Ruth, a young widow who supported herself and her widowed mother-in-law by gathering the grain missed by harvesters. Dr. Maz is a gleaner par excellence, it is part of her philosophy and her mode of operation, and she believes that others can start shelters by adapting her techniques. One of her basic tenets is: "You always deal with individuals, not with groups. You can deal with a group after you are organized and established. Groups deal with groups." Another is: "Start with what you have. You don't need enough money for a year to open a shelter. After all, you don't wait until you've saved a year's rent to lease an apartment." Still another: "You start in their community. The ghetto has its own communication system. People tell people. If we started giving sandwiches out - which we wouldn't do - at 10:15, by noon we would have 200 people in line." Giving things away is not part of the House of Ruth philosophy. Those who come to it share the responsibility for the shelter - cooking cleaning, maintenance - and must take action, in so far as they are capable, to find a home, a job, a training program, or whatever assistance they need. Those who do nothing because they are unwilling to exert any effort find themselves back in the park. Those who do nothing because they are unable to function are referred to the proper agency and receive assistance in getting that agency to take action. Everyone must obey certain basic rules, such as no drinking or drugs, no coming in after 11 p.m. curfew, and no violence. The police not only bring women to the House of Ruth but also take them away. Before the House of Ruth accepts a woman, a screener determines that she has no other alternatives - family or friends or public assistance. At head-quarters and Madison Center, the women have three days to work out a plan of action with the social workers and counselors. This may mean applying for a training program, public assistance, or a job; contacting relatives or friends who could provide cash or a place to live; entering a drug abuse program; or anything else that may lead to self-sufficiency. While waiting for responses (which may require weeks rather than days) the women help operate the shelter and participate in its numerous activities - workshops, physical examinations, counseling. Improving personal hygiene and appearance frequently are the first priorities for the homeless. Hot showers, delousing, and clean clothes - donated by the community or made to order by residents or volunteers - improve both the self-image and the reception given the women by social service agencies or potential employers. The battered women with children have different priorities and problems. They face possible bodily harm and may be taking criminal or civil action against husbands. They also must support - emotionally and financially - others as well as themselves. Currently, the shelter for these women permits them to stay up to a month, though the social worker in charge, Cookie Wheeler, hopes to extend the residential period to six weeks. She also attaches great importance to continuing assistance after they leave and advocates establishing second-stage housing for small groups of former shelter residents so that they may be mutually supportive. All the shelters continue to be a resource for those who have come and gone, and the Madison Center is striving to become a genuine multiservice center for the women of the surrounding low-income community. PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE The aim of all the assistance given - by staff composed mostly of social workers and former destitute women, by student and community volunteers, by the residents - is to enable the individual to meet her needs. Dr. Maz says, "Homeless and destitute women are people no one wants. They are lonely, so you have to deal with loneliness. If you don't deal with this, you cannot do anything. Having dealt with the loneliness, our goal is to help her find some sort of economic security and comfortable housing." Wheeler makes a similar statement about the battered woman with children. "She needs someone to get irate with her, to be on her side, to unload to, to teach her to trust again, to go out to lunch with away from the kids, just to be there." Because of the necessity of one-to-one attention to emotional needs and only slightly less intensive attention to economic security, student and community volunteers' involvement is essential. The volunteers function as part of the House, not as aloof angels of mercy or as detached observers. In discussing two Georgetown University students who were spending the summer gathering statistics on the homeless and abused, Dr. Maz commented, "If they are going to do research, they have to be part of the woodwork. They do everything, such as going to the hospital with a woman on a bus. You talk to people as you do things with them. Immediately you get involved in service here because it's all we are. It is our philosophy that it is a work-oriented program, people helping people. We need friends, not psychiatrists." Services are personal, not institutional. One graduate student began her service-learning experience by managing the laundry room and talking informally (mostly listening) to the women who came there. With this experience to lean on and to break down her own shyness, she became an official counselor to whom the women would be directed. And they still came to her informally. The residents receive support from others in everything they do to put their lives in order. This ranges from having a high school student's hand to hold at free dental clinic to having a law student whisper encouragement at a hearing charging a husband with assault and battery. Dr. Maz is enthusiastic about all students' participation, but she feels children have something special to offer - an unbiased view of the residents. When she first moved into the former tourist home, her gleanings included a class of seventh graders ready and willing to help with the clean-up and modest decorating. They worked alongside the residents, relating to them easily. "They dealt more with the women than the college students do because they are not afraid of them. The college students see themselves apart from the homeless and destitute. Because they are educated, they think it could not happen to them, but the younger ones see the person as a totality." Generally students rather than teachers initiate the involvement. The former sociology professor says, "Professors still teach in a vacuum. The problem is that most professors don't have any experience in this area at all, and few understand that students need a formalized structure for their learning experience." The House of Ruth provides some of this structure - a training and orientation program, supervision, introduction to all facets of the operation. For students and professors who request it, staff members also prepare evaluations, advise on and provide material for papers, give conference time and counseling. The director of the shelter for battered women with children remembers the importance to her of her service-learning experience. "I was panting to get out of the classroom. What made it exciting for me was not the teacher, although she was encouraging and accommodating, but the social worker and the freedom she allowed me." Most of Wheeler's supervisory experiences are positive, though students receive higher marks than the professors. Examples of student contributions to the shelter for battered women include: - Students from Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, Maryland, surveying rental agencies to determine who would accept women with children and women on public assistance; - A Senior majoring in government at Mt. Vernon College acting as advocate for women seeking Medicaid, trying to get their children into day care centers, applying for public assistance (Wheeler says, "She was aghast at seeing how the government operates. As the result of having been here she knows much more about what she wants to do in government."); - A (Capuchin) seminarian from Washington Theological Union counseling children he termed "blatantly violent" and battered mothers who tended to be in turn seductive, motherly, and finally friendly; - Antioch Law School second- and third-year students acting as victim advocates (Wheeler points out, "When the case goes to the grand jury, he comes in with an entourage, but she has not told a soul. She has not told her brothers because she is afraid they would kill him. She has not told her friends because she could not face them. Without an advocate from here, she goes alone."); - Students in the Social Action Program of the Stone Ridge Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Rockville, Maryland, caring for the children. Wheeler would like to have students to assist in a multitude of other ways, including planning menus and buying or obtaining food, picking out the better dresses from those contributed for the thrift shop and setting up a designer thrift shop; advising on starting small business or cottage industry; setting up second-stage housing for residents who have left the shelter; repairing and maintaining the house; writing and designing publications explaining the program; fund raising or soliciting contributions of goods from businesses. STUDENT REACTIONS At any one time more than a dozen students from almost that many schools and colleges are likely to be working four to twenty hours a week for academic credit at the House of Ruth. Most seem to be attracted by the prospect of helping battered women rather than the homeless and destitute - the invisible (and less glamorous) people. Awareness changes attitudes, however, and few express regret that their experience is with a group for which, initially, they have little empathy. Even graduate students with some life experience to draw upon often express wonder at their own naivete in dealing with the women and the social service agencies ostensibly serving them. Students go through a form of culture shock, and many survive it determined to come back as seasoned volunteers when their formal obligation ends. Many speak with sadness of women who have lied to them, manipulated them, become their friends, and then disappeared. Happy endings cannot be taken for granted. The experiences of two students illustrate the diversity of backgrounds of students who have served successfully at the House of Ruth and the depth of the learning experience both had. Last spring Julia Pistor, a senior at the exclusive Georgetown Day High School, had to choose a project to which she would devote full time for six weeks. She considered using the time to write poetry, but she felt she needed to become acquainted with people she had not encountered in her sheltered life in the white, affluent part of the capital. She went to work at the Madison Center as a staff assistant. A poised, quietly self-confident young woman, she recalls, "I found it very frightening that first day. I left wishing I wasn't there because I felt I was inept, that the women really resented me, did not like me. Now I realize they were just looking at me to see who I was. I went back because I wanted to do it, and I knew first days are often horrible. After my third day I really enjoyed it." Among the women she remembers most clearly: a vendor who could not understand how it could happen that she would not have a place to stay; a woman who accused Dr. Maz of trying to murder her, threatened violence, and had to be sent to the public mental hospital; a woman who claimed (falsely) to have lost her Dutch passport and would speak to no one except Julia but left suddenly without saying goodby; a woman who found both an apartment and a job so she could have her son with her; a 17-year-old girl who had nowhere to go. Julia answered phones and the door (both screening processes), did intakes (filling out forms, calming the women down, orienting them), gave workshops on creative writing and hygiene, escorted women to social service agencies, offered ideas for job hunting, and listened. She says, "The House tries to let me do everything. I became part of the staff." To her surprise and delight, she formed some strong friendships. She ended on a note of optimism: "I used to be cynical about being upper middle class. These women are not cynical or bitter, and I am less so." A part-time graduate student in criminology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a full-time credit counselor, Teresa Gilchrist grew up in the ghetto neighborhood where one of the three House of Ruth shelters now is located. She wanted to contribute to her old neighborhood and found the chance through a women's studies course with a service-learning component. She thought nothing could surprise her. The first day there she saw a lot of familiar faces, women that she had gone to school with as a child. It brought tears to her eyes to see what had happened in their lives, to see the "thin line between volunteers and residents." Working as a counselor, she has found herself listening to women from all walks of life, from the very educated to those who never got out of elementary school. Many are simply "down on their luck." She found that each one had to be dealt with in a different way. A registered nurse whose mother was dying of cancer "needed a place to stay rather than counseling." She left when she received word of her mother's death. A 17-year-old woman who was five months pregnant rejected advice to go to a home for unwed mothers because she feared it would take her baby from her. Counseling sometimes required her to expand her knowledge, as when a young mother just released from the public mental hospital asked her help in finding out how to get custody of her infant son again. Gilchrist gives the House of Ruth high marks as both a service and learning experience, though she thinks that some of the volunteers get more from the homeless than they are able to give. STARTING SIMILAR SHELTERS The staff members of the House of Ruth are quick to point out that the nation's capital is not the only place where shelters are needed. The problem affects urban and rural areas, prosperous and impoverished communities. Often government funds are not forthcoming, at least in the beginning. The House of Ruth has established sufficient community support that it now receives limited funding from the District's Department of Human Resources and rents the Madison Center, once an elementary school, from the city for $1 a year. Dr. Maz believes her tactics can be successful in many other places. She is working with groups in several cities and welcomes students (and others) who wish to come work with the House of Ruth - no one simply observes - to learn how it operates. As she says in describing how she learned to start a shelter for the homeless and destitute, "I had been a student and I had been a professor. I started applying all those things I had learned about basic psychology and sociology." NOTE Address inquiries to House of Ruth, 459 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D. C. 20001. II. RAISES NOT ROSES Ellen Cassedy A group of employees from a small Boston publishing company called the 9 to 5 Organization for Women Office Workers' complaining that the women were earning salaries well below the posted minimum of their salary range and that men received longer vacations and better pensions. A Hampshire College sociology major interning at 9 to 5 helped them meet off company premises for a brainstorming session, researched laws on discrimination and overtime, prepared a written summary of their grievances and recommendations for change, and rehearsed them for a meeting with management in which they eloquently presented their case. They won higher salaries, better benefits, an end to sex discrimination in policies, and the right to meet regularly with management to discuss future problems. This is just one example of how students who will soon be joining the work force and women workers with job problems are teaming up through the Working Women Organizing Project in cities across the country. As they attack widespread issues of unequal pay, lack of fair promotional opportunity for women, and disrespect for working women, student and employee learn a great deal from one another. Organizing among office workers--who make up fully one third of the female work force nation wide--began in Boston and Chicago in 1973, spread to Cleveland, San Francisco, New York, and Dayton two years later, and now involves Hartford, Washington, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and many other cities. Such organizations as 9 to 5 (Boston), Cleveland Women Working, and Women Organized for Employment (San Francisco) quickly find an eager constituency which has never before had a vehicle for its concerns. Neither trade unions, government anti-discrimination agencies, nor management policies have ever protected the rapidly growing clerical work force from low pay and other discriminatory practices. Through organizing, working women are learning to build support systems within their companies, mounting public pressure against discriminatory employers and improving the responsiveness of government anti-discrimination agencies. The working women's organizations represent the beginning of what seems likely to be a massive organizing effort within the next decade. The white collar industries are an unorganized enclave that is unlikely to remain unorganized for long. But because the effort is only beginning, and because serious issues of livelihood are involved, the organizing is slow and cautious. Tactics which are second nature in community action organizations are out of the question when the target is not just a government official--he's the man who could fire you from your job. Students have carried out projects essential to the work of these organizations both in the initial stages and after the organization has established itself. In the Boston area, for example, 9 to 5 has worked with students from Boston University, Simmons College, the University of Massachusetts, Harvard Divinity School, Hampshire College, Yale University, Suffolk Law School, and Antioch College. All of the students received course credit for their work. Supervision was handled jointly by 9 to 5's staff director and university instructors. High school students also have volunteered, usually after school or during the summer, and have contributed substantially. Several aspects of the organizing make student participation particularly useful. One of these is the need for flexible schedules. Unlike members of some women's advocacy organizations or community action groups, office workers are not at all flexible about their time. They are trapped at their desks from 9 until 5 and often have family responsibilities after work. While the organizations must have spokeswomen who are of the constituency, they also need an auxiliary staff which is available during the day to do a large variety of organizing and research tasks. Because it is a new movement, the concepts are clear and simple enough for newcomers to understand--and must be kept so. The focus is on practical action and results, on reaching a very broad range of people, on constant outreach, on stirring things up and starting office grapevines one by one by one. It's an endless amount of work, and it is simple to orient people to it. Because of the great fear of firing--a justified fear--and women's traditional fear of speaking up, working women do not tend to act militantly unless they are very sure they are right. Their employers tell them not to discuss their salaries with their co-workers. Affirmative action plans are kept locked in the personnel office. It's a rare worker who understands the Civil Rights Act or the National Labor Relations Act. Can your employer pay you one salary and the woman right next to you another? Can you be fired for refusing to make coffee for your boss? Is your salary fair? A great need exists for facts, statistical research, and legal information. As future employees, students have this need as much as current employees, and it is an excellent legal education for them to compile this information for working women. A note on attitude: Community organizing history is littered with stories of the bright college student who walked into the ghetto, or the rural town, or the factory, and tried to tell the people what to do to improve their lives. We tell students who work with us not to let their own preconceptions color their interactions with working women. Their own view of what people should be able to do about their job problems is probably unrealistic. Their own view about what is bothersome about a clerical job may well be off the mark for most office workers. Don't assume that the woman you are interviewing finds typing boring just because you do. Don't expect to be the spokeswoman for working women--instead, give them the support they need to speak for themselves. We also give students a great deal of supervision in their first contact with working women to make sure they absorb these points. We see our students go through a rapid education process which involves a growing respect for working women and their concerns. The benefits to the student are many. Even minimal contact with the exigencies of a campaign gives them a taste of advocacy organizing. They learn to work with a great variety of people and to assess their needs and interests quickly and objectively. They learn to analyze a social problem, such as unequal pay scales, and think about who can solve that problem, who will ally to press for the solution, who will resist the solution. They learn what goes into deciding upon a level of militancy and how to pace a campaign so that its beneficiaries don't drop out. They learn how important it is to pay attention to detail in organizing and advocacy work. One lost membership card, one misplaced word, will have repercussions. Quick, thorough follow-up with people who may have attended the first meeting of their lives can be invaluable. Students also gain a thorough knowledge of the job market and job rights. This makes up for a very unfortunate gap in secondary and post-secondary education. Women entering the work force rarely understand the structure of the industries they select from--insurance, banking, publishing.etc. They don't know how to go about setting good career goals, or what kind of company will support them in this. Students who work with working women's organizations become some of the best educated new employees ever to hit the job market. In setting up a working women's organization, the first job--one student volunteers can do admirably--is to get the facts about the "problem." Are working women in your city discriminated against? It's easy to find out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Several students spend a week in the library comparing men's to women's pay, finding out how many women are the sole support of their household, seeing what the differences (if any) are in the educational background of women and men. Other students pound the sidewalks looking for the largest employers, the common gathering points for working women, the most busy transit exits. They visit the Chamber of Commerce and compile a comprehensive picture of the economy of their town. They visit the Women's Bureau of the U. S. Department of Labor, or write away for publications on women workers. They compile a fact sheet on working women in their city. At this point, they know more than the average citizen about how their town works. High school students are capable of doing much of this work, preferably as a class project with close cooperation between the teacher and the organization's staff. The organization could outline the project and direct students to sources while the teacher does most of the day-to-day supervision. The next step is to contact the constituency. How do working women feel about their work? It's not easy to reach working people on job issues. Stand on a busy street corner some morning at 8:55 and try to imagine how you would go about getting to talk to these preoccupied, hurrying people. That's exactly what students from Harvard Divinity School did as part of a credited field education project. Working with 9 to 5 eight hours a week, they were soon leafletting before and after work with issues questionnaires to be mailed to the organization. (Statistically, a return of as low as one percent is good.) At lunch they walked through the city doing street surveys. They visited high school business courses to inform women who were about to enter the work force. High school volunteers could do most of these tasks--if allowed out at lunch and during the day. All this street work would be unnecessary if women were able to walk into offices or company cafeterias and organize openly. Those days are yet to come. High school or college volunteers can compile the results of the questionnaire. Then the organization has some information to convey to those respondents who signed their questionnaires. In doing this college students or the organization's staff can begin one-on-one lunch time interviews--the heart of the organizing in the early stages. Even college students need a good deal of supervision in this phase, and I do not recommend that high school volunteers attempt this. We counsel students to be personable, supportive, and to listen carefully to what the women are telling them rather than trying to instruct the workers or tell them what to do. That part comes later. After students discuss their interviews with each other and with experienced staff and decide on a course of action, they can be more directive in their interviews. From the interviews come some women who are interested in sharing the work of building the organization. The next step may be a public meeting to bring the issue out into the open, provide a place to bring recruits, legitimize the cause, and teach some lessons about legal rights. It is vital for working women to understand their legal rights before taking action against an employer. College volunteers can play a major role in educating them. For example, under independent study, two University of Massachusetts women's studies students planned a legal rights workshop for women working in universities. The students visited government agencies for handouts on the laws prohibiting sex discrimination, governing overtime, and covering the right to organize. They called the American Bar Association for specialists in sex discrimination cases and labor law and found two lawyers to make short presentations. They then set to work translating the government publications into simpler language, and illustrated their legal fact sheet with examples culled from the questionnaires that had come in. They involved the interested women they had met at lunch in planning questions to ask the lawyers, drawing up a sex discrimination quiz, baking refreshments, and recruiting friends and co-workers by word of mouth. A staff supervisor showed the students how to lay out a leaflet to be posted on campus bulletin boards, and they mapped out a plan for covering the several colleges in the area. They knew some secretaries from their own campus and also knew which offices it was easy to walk into and which were off limits to passers-by. The result was an excellent workshop. It helped to launch several on-campus groups of office workers who went on to win improved policies. For the students, the result was a first-rate knowledge of organizing techniques that can be applied to any advocacy group, political campaign, or service organization; a thorough knowledge of employment rights; and insight into the situation of working women. This legal rights workshop, and others like it in other industries, set the stage for visits to government agencies to learn their functions (and eventually file charges against discriminatory companies), sessions on how to build support among co-workers, assertiveness training workshops, and a one-page newsletter highlighting job problems that had surfaced in the legal rights workshop. This was distributed monthly as an ongoing outreach tool, recruiting additional members and prompting policy reforms at the companies targeted. Students were involved in every stage. These early stages are duplicated in the formation of every working women's organization. As the organization becomes more established, other creative uses of students' talents become possible. Below are some examples. Harvard Divinity School students prepared a travelling show on working women's concerns and presented it to church groups after Sunday services throughout one semester. The working women among the parishioners they reached not only became members of 9 to 5 but also set up an ongoing support network for themselves through their church. During National Secretaries Week (the last week in April) kindhearted boses reward their secretaries with a bouquet of roses in return for a year's worth of uncompensated overtime, substandard salary, and lack of recognition. Since the rise of the working women's movement, women have sounded the slogan "Raises, Not Roses," held public hearings on the rights of working women, won the endorsement of mayors and city councils, and turned the tables on employers by rewarding them for their job performance. A Boston University communications major did a two-month project on the theme of National Secretaries Week. She prepared a fact sheet on the pay and status of working women in Boston offices, added spirited quotations from 9 to 5's officers, and sent the packet to every news source in the Boston area. She followed up with phone calls and succeeded in scheduling radio, newspaper, and TV interviews featuring secretaries eager to talk about the rights they felt they deserved along with their bouquets. The student also prepared a flyer on speaking to the press for use by the women recruited to be interviewed. Meanwhile, other students distributed rose buttons and job issues questionnaires asking office workers to evaluate their companies according to a Bill of Rights (see page 11) drawn up by 9 to 5. With the results of this street survey, the organization targeted particular job problems, prepared an assertiveness training workshop for working women, and identified particular companies and groups of working women who were interested in pressing for improvements. By writing to the Department of Labor, 9 to 5 learned that a major bank's equal employment policies were about to be reviewed by federal investigators in connection with the bank's federal contracts. A team of student volunteers set out to maximize employee participation in the review, to guarantee its accuracy, and thereby to prompt improvements. For one week the students surveyed employees as they came to work. The results showed that the bank was falling down on job posting, job training, and accurate job descriptions for equal employment issues relevant to the up-coming government review. The students followed up with in-depth one-on-one lunch time interviews with survey respondents. Students and employees prepared a report and met with the government investigators to present an invaluable picture of how women and minorities really fared at the bank. Improvements in job training and benefits for clerical workers resulted. In addition, employees and students received quite an education in their legal rights and in employer policies that work for and against these rights. For a senior honors project, students from Simmons College did the design work on a 9 to 5 publication called "Working Women's Buying Guide." Five sociology majors launched a career counseling and job bank service. They read materials on job interviews, including information on what questions a prospective employer may not legally ask a job applicant. They made charts of career ladders in several industries, researching the subject by interviewing 9 to 5 members and by making appointments with personnel officers at major companies. They made arrangements to receive job opening bulletins from large employers and to call others weekly for this information. Then they submitted articles to community newspapers announcing the new service. They soon began receiving both applications and requests from employers. The women using the service got a far more accurate picture of the job market than they would have at the average employment agency because of the educational materials on hand. Needless to say, the students themselves had become expert job-finders as well. High School students could maintain a job bank for high school seniors. They would go through many of the same procedures the college volunteers did, possibly in cooperation with the school's guidance department. For the most part, secretaries and file clerks did not participate in the women's liberation marches of the 1960's. They did not learn karate or enroll in women's studies courses, by and large. Yet the ideas of women's equality, equal pay for equal work, and fair treatment for working women have had a profound impact throughout American society. With economic pressures propelling more and more women into the work force and the inflation making their meager salaries worth less every year, an urgent need for change has hit the female job ghetto. Students can contribute greatly to making that change, and in doing so serve their own interests. NOTE The Working Women Organizing Project coordinates joint campaigns among the working women's organizations and helps spread the model of the established groups to any new city where there is a show of interest and sufficient resources to launch such a project. High school or college students who want to learn about the possibilities of establishing an organization in their area may request information and advice from the Working Women Organizing Project at either: 1258 Euclid Avenue, Room 206, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, (216) 566-8511 or 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116, (617) 536-6003. A STUDENT GUIDE TO FIELD LEARNING EXPERIENCES Lizette Bartholdi, Laurie Bushbaum, Debra Horn, Denise Johnson, Kimberly M. Reynolds-Heiam, Karen Theiler, Robin Williams-Johnson This paper was composed by the students in the first field learning seminar offered by the Women's Studies Program at the University of Minnesota, under the direction of Cheri Register. Each of the students earned four credits for one quarter of work on an internship. Laurie worked at an organization that was set up to record the history of and promote traditional women's work. She transcribed taped oral histories and prepared for the grand opening of an office, exhibition area and consignment shop. Debbie worked as an administrative intern in the Minnesota Women's Center organizing the center's resource files for eventual computerization. Kimberly worked with Twin Cities NOW drawing up information on women's suffrage and the ERA for presentation to high school classes and for a radio program. Lizette worked at a shelter for battered women doing phone counseling and referral. Robin started a consciousness-raising group in her neighborhood. She and seven other women explored women's issues in our society for an eight week session. Denise worked with a senior social worker in child protection, exploring aspects of the social services through field work, seminars and interviews with professionals in various areas of social services. Karen worked with WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) on an educational project on violence, pornography and rape prevention. How and Why Did We Make the Decision to Do an Internship? For all of us, the desire for an educational experience outside of the classroom and/or university was a major determining factor in deciding to do an internship. Women's studies, by nature, affects all aspects of our lives, and by doing an internship we hoped to focus on our particular interests in a non-academic setting. The other major reason that we chose to participate in an internship was to explore how feminism and women's issues coincide with the "working world." Some of us are graduating this year and used our internship to test out job possibilities for the future. As Kimberly said, "An internship provides a vehicle to combine academics and `real world' experience. It is an excellent way to test one's interests." For Robin, an internship was an opportunity to "cast about for things you've always wanted to try." What is Involved in Preparing for an Internship and Choosing an Agency? Many of us entered our internships without first critically evaluating our own expectations and needs as interns. An internship is more time consuming and demanding than we first realized; our level of commitment was crucial to our overall experience. A lot of our expectations were too high and had to be revised. Even though we were committed to our internships, they were substituted for only one class and we began to realize the time limitations of a short-term internship. One mistake that some of us made was to over-emphasize our responsibilities to our agency. It is important to remember that an internship is to benefit both the intern and the agency. We would have had more "successful" internships had we clarified, before we started, our attitudes and needs about work. Laurie voiced her experience with her internship by saying, "One of the most important lessons I learned in my internship is that the structure of an organization, such as its work environment and work patterns, is equally as important to me as the purpose of the organization. I realized that I work best in an open, communicative environment but also one that is very organized and task-oriented, that works at a fast, but efficient pace. I assumed that because I would be working in a feminist organization, everyone would work together well and I would fit right in. But, just because an organization is feminist doesn't mean that everyone involved will have the same ideas about the work environment." How Do You Write a Contract and What Do You Take into Consideration? In some instances, contracts are not necessary. Robin, for example, worked alone; she was her own supervisor and evaluator. She was pleased with this arrangement. Some of us who did have contracts with our agencies experienced problems. We included in our contracts information about work schedules, general duties, responsibilities, and interests, but in some areas lacked specificity. We often ran into unforeseen problems such as being assigned tasks that we really did not want to do. To overcome this problem, Denise suggested that the contract not be written until the second or third week of the internship. We think this would have prevented us from blindly committing ourselves before we had a realistic direction within our agencies. The biggest mistake Lizette and Laurie made in their contracts was not providing for adequate supervision and evaluation. We found it to be terribly frustrating not to have one specific person as a supervisor or a specific time to meet with her. Lizette expressed this frustration about supervision at her agency by saying, "If I had worked with one other staff member closely I know I would have learned more of what goes on at the shelter and I would have had more of a place there. My problem was I didn't know whom to ask questions of. I never saw the same people twice. I now feel that this should have told me something. No one knew what my work was there, so it was all up to me. I strongly feel now I should have asked a staff person to schedule time to work with me so I would have had a sense of continuity and someone I felt at ease with asking questions." Laurie found problems of evaluation at her internship. She commented: The one thing I wish I would have paid more attention to in my contract is the process of evaluation. I allowed for my supervisor and the other staff members to evaluate me at the end of the internship, but I did not foresee the need for me to evaluate in return. I think it would be a good idea to write into contracts a brief weekly mutual evaluation. That way, problems or questions can be taken care of before they get too big. It could have made it easier for me to make my feelings known. I would have had a set time to do that rather than having to initiate a confrontation. That was not experienced by everyone, though. Denise had a very positive system of evaluation. She added, "Meeting with my supervisor was the most helpful tool in meeting my goals. I would make appointments with her, with her encouragement, for about an hour a week in which we could discuss my internship from my point of view. We would discuss what I wanted to be doing, and she would show me her case load and possibilities of where I could participate with her clients." By meeting periodically one had a chance to re-evaluate the goals or change the scope of the internship. How Does One Sustain Interest, Enthusiasm and Commitment? Commitment came easy because we chose projects that we had been meaning to work on before the internship opportunity, or ones which would be testing grounds for jobs after college. Once the project has been chosen, the problem of discipline arises. One suggestion made by Denise was setting up a time schedule for working on a week-to-week basis. A time schedule affords personal discretion in a busy school week. She also suggested, "...talking about one's internship may help the motivation to continue--that's where a support group helps." We found that ta]king with others about problems and successes in a seminar setting provides a means of support and review of a project. A supervisor who can oversee and answer questions or provide personal support also helps, since some of us relate better in a one-to-one situation than in a group setting. Karen used her contract as a means of disciplining herself. "Discipline was easy for me since I attended a weekly meeting with WAVAW about community safety as well as a weekly seminar with other interns. In this way I could set up specific weekly goals with my supervisor and review what I had accomplished each week in the seminar. What Do You Do with Emotional Build-Up or "Burn Out" on a Project? Emotional build-up or "burn out" seemed to occur at different times for reasons as unique as each intern. One of the more common origins of "burn out" was a feeling of powerlessness while working with people who lack the means or will to change their situations, such as battered women and abused children. Others included personality conflicts and incompatible goals in a group situation. To avoid such problems or to cope with the emotional aspects of each internship, we tried methods ranging from physical activity to using one's right to say "no." Robin suggested handling the problem of "burn out" by "spacing yourself so that you don't work too steadily at the project but instead take little vacations from it. Get away from it for a better perspective. Because I live very near all the women in my Consciousness Raising group, I sometimes need to leave responsibility for continuing CR sessions day and night. I get away from it by working on projects for other classes, by going to my job, and sometimes just saying I don't have time to talk right now." Lizette related, "Weekly seminars helped to relieve some anxious feelings in a supportive environment. For some an ongoing journal would help, just somewhere to vent those burning ideas and problems. Another thing that helped me was riding my bike." We explored different alternatives for venting the emotional build-up or even making positive use of it. Karen added, "Another answer to emotional build-up is humor. I don't take myself so seriously that problems get to me. `Burn out' is good sometimes just to make you aware that your energy is limited and must be used to its best advantage. One way to deal with this is allowing distance from a project in order to redirect your time and energy." What Techniques Do You Use to Analyze and Abstract from the Internship Experience? As a group there was a fairly consistent consensus that a combination of reading and discussion with other people, whether in a formal seminar setting or informally with friends, helped clarify what we were doing and learning in the internships. Journals did not prove to be helpful to everyone. We all agreed that some people are journal writers and some are not. We felt that the option of a journal should be left up to each individual. The reading proved to be thought and emotion-provoking for several of us. Karen said, "Reading accounts of rape and brutality were too much for me, especially after hearing of experiences within our group. I found that I could only read one article a week because I became too furious." And Kimberly commented, "The reading material sustained my interest and activated my motivation. I was dealing with the long struggle of women in history. The history of discrimination provided fuel for a fire that burns so naturally inside of me." Thoughts and ideas from the internship, discussion and reading were brought up at our weekly seminar. We felt that having a consistent format for discussion helped us understand our purposes and expectations better. How Can You Use Your Internship as a Step from Being a Student to Not Being a Student? The transition from student to non-student was seen differently by each of us. As Karen said, "I do not see myself as moving from one point to the other. I consider myself a person working and learning as best I can wherever I am." Most of us found that the internships provided us with valuable real world experience that traditional university classes lack. Internships allowed us to employ our skills and, test our interest in areas of possible employment. Denise pointed out that an internship could be very valuable on a person's resume when one begins looking for a job. For all of us, internships provided a look at our creativity, self-discipline and personal interests. Kimberly said, "I would recommend choosing an internship that requires you to be at a certain place at a specific time, if you are unsure about your level of self-discipline. This allows you to assess what your abilities are and allows time to gradually improve them." How Do You Carry Knowledge Back and Forth from Reading and the Classroom to Your Internship? Our experiences with women's studies courses involve a lot of reflecting and processing of information. Women's studies courses attempt to deal with real life situations, not just academic questions. The internship was a good bridge for testing our academic learning outside the institution. We felt that outside reading and classroom discussions were interrelated with the internships. Robin said, "Ideas I bring from my group tie into the work I'm doing in the classroom and to my past women's studies classes. There are issues common to all women such as how much do biological differences have to do with sexism and what happened to women's history?" The discussions in our weekly seminar were helpful for Karen: "The classroom experience was great to question some of the things I was doing. It forced me to define terms to others and made the programs clearer in my mind. I also received second opinions as to whether others thought the program was effective or not, which was useful." How Do You Remain True to Your Values? How Does the Internship Test Your Definition of These? We all chose internships we felt would broaden our feminist ideologies. Denise stated, "The internship provides an opportunity to test our feminist ideologies to see if they hold up outside the classroom. It may change for one may discover the real world is different than pictured from a distance. Lizette encountered an ethical dilemma: "When there were staff problems at the shelter I didn't know if I'd be betraying the staff or not if I spoke to residents at the shelter about the conflicts." For Robin, "...the only way my internship tested my definition of feminism was when I had to be quiet and accept as reality women who said they were happy with what I considered to be truly oppressive ways of living. I had to decide that it was unfeminist of me to screech my beliefs at other women." How Do You Know When You're Done? Most of us will continue our internship projects in some way. If the internship part was to be over at the end of the quarter, this condition was set up in the contract stating exactly how long we would each spend with the people or agency involved. It was important to us to wrap up the project and to get feedback from the person or persons we were working with. Denise had a two hour discussion with her supervisor about her experiences and what was learned from them. A promise to continue with the relationship on a non-professional basis was a nice end to the internship. Robin and her CR group spent the last of eight sessions wrapping up ideas discussed throughout the quarter with a pot luck lunch afterwards. The internship may be finished for a number of reasons, the termination of the quarter, the accomplishment of goals or the expectations of the contract met. Kim felt that "I knew when I finished because I had attained a satisfactory number of my expectations that I had laid out at the beginning of the project." How Do You Get Out or Continue On with the Internship Once the Quarter is Over? Debbie felt it is important to have in mind a vision of the end when starting. She thinks of the internship as being on a continuum: "Where I leave off someone else will be ready to take over. From the beginning then, I think that it is important not to be possessive about your project. When it is over you have to be ready to evaluate and leave it or stay on in another capacity." Continuing on when the internship is completed may be done by changing the role from an intern to a volunteer. Debbie may continue on as a volunteer worker at the Women's Center. Denise will change her relationship with one of her clients from that of social worker to that of a volunteer big sister. Robin hopes to continue on with the CR group but without taking total responsibility for the running of the group. She also hopes to use her communication skills developed in her internship in some area of counseling women, possibly in a feminist organization. How Do You Decide What You Have Learned and What is Most Important? Self-measurement is a primary tool used by all of us in evaluating our internships. Kim thought "if one learns something that will enhance further and future learning, it is important," whereas Debbie felt "it was asking myself if I had learned something that I could put into use in other situations. It is important to me to be able to apply what I learned to new experiences and situations." Comparing the goals we set for ourselves at the onset of our respective internships with what we felt we had accomplished was a concrete way of assessing our internships. Input from supervisors and advisors along with sharing experiences within our group aided in evaluating our learning experiences. In place of a final paper, in which we had intended to pull together our experiences with research and present it to the group, we decided to write this article. Preparation for writing this proved to be beneficial to us for we each answered the questions as they related to ourselves. We chose to share them in this article in hopes of aiding future interns. How Do You Define Success and Failure in an Internship? Defining success and failure in an internship is difficult. There is always something more that could have been done, especially when you are setting your own goals and disciplining yourself. There is no absolute measure of success or failure in doing an internship. Karen said, "Success and failure in an internship come from analyzing each experience. If goals are not met one has to decide if it is because of personal failure, simply bureaucratic problems or even luck." Kim felt, "Success is coming away with a feeling that both the individual and the organization benefitted in some way. Failure doesn't equal an internship that didn't go as planned. An internship can go through major reconstruction and still be a very successful project. This is especially true when one's goals are primarily under the heading of `learning.' There is also a lot to be learned from an internship that flipflops in mainstream." How Do You Know When You've Succeeded? "I knew when I'd succeeded when I felt that I had learned a lot from the process, that it had changed me, made an influence on my life somehow, whether or not the project itself was a success or a failure," said Robin. The criteria for success as Denise saw them were "...when we felt good about the internship, when we were glad we participated in the internships, and when we felt we had accomplished at least some of the goals that we had set up for ourselves in the beginning." COPING WITH DIFFICULT PLACEMENTS: TWO CASE STUDIES I. FRUSTRATION, ANGER AND LEARNING AT A RAPE CRISIS CENTER Stacey Zlotnick From January to May 1980, in the last semester of my senior year, I took part in a service learning internship sponsored by the University of Maryland Women's Studies Program. I spent between ten and twelve hours a week at one of the most comprehensive rape crisis facilities in the country, recognized as a national model for the cooperative network it had coordinated between the police, social service agencies, and hospital personnel. Besides twenty-four hour emergency gynecological treatment and laboratory analysis, the center provided ongoing group counseling for adult, adolescent, and child victims, as well as individual counseling, couples and family counseling, and around the clock hotline service. As an intern at the sexual assault center, one of my primary responsibilities was to conduct a telephone follow-up service for rape victims who had discontinued contact with the center. Often, these women would come to the center for gynecological treatment and the lab tests necessary for legal prosecution, schedule an appointment for individual counseling, and then fail to return. Some women had difficulty coming to the center because they lived far away, or lacked the money or means necessary to travel. Others chose to dam up the memory of their rapes by becoming absorbed in the daily routine of their previous lives, so that contact with the center was clearly a threatening or disturbing experience. And then there were the others, the shut-ins, who were simply too fear-ridden or depressed to abandon even their doorsteps, much less travel to the center. I was to telephone each woman, inquire as to how she was feeling both emotionally and physically (could she sleep, eat, and return to work?), obtain any information she had concerning the status of her police report or criminal trial, remind her of the center's counseling services, and offer her my moral support. For each victim there was a case history, sometimes pages and pages in length, focusing on the biographical sketch of the victim, the detailed events of her rape, and the psychological distress she suffered in the aftermath. And after reading their stories, after knowing who they were, where it had happened, and when and how it had occurred, I had to telephone these women--women whose bodies had been raped and abused by their fathers, their brothers, their ex-lovers, and strangers--and ask them how they felt? My God, what a ridiculous, worthless, waste of breath. From the first to the very last telephone call, I would dial, then hold my breath--mentally rehearsing each line, pretending that mere optimism was a painkiller. Mostly, to my relief, no one answered. Or the operator would cut in on the line to tell me that the number I was dialing had been changed to an unlisted number. Relief again. When I did reach a woman, my questions were often met with hurried replies, as she nervously guarded each word, afraid that her husband or parents would discover she had been raped. But occasionally, someone would be grateful that I'd called, and she'd tell me her story. She couldn't sleep at night, had lost her appetite, and was afraid to go out alone. She was depressed, just couldn't clean up the house, or concentrate on her schoolwork; she just didn't know what had come over her. And I'd smile, slip some painkiller into my voice, and tell her that it's a natural reaction, it's to be expected--and all the while I knew that I couldn't sleep, or eat, or go downstairs to the laundryroom alone. But what else could I tell her? That just last night before starting my car, I'd glanced in the rear view mirror four times, checking for a head, a hand, a gun to emerge from the back seat? At first, I thought that the frustration I was feeling was caused by my struggle against the obvious limitations of telephone counseling, for at best I could deliver only temporary comfort and support to the victim. However, as a co-counselor in the weekly group therapy sessions, I soon learned that my frustration was with the scotch tape and paper clip method of psychotherapeutic carpentry I was being trained to provide. When a woman said she cried for no reason every night, she was told to pamper herself with a bubble bath. If she complained that she was terrified to leave her home alone, she was told that this was a normal reaction that would dissipate with time. And yes, she was assured, in time she would be able to have sex with her husband without feeling frightened or paralyzed. Her anger, frustration, and tears were labelled the normal symptoms of rape victimization, and then brushed under the rug. I never sincerely felt that I was helping anyone; tomorrow or the day after, I knew that there would be another little girl, feet stirruped, back flat on the examining table, whose well-trained legs would flop apart impassively at the tap of the doctor's hand. I was fighting a make-believe crusade against rape, and in fact, I was helping to safeguard it: by training women to adjust to their rapes, to cope with their anger, they never got the chance to ask why in the hell it had happened to them in the first place? In spite of my discontent, I never once dared to tell anyone how I felt. Outside the group counseling sessions, I saw my supervisor so minimally, that there was only time for her to ask me how everything was going as she passed me in the corridor, and for me to assure her with a nod and a smile, "I'm fine." Maybe it was the way she'd tell me how everyone said I was doing such a good job, or that thank God I wasn't like the other intern that had to be supervised every minute, that made me realize that I was expected to behave. To admit that I was upset or frustrated was to admit my inability to work independently; and, if I couldn't work independently, then I needed to be supervised. And it was very clear, that my supervisor had neither the time, nor the desire, to drop her important responsibilities to "babysit" me. For the others, it seemed that the way to survive was to objectify, to see each rape as each victim's horror--to bring it outside yourself where it couldn't stab at your insides. They were counselors and they saw clients--people who suffered emotional distress to life's experiences. In this case, the experience just happened to be rape. Once, I did try talking to one of the other student interns. Except to her, rape was something she could never quite imagine what it would be like. But you see, I could. Maybe that was my problem, I really could imagine it. I had never before considered myself to be a political person. In the past, I was a feminist because as a self-confident, ambitious woman, I believed that I had the right to any opportunity that was available to a man. And like most women, I glided through life thinking that oppression was a radical fanatic's exaggerated idea of day to day sexism. But now, oppression means thinking twice before deciding to walk alone at night. It means to sham a strong and fearless stride as your heart pounds, and your eyes glance backwards, and your feet wish they were wearing sneakers instead of sandals in case they had to run. I never met most of the women--they were names on police reports, voices on telephones--but I will always know the reality of their fear. And because of our shared consciousness, I will never again be able to sit sheltered in a sterile bubble with an anesthetic smile, and tell some woman that she must learn to cope with her anger, and incorporate the experience into herself. Women must be taught to recognize their anger for what it is, a rebellion against patriarchal oppression, and not an idiosyncratic rape symptom devoid of rational/political meaning. I have realized the inadequacy, the injustice, of traditional psychotherapy, and I distrust any bit of research, regardless of how renowned the author, that refuses to consider how politics affects the emotional lives of women. That means a lot of my education and training has been a lot of garbage. Admittedly, no learning can occur in a vacuum. Without the ongoing study of feminist literature, the concern of my co-seminar classmates, and the tire-less support and encouragement of my co-seminar teacher, I might have walked away from this experience unchanged, blaming myself for my frustration. To the next woman embarking on a similar journey, I wish her three things: the perceptiveness to see, the strength to endure, and a shoulder to cry on. II. GROWTH THROUGH CONFLICT IN A STUDENT-DIRECTED PROJECT Toni Johnson Last semester I interned on a student-originated project about the career advancement of women. The placement was unique in that the project was directed and maintained entirely by undergraduate students, and although there was a faculty adviser, his role was to give suggestions and lend support rather than actively supervise the work. Because the funding agency believed that such autonomy would promote a more intense learning experience for the students, the student director was empowered to hire the project participants, also students; apportion stipends; and generally see that the program was carried out in accordance with the project proposal. The purpose of the project was to provide and analyze a structured support system aimed at enhancing the academic and career motivation in undergraduate women who had already displayed a certain degree of ability but who may have been stifled by social expectations and/or internalized psycho-social barriers. It was originally designed for female students from the university's incoming 1979 class with combined Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of 1100 or above. A structured seminar format utilizing a "core manual" was implemented, and the issues that were contained within the seminar were selected in an effort to "promote active strategizing of achievement behaviors." I was pleased to be given the opportunity to work on the project, to do something that I considered worthwhile and vital to improving the status of women. I began the semester with high hopes and optimism; however, by the end of the term, I was angry and disillusioned. As a Black woman, I perceived my treatment during my internship as racist and condescending. My feelings have not absolutely changed, but now, almost a semester later, I recognize how much I have learned from the experience--about myself and about working with others. This essay is not about racism, nor is it about the details of my placement, although some details have been included for clarity. It is about disappointment, conflict, growth and development. Hopefully my experience will help others to better cope with their internships, whether the situation is conflictual, like mine was, or not. At the onset of my participation on the project, I was given a copy of the project proposal which contained an abstract of the work to be done and defined the roles of project staff. Although it was to be a "team" effort, we each had certain aspects of the program for which we were to be held responsible. My role within the project, as was initially presented to me, was that of adapter. The directors, aware that the core manual had been developed by an upper-middle class White woman, appreciated the possibility that it might not address the concerns of women from different ethnic and/or socio-economic backgrounds. My task, which I shared with Saundra, another Black woman, was to modify the existing manual, making it sensitive to the special needs of Black women. In order to earn six credits, I was also to co-lead an achievement motivation seminar for Black female students and participate in a weekly internship seminar required by the women's studies program. When we began work early in the semester, three of the five-member team had already been working on the project for some time. They all knew exactly what had to be done to keep the project running smoothly and reach the appointed goals within the deadlines specified. Saundra and I, on the other hand, were not well versed in the procedures, so we did mostly clerical chores, stuffing and addressing envelopes, making telephone calls, typing and the like, since these were the duties assigned to us. We did some library research for our own edification and to make improvements in the existing manual, but after a while we came to see that our responsibilities, as explained to us by our supervisors, the project's co-directors, were quite different from the actual duties that we performed. For weeks our work suffered while we aided others in their work. It became apparent to us that the adaptations for Black women were indeed of lesser importance to the rest of the team. The adaptations steadily fell behind schedule, but Saundra and I were consistently given other tasks which hampered our progress. In a few short weeks, we had gone from adapters to office workers, observers, group leaders and public relations persons--positions made difficult by our ignorance of the administrative procedures and research methodology and by the newness of our constantly changing roles. Unconfident and discouraged, we began to ask ourselves why we were hired, and if, in good conscience, we could continue work on the program. We were uneasy not only about our positions on the project, but also about the merit, or lack of it, in what we had done for Black women. Whenever we voiced these apprehensions, we felt that our feelings were glossed over. Deadlines had to be met and work had to be done. By this time Saundra and I had succeeded in substituting several articles within the core manual for pieces we thought more relevant to Black women and "adapting" only two out of eight sessions in the manual. I began to feel like a "token" used to gain funds from a granting agency which was interested in programs including and beneficial to minorities. If I had not been hired, any Black female undergraduate body would do. I did much of my work grudgingly and felt resentment when criticized by the other members of the group. It was clear to me that the project goals did not sincerely encompass the enlightenment or motivation of Black women, but rather unrealistically aimed at being an interracial miracle manual geared to meet the needs of all women in one fell swoop. Our dissatisfaction with the program led Saundra and me to search for insights into the causes of our uneasiness. Our confusion and feelings of isolation led us to begin to share with each other on a more personal level. We began to seek out Black women on campus and in the community. We began looking for literature by Black women, and we discovered many new things about ourselves, as individuals and as part of a larger minority group. We decided that simply adapting the existing manual was not enough to address the special needs of Black women. We realized that instead of designing a support system for Black women, we had simply modified one which was designed for White women, making it non-alienating to Blacks. We did not feel that such a group was in the best interest of Black women in a majority White institution; we felt that major structural changes needed to be made to take into account the fact that the position of Black women in America is truly a unique one. Black women are usually forced to address their needs as Black people without regard to their sex or as women without regard to their color. The special issues that one faces when one is both Black and female are seldom considered. The project had dealt with race as a peripheral issue, and although in retrospect, I do not believe the project was racist in intent, it is ludicrous to expect that Black women can focus entirely on sexism while ignoring their race, especially where race is an isolating factor as it is on a majority White campus. Reluctantly, a compromise was agreed upon. Saundra and I were to develop appendices especially for Black women to accompany what the co-directors now considered an interracial manual. This arrangement was dysfunctional to such an extent that a "team" effort was no longer possible. Finally, Saundra and I broke off from the group to continue working on developing our own manual for Black women. Presently we are investigating funding sources and sharing our ideas with others in the field. This internship was the second of two in which I participated as an undergraduate student. The first was a positive and encouraging experience. I worked in a supportive environment and learned much about the agency and its functions. I left the placement feeling good about myself and wanting to continue in another internship program. When I began to work on this project last semester, I was unprepared for its frustrations and anxieties. I ended the term angry and disillusioned. Now, as I look back over last semester, the anger has subsided, and I am thinking more clearly about what I have gained from the conflict. I think I am more realistic about working and better prepared to work with others. I know to take initiative without overextending myself, and I'll think twice before aiding others in their work, especially when the increased responsibility may mean taking needed time away from my own commitments. I can now better appreciate the seminar discussion group and the readings which accompanied the internship; I realize how much they inspired me to take steps to relieve what I considered an oppressive situation. Talking with other women in the class, sharing our experiences, gave me the support that my work site lacked. I've learned a lot through turmoil--about power and politics, role-playing and game-playing, racism and sexism, and Black and White women, but most importantly, I've learned a lesson about the "real world." I was very idealistic when I started the term. I thought that others wanted change as much as I and for the same basic reasons. I trusted blindly, forgetting that most people are motivated by personal gain. Now I see that interns are much like "babes-in-the-woods," easily preyed upon and taken advantage of, as is any individual new to the labor force if she or he is unprepared for it. It is important to learn from others and to do your job according to the mandates of your superiors, but it is equally important to protect and defend yourself when you believe that you are right. No matter how hard I struggled through my internship, I can see that I am a better person for it. REFLECTIONS ON SURVIVING AS AN INTERN Judy Sorum Over the past few years, I've spent some very interesting time talking with women just about to begin an internship as part of their academic program, who want to know how best to enter that experience, how to get the most out of it, and how to avoid common pitfalls. I have, over this time, come to the conclusion that there isn't much difference between these soon-to-be interns and the rest of us, women workers, who cope with change and flux, ambiguity and productivity, in our own work lives. Therefore, I suspect that the best advice that can be provided to interns is that which comes out of our own experiences of being new on a job, and out of our own trials and errors. It is from this perspective that I share some thoughts--my own as well as those gleaned from friends--about how to begin and survive internship. I have found that, when about to enter a new work situation, it is important to maintain ties with activities that have helped define us in the past: creative activities, athletic activities, personal projects. Sometimes our first instinct under the time and energy pressures of a new work environment is to give up such activities, and to avoid undertaking new efforts in these areas. It may be better to do just the opposite--to plan for time specifically dedicated to at least one important, energizing, grounding activity unrelated to the work. When I was about to begin my experience as a White House Fellow, for example, I returned to the serious study of the piano, which I had abandoned fifteen years before. On the assumption that the discipline would be therapeutic, I invested in a beautiful grand piano and began to practice on a regular basis. The discipline was wonderful, and the music a healthy counterpoint to the zaniness and challenge of my totally new work environment. I found that I enjoyed sharing this new interest with old friends, and that new work colleagues were surprisingly interested in my taking up this long dormant interest again. It has provided me much joy. At the same time I started my fellowship experience I also began keeping a journal. Despite an academic background in literature, I had never done so before--partially because I objected to having to write "regularly," and partially because I didn't see its usefulness to me. I found now, however, that maintaining a personal, my-eyes-only journal gave me a means of expressing feelings, ideas, conclusions about the experience I was having. I have come to believe that the form of the journal may not matter, and that writing regularly is not essential (in one rough week I wrote 50 pages; other times I write nothing), but that paying attention to one's processes and growth and learning is most important--at least to me. Some internship supervisors require their students to keep a journal and turn it in; I recommend that the student keep a strictly personal journal and if anything is turned in it be a summary, excerpts, or a separate log. I think it important that we have some place in our lives to express ourselves to ourselves, without censoring our thoughts and feelings for a reader. The journal becomes an absolutely private place for the intern to be thoughtful, crazy, pensive, together, shattered, rational, emotional. I also suggest that interns develop a support system in the work-place. Some people call this "networking," but I am suggesting perhaps a more selective process to identify people in the work-setting (and outside it) who are effective, helpful, sympatica, competent, and willing to share their time and experience with us. These people know that I'd like to be able to call on them, that I am new to the work setting, and that I may be needing their help. While many members of this important informational and social support system will be other women, it is also important to consider men a part of this system,and to seek their support where appropriate. Building such a system gives us a chance to know these people better: to be curious about them, how they got to where they are, what their interests are, what things interest and challenge them--in sum, to see them as whole and complex human beings, as we would hope they would see us. By modeling interest in others as whole beings we probably stand a better chance of being seen and treated as total human beings ourselves, and not just as temporary cogs in the organizational machinery. Two caveats: as we go about developing and tending this support system, we should remember that not all women will be interested in supporting our efforts--as indeed, all men will not be. The idea is to be selective and to call on those people with whom we feel some kinship and who are interested in such a mentor/supporter role. Secondly, we should not overlook the resource and support which women at various levels of the organizations can provide. Often, e.g., in our attempts to be professional and businesslike, we model behaviors toward support staff which we have seen in male dominated organizations--hierarchical disdain for the contributions of women in these roles, discounting of their talents and abilities. Many knowledgeable and talented secretaries and clerks are more than willing to be supportive and helpful to an intern--if she will allow that to happen. In addition to a work-setting support group, a non-work network of friends has helped me think through work-related problems. Many of these are old friends, some new--who enable me to develop broader perspectives on things that I encounter in the work place. They come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and that makes their advice even more valuable. And finally, I have found it useful to think about experiences I have had, or know of, that seem analogous to a new work environment. What is this like? How does it resemble something with which I am already familiar? Often we are so struck by the newness of a situation, and the things that we don't know, that we miss, at first, seeing how it is like other experiences we've had. Thus we are slow to realize that we already 'nave skills and competencies that are transferable to this new place. It may be helpful to think, "Well, this is like being the new kid on the block," like "the first day at summer camp," like "learning sailing," like "the first week of college." Then we can recall what we did in those situations that worked well--and those responses that didn't work well, that we wouldn't care to repeat. Perhaps because of my training in literature, I also think of analogues, or metaphors (like being an actor in a Broadway play, or the director of a ballet) that help me take on new roles, see how I might do things I haven't done before. The metaphor I find most helpful comes from my fascination with the work of Margaret Mead. In a new work situation, I often think of myself as an anthropologist in an alien tribe--curious, reflective, observant, trying to learn as much as I can and to work as effectively and unobtrusively as possible in this alien tribe before I move on. This way of thinking helps me work with energy and patience without feeling the need to change "the tribe" to my values (almost impossible to do in any role, let alone as an intern); it helps me value much of the rich cultural heritage I am observing. Beyond these personal analogies, interns can try to understand the social analogues of the work setting. In many male-organized work-settings, those analogues will be athletic, military, etc. It helps to be fluent in these social metaphors even if they aren't terribly rich for us personally. I have found, for instance, that playing racquetball with the other (male) special assistants has helped me better understand their behavior, and mine, off the court. And it expands my "fluency" in the dominant language of the work situation. All my reflections suggest that: as we work with women interns we can share, from our own experiences, strategies for learning, growing and surviving in a new situation--for these are, in a simple sense, what are needed to make an internship work. And for most of us they are some combination of grounding ourselves in the transcendent themes of our lives, being as open and observant as possible of the new experience, and finding fellow travelers along the way who can help us over the rough spots and celebrate the victories with us. TO ARM THE AMAZONS: EMPOWERING STUDENTS AT FEMINIST WORKSITES Kathryn Girard Sisterhood can be joyous and energizing. It can also be frustrating and disillusioning. The `personal' cost of working in a women's center, a rape project or a Women's Studies program is often quite high. We expect the hours of exciting and tedious processing that it takes to build such programs. We don't expect pain and confusion about our worth, skills and values, but these are outcomes of the feminist group experience for many of us. Where does sisterhood go wrong? We work in groups dedicated to learning new skills and taking back our power, yet we may leave these groups less confident than when we started and feeling badly about ourselves and the feminist process. Collaboration, cooperation, non-hierarchical, consensual, collective--these are the key descriptors of the groups that leave bitter ex-members behind. For how many of our students is the feminist worksite empowering? I will explore some of the specific problems interns may encounter in feminist groups, and sketch some steps that a women's studies program might initiate to assist both the student and the feminist organization in creating a mutually satisfying internship. Before doing so, I want to outline some of the limits of this essay. I am looking only at issues in explicitly feminist groups believing that feminist rhetoric and philosophy contribute significantly to the problems our groups encounter. My focus here is on consensual or non-hierarchical feminist groups (though hierarchical feminist groups may pose similar problems for interns in certain areas), because, again, it is the values and expectations leading to the choice of those organizational modes that allow certain dynamics to arise. The ideas here are the product of ten years of work in feminist caucuses and organizations, and are substantiated largely by the nods, groans and "ah ha's" that accompany my presentations about organizational patterns and group dynamics to feminists working in feminist task groups. In many cases the ideas suggest causal relationships; these represent my working hypotheses as I explore the likely relationships among attitudes, ideas and behaviors. One last comment on the framework for this essay. Many of the dynamics described here suggest failures in feminist, non-hierarchical groups. This critical view must be understood in the context of my beliefs that the struggle to translate feminist rhetoric into organizational structures and personal behaviors is essential and worthwhile; that we must not deny the failures, but rather, learn from them. We must prepare our students toward this end as well. To explore issues student interns are likely to confront in feminist worksite placements, it is necessary to look at the nature of many feminist organizations. Several common characteristics and patterns described here should be kept in mind when arranging a practicum experience. Desire for, or assumption of, equality: In our hearts I think we expect and wish feminist organizations to provide us an experience of equality among our sisters, to function holding true to some notion of equality. Missing accountability mechanisms: Procedures for insuring that tasks are accomplished appropriately, and for responding when they are not, are frequently fuzzy, avoided or nonexistent. Job rotation or open job selection and job changing: Job rotation or self-selection of tasks and jobs are ways that groups have tried to enable women to develop new skills and follow new interests. The changing and rotation of jobs are also intended to demystify certain types of work and to maintain an equality of skills, knowledge and power. High staff turnover: This bane of many feminist organizations is self-explanatory, and its causes are probably familiar--salaries that are too low (where they exist at all), and work that is overwhelming. Participatory or consensual decision-making: While there seem to be fewer task groups and organizations functioning with an explicitly non-hierarchical structure now than in earlier years, many groups operate with a modified hierarchy and attempt to make decisions in a consensual or participatory manner. Compromises are made in the structure such that the director, for example, may have overall authority and be perceived by the larger institution or community as being "in charge," but actual decision-making authority and responsibility is delegated to groups or the entire staff. In some cases a modified hierarchy is an attempt to maintain two fronts--an external hierarchy for incorporation or credibility purposes, and an internal non-hierarchy for ideological ones. `Decentralization' and `small group autonomy' are two other characteristics related to this type of organizational structure. Desire to meet the needs and expectations of others: As women well socialized in this society, many of us do not say "no" easily in the face of obvious need. In addition to being a personal neurosis, this pattern is also an organizational one. All organizations face the problem of fitting individual needs, program needs and larger community or institutional needs into a workable and effective whole. Women's organizations--including and perhaps especially feminists ones--suffer from women's issues at the organizational level. For the only women's organization on a campus or in a town, this pattern is exacerbated. Constant survival focus and crisis orientation: Very few feminist organizations go through a year without having to worry about how to survive the following year. Issues of effectiveness are constantly being thrown up against issues of survival; often, long-range planning is neglected. Underfunded, understaffed and "undereverythinged" compared to goals and services: Most feminist organizations are inadequately staffed, severely underfunded and incredibly overworked. (For example, a survey of women's centers across the country found that typical women's centers, reaching over 2,000 women a year, had 5 part-time staff and ran 9 programs.) The resulting strain is easy to predict. Feminist groups always aspire to accomplish far more than their available resources would seem to allow. Marginality: This is a characteristic familiar to most women's studies programs as well as other feminist groups, since neither is funded nor "housed" so as to be a part of the mainstream of our communities or academic institutions. A small budget and small staff doing work that is generally considered unimportant may bring greater freedom, since fewer people care to pay serious attention, and that can be a real advantage. On the other hand, the risk to survival is significantly increased. Equalization of rewards: Even where salaries are graduated, the belief that rewards should be equalized is often present--sometimes as an undercurrent, sometimes as an explicit issue. Frequently there is some attempt to equalize other concrete rewards, such as vacation time, and/or more intangible rewards, such as inclusion in social activities. Confusion over issues of power and leadership: Confusion often seems to arise around the appropriateness and meaning of power. We want our organization to have the power to effect changes but, within them, individual power is often perceived negatively. Covert norms and problematic dynamics around power often center on an assumption that everyone in the organization has, or should have,equal power (something that is virtually impossible); or on an assumption that if someone has power, then someone else has had it `taken away' (which is sometimes true, and sometimes an assumption that obscures how frequently we `give' our power away); or on an assumption that no one `should' have power (also virtually impossible). These assumptions tend to prevent us from dealing with the reality of our differences. II. These are some of the characteristics of the organizations into which we are sending our idealistic, hopeful Amazon feminists. This essay is a plea to send them in armed. The first step in that direction is to examine some implications of these organizational patterns for interns. The desire for or assumption of equality becomes problematic when the equality of members is translated into sameness. We believe in and are fighting for equality through our work; realizing equality in our work place is very difficult. We frequently end up reducing equality to the simplest and most concrete idea--sameness: same treatment, because that is a clear marker of equality, and same status or level because we know that there will be no power inequities. This assumption has several implications for people coming into the work place. An intern or a new staff member requires some basic training and orientation, but the teacher-student, trainer-trainee relationships appear unequal and there may be widespread discomfort with such explicit inequities. Otherwise, it is hard to explain the ongoing stories of interns given correspondence to answer, articles to write, issues to research, phones to answer, clients to see-- with no introduction to the organization or the task and with no initial supervision. The polite avoidance of skill differences affords few favors. An undergraduate for whom her placement is a first job typically lacks the skills to negotiate for training. She may have as great a discomfort with the teacher learner dichotomy as staff members, and therefore initially appreciate the assumption that she can just pick up on her new job. Such initial appreciation can quickly fade if the task is overwhelming or not familiar. Tension is compounded when a student internalizes the problem and sees her difficulties as her failure, her problem. Another problem arises from warm-hearted, well-intentioned messages of equality to interns and new staff. Interns, especially full-time ones, may be told that they are to function as equal members of the organization, but the reality is that they cannot: they lack the history, information and influence or power among group members and the leadership skills or position of older members. The message and the experience are dissonant and confusing. Again, inexperience, socialization and expectations of the feminist work place contribute to the student's feeling that confusion is her failure. A different kind of problem stemming from the assumption of equality occurs when we approach an intern with that assumption and therefore omit a thorough assessment of her skills and abilities. A fine intention can result in assigning the intern either to tasks below her actual skill and ability level or to tasks beyond her current abilities. In the interests of not treading on individual equality, the intern receives an experience of total frustration and disappointment, which often turns to anger and resentment, or an experience of intense anxiety, fear of failure and the belief that the problems are her fault. Our goal as women, of coming to know and to validate our strengths, is not aided by the assumption that "of course I can start counseling rape victims tomorrow." We do not need to create and perpetuate an Amazon myth. The dynamic that arises from allowing women to attempt as much as they want (or the organization wants) without adequate training or support, coupled with a common individual pattern of internalizing problems as personal failures, is not productive to a student's learning. One final point about issues for interns related to assumptions of equality: the more radical students are the ones most likely to have the most difficult time. The student who just started to think about women's issues is not as likely to hold heartfelt expectations about the experience of sisterhood in a feminist internship setting. More radical students, who have already acquired a zealous spirit and an Amazon persona, are more likely to enter the organization expecting the experience of equality that the other members of the group think they are prepared to give. In a radical organization they are likely to receive the rhetoric and some of the behaviors that on the surface seem appropriate, but that then increase their confusion and pain when the experience "doesn't feel good." The lack of clear accountability mechanisms is connected to the assumption of equality. Feminist organizations often speak passionately about their accountability and responsibility to their community. Individual members also speak, with a great deal of feeling, about their responsibility to be true to their community. Individual members also speak, with a great deal of feeling, about their responsibility to be true to their own convictions, values and political beliefs, and express strong feelings of responsibility toward the other women in the organization. The problems arise at the level of accountability for completing tasks related to the organization's purpose. Accountability at that level is often seen as too hierarchical, intruding on personal autonomy and undermining individual power within the group. It is rare to find clear systems of accountability--systems set up so that someone else knows to do, by when, and is responsible for intervening if I don't do it. Even in more hierarchical and professional organizations with clearly defined staff responsibilities, accountability mechanisms may still be inadequate because of a great hesitancy to intrude into another's work, to make direct statements, such as, "You didn't do X." (It is interesting how the Women's Movement and our socialization combine to burden us with beliefs and behaviors of Superwoman, on the one hand, and emotional fragility with regard to criticism and anger on the other.) One clear implication is that interns can end up without supervision. No one has that role among the regular staff, and frequently no one is quite comfortable in that role. Or, the staff may dutifully create a supervisory accountability system for the intern, who then becomes the only one in the entire organization whose work is checked! Either way, the intern suffers the effects of negative dynamics. Interns also can be victims of "crisis accountability," accountability mechanisms that only come into play when work due a month ago is needed. A crisis meeting is scheduled and, for the first time, the intern may hear both the groups' expectations of and responses to her. Because of the crisis, others in the organization may already be at the point of thinking of terminating her or changing her job. Two other characteristics of feminist groups--staff transiency and job rotation--serve to compound the problems with accountability. Both these patterns mitigate against the development of staff members' skills to the point where they themselves can feel sufficiently competent and "expert" to supervise an intern. Too, if there are few or no existing training, accountability or supervisory mechanisms among the staff, those assigned such tasks with an intern are likely to lack the skills and experience to set up effective systems. They also may find it more comfortable to "let the intern learn like I did," ignoring the differences in time between an internship and regular staff position. Participatory decision-making, consensual decision-making, and non- hierarchical or modified hierarchical structures can all create problems for interns. In addition to time and commitment, successful participation in these structures requires: listening skills; the ability to see similarities and to allow differences; a willingness to be the only person in the room who articulates a different point of view; clarity in defining and exercising one's right to say no when "no" in a consensual decision-making process is a veto: clarity in defining and exercising one's responsibility to support a majority decision in democratic decision-making. It takes a lot of verbal ability to participate, as well as information about issues and familiarity with procedures. It seems only fair that in choosing a practicum in a non- hierarchical or consensual organization interns realize the skills and abilities that effective participation in such organizations requires. Such prior knowledge can help them maintain the focus on `learning' how to participate, and in developing selected skills. More typically, the intern is left to struggle with the confusion of participating in an egalitarian structure while feeling decidedly unequal. Those working only a few hours a week in an alternative organizational structure will not have the time to participate in the key elements of the organization's process. Thus, no matter how friendly everyone is to her, the intern is likely to have an experience of being an outsider. Again, the stronger the student's expectation to experience the camaraderie of sisterhood and equality, the more painful and confusing her actual experience will be. Even if an intern is working almost full time while placed in an organization, the limited duration of the practicum prevents in-depth participation for most people. She may have the time to attend all the meetings, but she will still be without experience, knowledge and relationships to support truly equal participation. She, too, will still have the experience of being an outsider. We need to be aware of the stress created by internships that require an intense commitment and involve very complex relationships for a three month period of time. A common carryover from our socialization as women is a feeling of being responsible for meeting the needs and expectations of others. In feminist organizations, this often means we assume that if we are going to meet the needs of the women "out there," surely we must meet the needs of the women on our staff as well. From an organization's point of view, then, one problem with any intern is that she is yet another person whose needs must be met and somehow fitted into the organization's activities. For example, if an intern is shy in groups, isn't it our responsibility to help her feel more comfortable and to take the time to try to include her, to help her become more verbal and a more active participant? After all, we are in the organization both to help each other grow and to accomplish important work. The balance between those two aspects of our purpose is difficult to maintain, even more difficult when we each bring a personal compulsion to meet the needs of others. This compulsion builds a group or organizational norm which leads members to expect that their needs have a clear place in the organization's life. The burden of this dynamic on the organization should be clear. The set-up for the intern is that her situational needs (the need for supervision, the need to integrate her learning goals with the job tasks available, the need to be oriented and trained, etc.) do create a substantial demand on the organization. This fact, coupled with whatever personal needs and expectations an intern may bring, can lead the regular staff to focus resentment on her because, on both emotional levels, they do not want any additional responsibility. Remember, most feminist sites set up internships because they are desperate for help and already severely overworked. Interns are also affected by the other aspect of this personal and organizational dynamic. When the organizational norm is one of responding to all requests for help, information or assistance, whether or not they fall within the group's stated purpose, an intern may quickly find herself dealing with situations and problems that are, at best, inappropriate to her chosen learning goals and, at worst, overwhelming and scary. The group norm often does not support the refusal to "take on" the situation or problem. Ever present survival issues and a crisis orientation stemming from underfunding and overwork make successful internships difficult. Lack of long-range planning usually means that many organizations cannot guarantee that the internship originally negotiated will be the one implemented. Instead, an intern may be directed to work that is very much in reaction to immediate events and represents the "easiest" thing an intern could be asked to do. Short-range planning and the search for where the intern can fill in or be of immediate help might result in the intern's spending her time answering the phone and providing information on request. While chances are that this assignment would provide other staff with more time for more "important" work and might provide the intern with a sense of the range of women's needs in the community, it is less likely to be of enduring value to her or to the organization. In those feminist organizations attempting to equalize concrete and/or intangible rewards, two types of problems may emerge for interns. One is that the organization may feel guilty about the lack of salary and compensate by: (1) allowing the intern to do things they would not ordinarily prefer her to do (which may lead to covert resentment or an unexpected attack); and/or (2) inviting the intern to participate in meetings or activities beyond her job description so that she will at least feel included and "good" (which usually leads to confusion and rapid burnout for the intern). The other problem is that most feminist groups are terrible when it comes to praise--a key intangible reward. Usually, there is an absence of positive feedback among staff members. The intern, then, doesn't get rewarded by the formative feedback and praise she needs. And most interns don't get the other major intangible reward--that satisfaction of seeing the product of one's work and its impact. Marginality is the one characteristic of feminist organizations that offers advantages with fewer pitfalls--at least for interns. The major advantage of marginality is the greater freedom the organization may have to create internships that enable students to test out new skills and abilities, and to take on significant responsibilities. The only pitfall is that a placement in an alternative marginal organization may carry less professional weight and credibility when it comes to job hunting. III. Interns and their women's studies supervisors can take steps to avoid many of these pitfalls and to ensure a successful internship. Some of these are: 1. Pre-practicum seminars or planning sessions, where the student's intellectual and emotional needs, goals and expectations are explored, clarified and realistically modified in terms of the constraints in a time-limited experience. 2. The setting of learning rather than doing goals for the practicum. A focus on doing goals can lead to frustration when situational factors necessitate a change in the intern's assignment. A focus on learning goals can provide a basis for accepting or rejecting changes, and can provide a perspective from which to reflect on and analyze activities. 3. Practicum seminars or weekly individual meetings for the purposes of processing the personal and emotional material generated from the practicum and maintaining a focus on the student's learning goals. Such seminars and meetings can mitigate against internalizing of problems and allow students to function as participant-observers at their placement sites. 4. Prior involvement with the placement site, by the women's studies program staff, to establish minimum requirements for supervision, to explain the purpose of the internship from the academic side, and to gather information to use in deciding whether or not an organization can provide an adequate internship experience. 5. Providing (requiring) a course, seminar or module on feminist or alternative organizations prior to or simultaneous with placement at a feminist work site. In closing, there is one final point I would like to make. The strong desire to create our feminist visions now is often a block to the actual realization of those visions. We need time to define our visions more clearly, and time to develop the personal skills necessary to implement them. For me, this is a central purpose of women's studies. Our task is to teach our students to be creative rather than reactive in responding to the cultural norms, values and models that surround and are a part of us. We and our students can only move from reaction to creation by accepting, rather than denying, the problems we have and the obstacles we face, personally and organizationally. We need to encourage the acknowledgement of fears, hopes, confusions and expectations around power, leadership and equality. We need to find and teach that difficult balance between patience and gentleness with flaws, on the one hand, and demands and expectations for change, on the other. We need to validate that it makes `sense' for the changes we are seeking to be personally confusing and difficult. Not only are we struggling with the residue of our socialization around power and leadership and our experiences of their being used against women, but we are also attempting to create organizations free of the types of power and leadership most familiar to us. The role models are very scarce: our students have the right to know the complexity and enormity of the undertaking, and the cost of the superwoman, Amazon myth. TOOLS FOR GUIDING AND EVALUATING SERVICE LEARNING Patty Gibbs (I am indebted to my social work colleagues at West Virginia University for some of the conceptual material on contracting which was worked on conjointly stemming from our experience with social work seniors in their field placement.) This essay will outline and elaborate on specific strategies and learning tools for optimizing the student's service learning experience. Since it is important in service learning to (1) efficiently and effectively orient the student to the agency, (2) identify the tasks, obligations, responsibilities, and learning objectives of the student to the three primary parties (student,instructor, field supervisor), (3) assimilate the student into the agency milieu as quickly as possible, and (4) process and continually evaluate the student's performance, it is crucial to devise instruments that will guide and facilitate this process. Each of the following tools will be discussed: learning contracts, logs, journals and grading approaches. Although it is more effective and productive to utilize all of the tools in combination during the service learning experience, several factors such as structure and duration of the course itself will determine the practicality of this ideal. Choosing specific tools most suited to your individual course needs and maximally utilizing these will serve to strengthen both the direction and clarity of the experience. Learning Contracts The learning contract is one of the most essential elements for guiding service learning and providing a gauge for assessing student performance. Contracts should reflect the learning needs of the students, the educational mission of the women's studies program of which the practicum is a part, and the service needs of the agency itself. Sample learning contracts can be found in the Appendix. The learning contract should be finalized in the first few weeks of the placement. A student should begin writing a rough draft at the outset of the experience working closely with her field supervisor. The faculty-based instructor can aid students in refining the contract. Ideally the three primary parties should meet to discuss and finalize the contract. All three should sign the finalized version after it is typed which should then be duplicated so each has her own copy. The purpose of the learning contract is threefold: 1. It makes explicit for the three primary parties the roles and responsibilities of each. 2. It is a reciprocal agreement of the student's learning objectives and strategies for achieving them. 3. It forces the student from the outset into greater connectedness with the agency as she attempts to relate her learning goals to the service delivery system of that agency. (1) The contract is divided into eight parts: 1. Cover Sheet - It is helpful to have accessible basic information necessary for management of the service learning experience, and the contract cover sheet can be an invaluable time and energy saver for faculty and field supervisors alike. Some pertinent data might include: Student's name Address Home phone Service Learning Agency Address Phone Director of agency (if applicable) Field Supervisor 2. Description of Agency - This brief description will further acquaint the instructor with the agency and facilitate the student's acclimation to the agency milieu. The description should include such relevant information as: type of agency, services provided by the agency and client/consumer population served. 3. Learning Goals - The semester learning goal should reflect the ultimate purpose or interest toward which total efforts by the student will be directed. It should be service-oriented, i.e., stated in terms of services offered by the agency in which the student will become involved. The statement should include identification of the specific (or general) client/consumer population whose needs are addressed by the agency through its service delivery efforts. For example, "to provide resource and counseling services to victims of domestic violence and their families" would be an acceptable service-oriented goal statement for the student. The academic or career goal statement should explain how the service learning experience will contribute to the short-term and long-term goals of the student with regard to her education and/or career aspirations. 4. Learning Objectives - These statements are student-centered (as opposed to service-oriented learning directives) and carry subtopics (methodologies) identifying the separate efforts by the student which collectively accomplish the primary service-oriented goal. In order to clarify the difference between learning goals, objectives, and methodologies the following examples are offered: Goal - To provide family planning services (birth control information, free pregnancy tests, and unwanted-pregnancy counseling) to individuals and/or couples in the Monongalla County of West Virginia. Objective - To learn and fully understand all available birth control options for females and males. Methodology - By reading Our Bodies, Ourselves by the Boston Women's Health Collective. To formulate the objectives it is helpful for the student to ask questions about her learning needs related to the particular agency setting in terms of: (1) knowledge (what facts, information, etc., do I want/need to learn in order to function effectively in this agency?), (2) skills (what skills do I want/need to develop and refine during this experience?), and (3) attitudes (are there particular attitudes I need to modify, discard, or acquire in order to serve the client/consumer population?). The knowledge objectives may deal with, for example, particular information on domestic violence such as the cycles, the relevant statistics, the factors influencing habitual return to the husband by the victim, etc.; or students might identify certain policies/laws with which they need to become acquainted. Skill objectives might include communication skills (interviewing, active listening, empathic responses), research skills (date collection and processing), skills in organizing (such as calling and chairing meetings, networking, recruiting volunteers)--the list could go on forever. To explore attitudinal objectives students can consider the following: their own sexist conditioning that may emerge in the new work movement; or they may need to learn to respect the choice of the client or person with whom they work, as in the situation where the domestic violence victim chooses to return to her husband. Students should also expect to find themselves adopting unanticipated attitudes during the placement which could be counterproductive if not dealt with properly or rechanneled constructively. A case in point became apparent during a panel presentation at the Women's Studies Service Learning Institute. A young woman from the University of Maryland who was placed at a center for sexual assault victims spoke about her experiences in placement. As she did, the rage, and hurt elicited in her by the nature of the social problem with which she was dealing began to surface, leaving her tearful and obviously distressed. I gleaned from that experience how crucial it is for the instructor to be able to anticipate such reactions, especially in some service delivery agencies. Attitudinal objectives which identify in advance potential trouble spots and outline strategies for dealing with them will greatly benefit the student. 5. Methodologies - These are strategies, actions, methods, and procedures which will facilitate accomplishment of the objective. Each learning objective will have several methodologies listed under it that will lead to its accomplishment. For example, if the learning objective were "gaining knowledge of teenage pregnancy and its ramifications," strategies or activities to accomplish this objective might include: "reviewing the literature on the problem; reviewing any applicable research; interviewing relevant professionals who deal with the problem such as physicians, social workers; securing permission to visit a home for pregnant adolescents and interviewing them." 6. Specific Information for Managerial Purposes - This list of data is beneficial when made explicit in the contract, even if it appears to be no more than an itemized laundry list. A) student tasks/responsibilities - These should include projects expectations for record keeping, dress, meeting attendance,etc.; work hours (shift work if applicable); and any other relevant data, including information that might also be reflected in one of the learning objectives (for instance, "organizing a Big Sister Program"). B) Inclusive dates of the experience and recognized vacation days C) Identification of resources made available to the student by the agency such as supplies, travel money, work space, clerical support (if applicable), mailing privileges, training of any kind, etc. 7. Obstacles to Effective Functioning - This should be a list of possible problems of anticipated barriers that might hinder accomplishment of the objectives, including deficiencies in knowledge, skills, resources, attitude, or environmental difficulties. 8. Method of Evaluation - This section would address the criteria and methods by which the student's performance would be assessed. Periodic conferences during which the student, instructor, and field supervisor meet to review the learning contract and discuss the progress of the student might be one vehicle for assessment. Ongoing evaluation may occur during individual weekly supervisory sessions between the student and her field supervisor or faculty-based instructor. Written assignments may also be a part of the total evaluation criteria. Logs The logs contain the objective accounts by the student of her daily activities and general productivity in the agency. All other activities related to the service learning experience should also be included whether or not those activities take place in the agency itself. Examples of the latter would include extra meetings attended after work hours, reading done at night, and other tasks performed as a part of service learning although not actually carried out in the agency. There should be a dated entry which lists all activities and their purpose for every day of placement. For instance, "wrote a letter to the Department of Welfare to give them the information they required to determine Mrs. Smith's eligibility for services, a release for the information had been secured" would be a long entry that reflects both the task and the reason for doing it. Other entries might include such items as "typed address labels for our newsletter," or "answered the hotline all morning: did crisis counseling with two women." The student might then want to outline in the log the specifics of these two situations for possible discussion during a supervisory conference in order to obtain feedback on her intervention skills. The student would not, however, process her feelings about the counseling situation or apply conceptual material to the incidents and her handling of them. This is done separately in the journal which is covered in the next section. The log is specifically for entering objective accounts of activities--laundry lists so to speak--as opposed to being designed as a tool for processing the experience in any way. By reviewing the logs the instructor and field supervisor can assess whether or not the student's tasks and activities are all-inclusive and/or appropriate to the particular learning experience or intervention with the client/consumer. In this way the log serves as an instructional tool. Logs also aid the instructor in providing the agency and field supervisor with help and guidance for strengthening the learning experience by identifying activities in which the student might become engaged which are relevant to the educational mission of women's studies service learning. Journals The journal is supplemental to the log and serves as a vehicle for the personal and professional development of the student. In it the student reflects on how she feels about all facets of the experience. Through the journal the relationship of the student's placement experience to other feminist issues can be explored. Students can also utilize the journal to formulate potential corrective action strategies for the problems they come to realize are facing women as a group. The structure of the journal will depend on the structure of the service learning course itself. If there is a concurrent classroom seminar, the journal might have a slightly different focus, i.e., increased application of conceptual material to placement experiences based on readings, lectures, and so forth. Regardless, the journal is an instrument to draw together and synthesize the multiplicity of contents in the experience, and can be quite useful in a variety of ways. The faculty advisor and field supervisor may find journal material helpful in setting agendas for supervisory conferences with the student. The student may be able to get in touch with underlying realities that might have otherwise gone uncovered without consistently recording reactions from which themes might be seen to emerge. Secondly, although students may be reluctant at times to articulate certain feelings or reactions in face-to-face conference, they do it with greater ease when approached more indirectly: through the journal. A student's emotional reaction to any facet of the placement so recorded can be noticed and hopefully dealt with before it is exacerbated. In this way the journal can alert the faculty advisor and the field supervisor that a conference is in order and help the instructors to set timely agendas for the meeting. The journal is not a one-way street. It is essential that the faculty advisor give the student feedback through the journal. Making notes in the margins, giving personal comments, answering questions posed, identifying resources for further reading, or just giving the student a pat on the back for a job well done are all forms of valuable feedback for the student, particularly if there is not a co-seminar to bridge the gap between the theory and the field. In order for such feedback to be useful to the student, it should occur often and consistently. This requires that journals be turned in at least every two weeks and that instructors are conscientious about getting them back immediately to the student with their comments and/or reactions. Keeping in mind the needs of the student and expectations of the course, the instructor should devise a format for the journal that will aid the student in processing her experience and structuring her thoughts about women in contemporary society--their roles, oppression, and the social structures which perpetuate women's problems. Instructors may want to design the format to correspond with topics being covered in the co-seminar and include "study questions" under each topic for the student to consider in the journal. Particular attention should be paid to structuring the topics to coincide directly with the purposes and context of service learning. For example, the introductory topic may be "the feminist workplace," or "sexism and stereotyping," or any other foundation concept. The instructor can then provide a handout with pertinent questions for guiding the student's thoughts as she explores the topic. Such an approach should not be so inflexible as to discourage use of the journals to process other contents in the learning experience. It is important that the journal be an instrument that not only synthesizes the experience but also facilitates related intellectual and personal insights. Grading Almost universally in academe, student performance is placed on a letter-grade ledger. Individual assignments suffer this same unfortunate form of appraisal. Although these marks are supposed to be "objective," most of us who teach realize that for a variety of reasons we cannot always be as scientifically objective in our assessments as we might like to be. Often we are biased because we consider additional contingencies which should not be taken into account. Such subjectivity is certainly one of the more negative aspects of letter grading. Pass/fail grading for a course is often only begging the question of bias because if does not altogether alleviate it; such a system only allows greater latitude for instructor error. In addition, pass/fail grading does not get at the more insidious concern of the grading paradigm: the fact that for the most part grading criteria are a product of a male-centered educational concept. I feel that it is important as we teach our students to seek alternative and creative solutions/responses to the problems facing women, that we are cognizant of our responsibility to do likewise. One alternative grading schema, especially appropriate for self-directed learners using contracts and journals, places the onus of the grading problem where it belongs: with the individual student. To implement this approach, sometimes called "contract grading," instructors would establish a hierarchy of assignments to be completed for the course with those of lesser importance heading the list and proceeding to the assignment which is most difficult and comprehensive, for example, a term paper. Grades would be assigned by the instructor to the hierarchy of assignments commensurate with the degree of difficulty. Individual student assignments would be graded on a pass/fail basis and any passing paper would be counted toward meeting the grade toward which the student is working given the hierarchy; therefore, completion of the entire list of assignments would earn the student an "A," completion of all but the most difficult one would earn the student a "B," and so forth. Conclusion Educators in general have recognized that the value of learning lies in the student's ability to take all pieces of acquired knowledge and put them to use--apply them to human existence. Since learning is such a dynamic process, it requires many avenues for attainment. Women's studies service learning as an educational strategy affords the opportunity for students to engage in an exciting and meaningful learning experience where theory and practice are intricately interwoven. Because of the special nature of service learning, special educational tools and techniques are required. The ones outlined in this essay are a preliminary attempt to provide some guidance and structure as women's studies service learning continues to take shape and develop. In order to facilitate optimal learning for the student, a variety of tools are required. Learning contracts are invaluable for prompting the student to become an active and self-directed participant in her learning experience. Through formulating learning objectives the student becomes more invested in both the process and product of her learning. Journals and logs provide data useful in many respects to all parties engaged in the educational endeavor. Assignments which sharpen analytical skills lay the foundation for an approach to problem-solving critical in facilitating social change. NOTES 1. Although a learning contract is desirable and necessary for an intern working in any setting, the following description is specifically geared toward work within a social service agency. Additions, deletions and substitutions should be made where needed, for students working in government and public policy or business agencies. ************************ APPENDIX Inventory of Knowledge, Skills and Attitude Objectives (1) Along with defining the parameters of women's studies service learning, the instructor must also be able to provide direction for the tasks and responsibilities that face both the student and the field supervisor. Providing direction to the student involves helping formulate the desired learning outcomes. To do this we must first decide what we want students to know as a result of service learning. Additionally we must ask: what do we want students to be able to do? Are there underlying attitudinal objectives we want students to achieve related to the goals and philosophy of feminist field experience? The answers to these questions crystallize a tripartite model for categorizing student learning: knowledge, skill and attitude objectives. What follows is an outline of those objectives in a form intended to provide a blueprint for instructors of service-learning courses in women's studies. Although this inventory may appear at first glance to be rather ambitious, a closer look will reveal that such expectations are not out of line with the broader goals of women's studies service-learning. If we are interested in educating social change agents who will be effective in their mission, then it is clear that we need to explicate all of the objectives which we want students to meet through their experience. Further, feminist education has been committed to testing out new curricular approaches while remaining sensitive to the need for strengthening the legitimacy and credibility of the learning program. The proposed inventory serves as a starting point for service learning educators to modify as necessary in assessing the needs of their particular academic situation. Inventory of Knowledge Objectives A. Knowledge of the Organizational Context 1. Knowledge of the agency The student should be able to: 1.1 Explain and describe the agency's purpose, programs, focus, goals. 1.2 Demonstrate a working knowledge of the agency policies and procedures. 1.3 Identify limitations of services or service gaps. 1.4 Identify and appraise the formal and informal structure of the agency. 1.5 Describe the relationship of the agency to other service organizations in the community. 1.6 Compare the agency structure to the ideal feminist workplace. 1.7 Relate one's own activities to the broader goals of the agency. 2. Knowledge of the agency as an organization The student should be able to: 2.1 Discuss the impact of the agency structure (hierarchical vs.lateral) on agency functioning, citing both functional and dysfunctional aspects of each organizational model. 2.2 Describe the characteristics of a feminist workplace. 2.3 Discern the difference between informal, collaborative, consensual decision-making and decision-making based on a model of power and domination. 2.4 Describe the difference between a bureaucratic approach and a collective approach to task accomplishment. 2.5 Explain the role and function of organizations in contemporary society. 2.6 Understand the difference with regard to service delivery between organizations as means and organizations as ends. 2.7 Discuss the impact of organizational structure on the individual worker. 2.8 Understand the organization as instrumental to social change. B. Knowledge of the Community Context of Service Learning 3. Characteristics of the community The student should be able to: 3.1 Describe the structures and processes (e.g., government, industry, politics, etc.) of the community. 3.2 Understand the needs and characteristics of any distinct population in the community and identify the influences which make them unique (e.g., rural poor, minority ghetto, etc.). 3.3 Assess the needs and concerns of that portion of the community to be served by the agency. 4. Knowledge of resource systems The student should be able to: 4.1 Identify the major ways needs are met, stress is alleviated, and concerns are dealt with in the community. 4.2 Demonstrate a working knowledge of the resources available in the community that are appropriate for the service of the agency. 4.3 Understand the importance of and the difference between formal and informal resources. 4.4 Describe self-help as an approach for meeting human need and explain its relationship to more formal and structured resources/services. C. Knowledge of Intervention 5. The steps of the problem-solving process The student should be able to understand and distinguish between each of the following: 5.1 Initial contact or involvement with the problem situation. 5.2 Assessment of the situation based on inputs from the client, significant others, or any other source of data. 5.3 Definition of the problem(s): immediate--precipitated the contact by the client with the service, underlying--factors that are perpetuating or influencing the immediate problem, obstacles to change--factors that stand in the way of problem solution and need to be dealt with if change is to occur. 5.4 Goal identification--both short-term and long-term. 5.5 Selection of strategies to achieve goals. 5.6 Agreement with client/consumer on the roles and responsibilities of all participants in the intervention. 5.7 Implementation of the plan and termination of the service when goals are achieved. 5.8 Evaluation of outcome of service, i.e., was the intervention successful or not? 5.9 Possible follow-up to see if change is being maintained. D. Knowledge of Communication 6. Communication process The student will have a working knowledge of: 6.1 Components of communication: sender, message, factors that color or distort the message (such as receiver's value system), and receiver. 6.2 Verbal and non-verbal communication, the importance of each, and the need for congruence. 6.3 Characteristics of effective communication. E. Knowledge about Social Change 7. Achieving social change The student should be able to discuss: 7.1 Factors that promote process of change. 7.2 Factors that hinder change and contribute to the status quo. 7.3 Different levels of change, personal vs. societal. F. Knowledge of Feminist Perspective 8. Sexist society and feminist resolution The student should be able to: 8.1 Identify the social forces that shape the lives of women in general (and the student's life in particular), differentiating personal and societal responsibility in shaping self. 8.2 Recognize instances of sexism in everyday life, i.e., in the media, interpersonal relationships, encounters with societal institutions, etc. 8.3 Compare the parallel of discrimination based on sex with discrimination against other minority groups. 8.4 Understand the multidisciplinary approach to studying and acting on the concerns of women. 8.5 Demonstrate an ability to apply theory to practice. 8.6 Discuss the male orientation in our culture and describe how this impacts methodology in a variety of fields of study. 8.7 Discuss how sexism (in whatever manifestation) impacts on individuals, identifying conversely how the effects of sexism in individuals tend to maintain and perpetuate a sexist society (i.e., how sexist individuals impact the institutions to which they belong). Inventory of Skill Objectives A. Communication Skills 1. Skill in interviewing The student should be able to: 1.1 Establish rapport and build trust as a part of the helping relationship. 1.2 Demonstrate sensitivity to the non-verbal communication of others as a source of information. 1.3 Purposefully use good eye contact, appropriate gestures and facial expression, comfortable yet alert body posture, and well-modulated, fluent vocal qualities when working with others. 1.4 Listen effectively to others. 1.5 Gather information, interpret information, and appropriately share information with others as a part of delivering services to clients/consumers. 2. Skill in written communication The student should be able to: 2.1 Write letters effectively as a means to achieve predetermined goals. 2.2 Use agency forms to gather data without allowing such structure to interfere with the interpersonal nature of the helping relationship. 2.3 Record activities in case records to ensure continuity of service (if applicable). 2.4 Prepare written work in clear, fluent, and understandable language. B. Helping Relationship Skills 3. Skill in use of self The student should be able to: 3.1 Utilize assertion as a tool for both enhancing self-development and enacting broader social change. 3.2 Function with self-confidence and self-reliance. 3.3 Accept and act on feedback from others. 3.4 Effectively express oneself appropriate to the situation, whether formal or informal. 3.5 Recognize one's own limitations. 3.6 Organize time and tasks effectively. 3.7 Deal with ambiguity productively so that structure can emerge. 3.8 Utilize supervision and consultation with others. 3.9 Function in a leadership capacity when called for. 4. Skill in the problem-solving process The student should be able to: 4.1 Identify and assess the problem(s). 4.2 Detect the antecedent conditions and causative factors influencing and maintaining the problem situation. 4.3 Identify available resources, strengths, and motivations for problem resolution. 4.4 Involve the client/consumer in all phases of the intervention effort. 4.5 Generate alternative solutions and creative responses to the identified problems. 4.6 Set goals which can be realistically achieved. 4.7 Identify concrete and action-oriented short-term and long-term goals with priorities for their achievement. 4.8 Generate a variety of methods and strategies to successfully accomplish goals. 4.90 Establish a timetable for the work. 4.91 Carry out the activities as planned. 4.92 Coordinate and monitor all facets of the intervention effort. 4.93 Evaluate service effectiveness. 4.94 Modify service efforts/programs based on evaluation. 5. Skill in working with clients/consumers The student should be able to: 5.1 Develop a supportive and non-judgmental climate for facilitating all work with others. 5.2 Engage clients/consumers in a way that demonstrates great sensitivity to their needs and individual differences. 5.3 Table one's own biases and agendas when working with others. 5.4 Maintain flexibility in one's style in order to avoid alienating any client/consumer (e.g., avoiding talking over the client's head while at the same time being cautious about not talking down to them). 5.5 Functioning as an enabler and facilitator in the growth/change process of others. 5.6 Helping others gain a better understanding of their situation without diagnosing, labeling, or trying to uncover "unconscious" motivations. 5.7 Demonstrate sensitivity to one's own and the client's feelings surrounding the termination of services when goals have been achieved. 5.8 Plan strategies that will ensure that the achieved change will remain stable after termination of services. 5.9 Utilize follow-up as a means for monitoring maintenance of achieved change. 6. Skill in the use of groups The student should be able to: 6.1 Use groups as a vehicle to promote individual change. 6.2 Mobilize groups to accomplish tasks which could not be accomplished by individuals alone. 7. Skill in locating, developing, and/or utilizing resources The student should be able to: 7.1 Negotiate both formal and informal channels to discover available resources and the services they perform. 7.2 Utilize formal and informal networks as resources (i.e., agency-based vs. family support systems or self-help groups, etc.). 7.3 Refer clients to other resources. 7.4 Develop resources that will address unmet needs in the community (an example might be to develop a support network for divorced women). 7.5 Interpret the needs of clients/consumers to established agencies which might be capable of meeting those needs. 7.6 Identify gaps in services. 8. Analytical skills The student should be able to: 8.1 Critically assess conditions in the environment (interpersonal, developmental, social, cultural, psychological) which contribute to maintenance of the problems being dealt with. 8.2 Distinguish between fact and distortion of fact (propaganda, stereo-types, etc.). 8.3 Substantiate conclusions with appropriate and adequate evidence and data. 8.4 Exercise inductive and deductive thinking. 8.5 Determine what data is needed and how best to collect it. 8.6 Manage and order data. 8.7 Discover relationships between data. 9. Skills in effecting change The student should be able to: 9.1 Develop leadership in indigenous populations. 9.2 Productively advocate for others in any way possible that will serve to better meet their needs (i.e., changes in laws and policies, exceptions to laws and policies, motivate client to exercise her rights, etc.). 9.3 Reach out to clients who may not have initiated contact but whose needs have become apparent to the agency. 9.4 Help others by teaching them useful skills (parenting skills, technical skills, employment skills, etc.). 9.5 Develop community education programs as a means to effect change. 9.6 Utilize organizational contexts to promote social change. 9.7 Maximize one's own skills and abilities to be directed toward change efforts. Inventory of Attitudinal Objectives 1. Attitudes related to self The student should work toward: 1.1 Developing confidence in one's own abilities and skills. 1.2 Increasing self-esteem, strengthening self-concept, and achieving personal power. 1.3 Developing pride in one's work and achievements. 1.4 Receptivity to cooperative work and collective efforts. 1.5 Accepting responsibility for controlling one's own life in every way possible. 2. Attitudes related to others The student should work toward: 2.1 Respecting the worth, dignity, and individuality of human beings. 2.2 Appreciating and being sensitive to the needs of others. 2.3 Valuing the right of others to make their own choices. 2.4 Becoming non-judgmental and able to accept differences in others with regard to socioeconomic class, race, age, sex, lifestyle, or sexual preference. 2.5 Investing in trust building between women. 3. Attitudes related to change The student should work toward: 3.1 Developing a strengthened feminist perspective. 3.2 Realizing the fallacy of fixed and dogmatic precepts for understanding the condition of women. 3.3 Willingness to revise opinions, judgments, etc., in light of new evidence. 3.4 Adherence to the conviction that equality for women is a desirable social reform. 3.5 Commitment to improvement of the condition of women. Note Of interest to both service learning instructors and their field supervisors is "Supervision: A Sharing Process," by Delores M. Schmidt, Child Welfare, Vol. III(7), July 1973. NOTE 1. See also, "Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes Students Acquire from Women's Studies: Published Research," in Women's Studies Graduates, Elaine Reuben and Mary Jo Boehm Strauss, NIE Publications, September, 1980. ASSESSMENT OF SERVICE LEARNING: STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS Nancy Ashton Evaluative measurement is very important to running an effective service learning program. I will discuss the process of assessment by describing two different but related aspects of evaluation: 1. Assessment of each student's field experience and performance 2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of a service learning course or program Evaluation can be tailor-made for individual students and for each service learning program. In each case, one needs to consider the following questions: - What are the purposes of the evaluation? - What criteria will be used to measure the individual student or program? - How will information relevant to the criteria be collected and analyzed? - Who will have access to the final evaluation? Evaluation of Students The obvious reason for gathering information about a student's field experience is that she is getting credit and generally, a grade for the course. But ongoing evaluation feedback should be provided to the student during her placement so she can improve her performance if necessary. The evaluation of the student's work accomplishments, personal development, knowledge and skill is also helpful in providing the student with some manageable assessment of what she has learned and accomplished during her field experience. Finally, material from student evaluations can also be useful in entire service learning or program. Learning Goals and Objectives The process of assessing the performance and experience of students is fairly easy and straightforward if each step in the process if followed sequentially. Step One: The student generates learning goals and objectives in collaboration with her faculty and placement supervisors. The objectives should be pedagogically sound, they must relate to some public (service) need, and they must be individualized to fit each student's skills and desired goals. Step Two: A learning contract should be developed that states the goals, the objective behaviors to be undertaken in working toward those goals, how and by whom the student will be evaluated, the criteria to be used, and the time frame involved. To develop the contract the student will also need a prior analysis of the job at the particular placement site, an analysis of what knowledge, skills and attitudes she brings to the field experience and what she hopes to gain, as well as what the placement sponsors will hold her responsible for accomplishing (these should all have been completed at the time of the student-placement matching process). An example of this contract follows: Goal Criteria for Behaviors Evaluator Assessing Growth _________________________________________________________________________ To write letter Improvement in Writes reports Field and writing and other faculty written work supervisors Be able to Test measuring Studies the Field understand and knowledge of the law and uses supervisor use Title IX law it in case applications Become more Ratings of student Gives 3-4 pre- Self and confident in presentations sentations to field speaking before community supervisor large groups groups Feel better Psychological Rewards self Self and about myself measure of self- for accompli- supervisor esteem shments, asks for construct- ive feedback To know List appropriate Composes Field community resources for referral supervisor resources for women in case booklet women in crisis studies __________________________________________________________________ It is important to reiterate that many aspects of the experience will be evaluated. Service learning is especially distinct from traditional classroom evaluation of students in that aspects of learning, in addition to cognitive acquisition (new skills, values clarification and attitude changes) are assessed. The specific skills and objectives outlined in the learning contract will also be stated in the mid-term and final evaluations. Each of the goals of the learning contract will be evaluated according to the agreement reached by the three individuals involved: some behaviors to be evaluated by the placement supervisor, some by the faculty supervisor, some by the student, and most by some combination of the participating parties. Step Three: Conduct a mid-term evaluation to measure the student's progress. Constructively go over this with her providing a guide post for her progress. Modify the contract if it seems unworkable. Step Four: Conduct final evaluation and share it with the student. Measurement Techniques Both supervisors can submit `ratings' of the student that either follow a structured format of specific questions assessing pertinent attributes, or a more `global overall evaluation.' Ideally, on-site observations can be made by the faculty supervisor in addition to the regular monitoring done by the placement supervisor. The faculty supervisor also meets with the student periodically on campus for discussions of the field experience. Meetings can include `co-seminar sessions' and/or individual, dyadic or small groups (depending on institutional possibilities). The student herself can provide important data. Possible activities include: maintaining a `diary or journal' analyzing her performance and her experiences at the placement, or a series of `critical incident reports' in which she describes several incidents throughout the field service experience. These reports should describe how the student responded in each specific situation and what she believes she learned or gained from the incident. The student could also write a lengthy `self-analysis' of her experiences and/or provide a `report of her accomplishments.' Some service learning contracts may include `specific products' to be completed by the student such as reports, self-evaluations, grant applications, research papers or even examinations covering pertinent concepts and methods. Use of `standardized assessment scales' can measure attitude changes, skill acquisition or accumulated knowledge. For more information on validated measure see "Women and Women's Issues: Handbook of Tests and Measurements" by C.A. Beere (Jossey-Bass, 1979) and "Measures of Educational Equity" for Women by K.L. Williams, B.J. Parks and C.J. Finley (American Institutes for Research, 1977), and materials available from CAEL, listed among the Selected Bibliography in this Handbook. Service Learning Program Evaluation The second area of evaluation may not seem to be as immediately relevant or important as the student evaluation, but it is necessary and advantageous for a number of reasons. Evaluation of the entire service learning program can be used to determine how well the goals of the program are being met. Information on the effectiveness of the program can be used to improve future programming, to make decisions about modifications of the program for college administrators, or to justify increased funding and other institutional resources and support. Thus, there are several potential audiences for whom the evaluation results may be available. `Clearly defined goals' are as necessary for this evaluation process as they were for the assessment of the students. It is advisable to set `short-term and long-term objectives' ahead of time and to set up ways to evaluate each one. All (or at least many!) aspects of the program should be evaluated, including such components as: pre-placement orientation and training of students, the process of student-placement match, satisfaction of placement agencies, impact on students and, if possible, impact on the community (such as a client group that the agency serves), adequacy of supervision, co-seminar experience and perhaps a cost-benefit assessment. The program personnel must define measurable goals and objectives of the entire service learning program, then devise ways to measure and quantify the activities and outcomes relating to the objectives, then collect and analyze the necessary information to assess accomplishment of the goals and objectives and communicate the results to the appropriate groups and individuals. This evaluation process must be constructed in line with a given program's goals and resources. In addition to an assessment of the actual outcomes in relation to the planned/hoped-for outcomes, it is also possible to evaluate the course or program over time in order to analyze the effect of other structural changes on the service learning component. One can also use a contrast-group design in which a comparison is made of service learning students with similar students not involved in the program. Some general data sources include `existing records' from the program, the school and the placement agencies; `information from the program participants' (students, placement, staff, clients of the placement agencies, faculty); and `experts' who are brought in to rate, test or observe the students and the program functioning. I recommend multiple measures to provide a "rich" evaluation using many modes of assessment. This will be more helpful to the program and also allows for the possibility that some measures will indicate successful attainment of program goals while other measures may be more ambiguous or may even show failure. Realistic definition of specific objectives will facilitate valid evaluation of separate components and goals. Evaluation of Service Learning Examples: Objectives Ways to Assess Increase feminist consciousness Give students one of the feminism of participating students scales that have been validated. Could compare their results with students not in the program. Train students to be able to Assess student oral or written support a feminist position presentation of an argument on a with evidence particular topic Provide students with Total the number of participating opportunity to learn job students and summarize the overall relate skills evaluations (by placement supervisors) of their job performance. Follow up students for future job placements. Help students see the Have students fill out an connections between Women's evaluation form. Studies and social action The goal-setting phase completes much of the necessary background work for program evaluation. The choice of measurement indices can be varied for each individual and program, and these follow directly from the goals. Once these steps are taken, completion of evaluation is very easy, and it provides invaluable feedback for the student and the program. EVALUATING SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAMS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES Ruth B. Ekstrom Service learning programs in women's studies involve experiential learning through placement in an organization or agency that is working for social change for women. Evaluation of service learning programs in women's studies combines the problems of evaluating women's studies programs and the problems of evaluating experiential learning programs. In this paper I use the term evaluation to mean determining if and how well the goals of a program have been met. I will differentiate between two-types of evaluation: (1) formative evaluation, which is intended to help develop or improve the program, and (2) summative evaluation, which is intended to judge the overall effectiveness of the program. Evaluation Plan: Before evaluation can begin, an evaluation plan must be developed. This plan should cover the following questions: 1. What are the purposes of the evaluation? Examples: Should the program be continued? Should the program be redefined or priorities changed? How effectively is the program operating? Should personnel/resources be reallocated? 2. What performance standards will be used to determine if the stated goals have been achieved? Need to specify criteria and relate them to objectives. Need to specify the amount and direction of change/difference that will be considered as indicators of success. 3. What information/data will be collected and how? Need to select or develop instruments. Need to decide who will provide information. Need to get cooperation from all who will be involved. Need to decide on time schedule and individuals responsible for data collection. 4. How will the information/data be processed and analyzed? If more than compiling and summarizing is involved, analytical procedures must be selected (assistance from evaluation specialists may be needed). 5. To whom and how will the evaluation data be reported? Need to include all involved/interested individuals--program personnel, other college staff, students, business and organizations, funding agencies, other colleges with similar programs, etc. Brochures, newsletters, speeches, etc., may be needed as well as formal reports. 6. How much will the evaluation cost? Need to set up a budget for all activities. Purposes of Evaluation: It is important for you to think about why you are doing the evaluation before you begin to collect any information. Different kinds of information are needed to answer different questions. It is also important, at this point, to think about who will receive the evaluation information. Different kinds of information are needed if the Women's Studies faculty is revising the service learning program than if the information must be presented to the administration or a funding agency to obtain money for program support. Goals and Performance Standards: Specifying program goals is the first step in beginning an evaluation. A process for developing and ranking goals in women's studies is described in Guttentag et al. (1979). Two kinds of goals are involved in service learning: (1) new knowledge and skills (cognitive goals); and (2) new attitudes, beliefs, and values (non-cognitive goals). Table 1 shows some abilities that liberal arts students might acquire in experiential learning. Sometimes goal statements for service learning programs have already been developed as part of learning contracts between the student and the faculty member supervising the program. Two sample activity sheets for contract learning are shown in Figure 1. Learning contracts usually specify: (l) the goal(s) or objectives(s) of the learning experience; (2) the activities that will be done as part of this experience; (3) the product that will be prepared by the learner; (4) the criteria that will be used to evaluate the product; and (5) the time frame in which the experience will occur. Such learning contracts are useful because they help define for the student `why' they are doing the activities in the service learning experience. Another form of goal statements is competency lists, such as the "I Can" lists (Ekstrom, Harris and Lockheed, 1977). An example of part of one list, for Advocate/Change Agent, is given in Table 2. Although this list was developed to identify prior learning competencies of adult women who have done volunteer work and community service, it is equally applicable for defining the goals of sponsored experiential learning programs for college students. The next step is to decide what kind of standard you will use to determine if the goals have been achieved. You may have an `absolute' standard (the student will be able to do the following things; the student will achieve a specified test score), a `growth-based' standard (the student will show an improvement in ability to do the following things; the student will show an increase in self- confidence), or a `comparison-based' standard (the women's studies service learning student will score higher than similar students who were not enrolled in the program). Table 1 Some Possible Goals of Service Learning Cognitive Ability to: Analyze quantitative data Build a conceptual model Design an experiment or experience Develop a comprehensive plan Experiment with new ideas/techniques Gather facts and information Generate alternatives Imagine the implications of an action Make decisions Organize information Set goals See how things fit into the "big picture" Test theories and ideas Noncognitive Ability to: Adapt to change Be personally involved Be sensitive to people's feelings Be sensitive to values Commit oneself to objectives Deal with people Influence and lead others Listen with an open mind Seek and exploit opportunities Work in groups (Adapted from Fry and Kolb (1979)) Table 2 Advocate/Change Agent Advocacy is an activity on behalf of an individual, a group, or an issue which is designed to improve conditions, programs, or services. Advocates working areas such as legal rights, housing, education, environment, and social welfare and attempt to change or improve existing conditions. In carrying out my work as an advocate/change agent, I can: - Identify areas where change is needed (see `Problem Surveyor' for related skills ) - Select methods and data which will document the need for change (see `Researcher' and `Problem Surveyor' for related skills) - Define and delimit the basic issues in a problem area - Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts relevant to an issue in fields such as: - legal rights (civil and criminal) - housing and community planning - education - environment - welfare and social services - Describe the public policy issues relevant to a problem - Demonstrate knowledge of the processes of change using: - theoretical model(s) - real-life examples - Describe methods which can be used to bring about change including: - lobbying - political campaigns - public relation Evaluation Design. The design is closely related to the goals and standards. An absolute standard will require only one administration of whatever tests or measures are used; this will typically be done at the end of the program. A growth-based standard means that the student must be tested twice, once when s/he enters the service learning program and again when s/he finishes it (pre- and post-testing). A comparison based standard also involves pre- and post-testing of the students in the service learning program. Tests should also be given, at the same time, to a similar (comparison) group of students. The comparison group might be students enrolled in other kinds of field work experiences, students in other women's studies courses, or students who are taking other kinds of courses related to the service learning program (e.g., sociology). Sometimes comparison studies are done only with a single testing at the end of the program. The problem with this design is that you cannot tell if the service learning students and comparison group students were different before the start of the program. Kinds of Measurement There are several different ways to measure the outcomes of experiential learning. These include: - Standardized or Existing Tests: The chief advantages are its ease and that the results can be used to compare the students with individuals in other schools and colleges. Another advantage is that the results may be more readily accepted by people outside of the women's studies program. The chief disadvantage is that there are few standardized tests appropriate for evaluating women's studies programs and service learning. There are three good sources of existing tests to use in women's studies programs. These are: the American Institutes for Research's "Sourcebook on Measures of Women's Educational Equity", their "Measures of Educational Equity for Women", and Beere's "Women and Women's Issues: A Handbook of Tests." - Locally Made Tests: The advantage of this approach is that the test can be made more specific to the goals of a particular program. While you may be able to use local tests to compare women's studies students with other students on your campus, you rarely can use local tests to make comparisons across campuses. Another disadvantage of locally made tests is the time and effort required for test development. - Demonstrations or Simulations: This involves having the student show others how s/he does something. A demonstration involves a real situation (such as watching the student counsel other women) or a videotape of the real situation. A simulation involves acting out a situation (asking the student to show how s/he would counsel for certain hypothetical problems). In both cases one or more judges or raters are asked to watch what is being done and to use a rating scale to indicate the quality of the student's performance. - Essay/Portfolio/Diary: The chief advantage of this approach is its individuality and flexibility. However, this also makes it more difficult to make comparisons across students. If an essay, portfolio or diary is used, it is important to specify the expected content and how it will be graded. Essays, port-folios, and diaries are usually used in a single, post-test experimental design and are rated against an absolute standard. Tests and ratings are easier to use in pre- and post-designs that involve measuring growth or making comparisons across groups. Types of Tests and Measures Most teachers are familiar with the use of multiple-choice tests or essays to measure knowledge so I will not discuss this here. Instead, I will concentrate on noncognitive measurement involving attitudes. There are four methods commonly used in attitude measurement: - Unobtrusive Measures: This involves obtaining information without the subjects' awareness. It includes the use of physical evidence (e.g., which books show the most wear), archives and records (e.g., who requested counseling), and observations (e.g., who uses certain tools or exhibits certain kinds of behavior). - Ratings by Others: These are used in observations, demonstrations and simulations. Rating scales are selected or constructed. These scales help to define the standards and objectives for the judges. In using ratings by others, it is important to be sure that all judges are using the same criteria. One common problem is that judges tend to get a general impression of the student and mark everything high ("halo effect") or low instead of treating each item on the rating scale separately. Also, ratings by others may be invalid if the raters suspect that it may also be used to rate them (e.g., pupil ratings done by a teacher may be distorted if the teacher thinks that these ratings may affect her/his salary). - Self Report: This is probably the most widely used method of attitude measurement. The advantage of self-ratings is that the individual has better insight into her/his own attitudes than an observer. The chief disadvantage is that the individual can usually determine the purpose of the evaluation and make responses that s/he things are expected rather than what s/he truly believes. - Disguised Techniques: These involve asking someone to complete several sentences or a story or to tell a story in response to a picture. This kind of measure is often difficult to validate. One common problem is that people react to parts of the story or picture that were not intended to be the main stimulus. Making Your Own Tests and Rating Scales If you decide to develop your own tests or scales, there are six basic steps in the process: 1. Develop a test "blueprint." This should be an outline of all the subject areas or topics to be covered and some kind of indication of the relative importance of each topic. 2. Decide on the kind(s) of test(s) or test items that you will use for each area (see the next section for examples) and write draft items and scales. It is usually wise to write more items than you need. 3. Review the items and scales (or have someone else review them) to see that you have covered all the topics in your "blueprint," that the items and instructions are clear and easily understood and that there are no errors of fact. 4. Try out the items or scales. Pick a group of people that are as much as possible like the group who will finally use the test. 5. Review the test for reliability and validity. Reliability means that a test measures the same thing consistently; people who take the test more than once will not get very different scores unless they have learned more about what the test measures in the period between the two tests. If a test has a group of items about a given topic, one way of measuring reliability is to compare (correlate) scores on the odd-numbered items with scores on the even-numbered items. Validity means that a test measures what it is supposed to measure. This usually involves using some kind of external criterion standard. For example, a scale of attitudes toward feminism might be validated by showing that women who support ERA or who are members of a feminist group, such as NOW, score higher than women who oppose ERA or who do not belong to a feminist group. You may also want to compare each test item or scale with the score on the entire test or group of tests. 6. Discard items and scales that do not appear to be reliable or valid or that do not work as you had expected. Reassemble your final items according to your test blueprint. If you do develop your own tests, especially if they work well for you, it is important for you to share them with others. Be sure to explain, when you share a test, the kind of program for which it was designed. Two of the most commonly used techniques for getting self ratings or ratings by others are the `Likert-type Scale' and the `Semantic Differential'. The Likert scale involves statements which are rated on five points. (The typical scale is 5 = strongly agree; 4 = agree; 3 = not sure; 2 = disagree;and 1 = strongly disagree. Some people use a four point scale and eliminate "not sure" to force people to take a side.) When writing or selecting statements for a Likert scale, avoid neutral statements and avoid compound or complex sentences. Be sure to use both positive and negative statements. Try to vary the sentence structure but keep the vocabulary understandable. Sample Likert-type items (taken from the Questionnaire on the Occupational Status of Women) are: No man really prefers to have a female boss. Complete equality for women is unrealistic. Women need more alternatives for employment than are currently open to them. The Semantic Differential is based on a set of bi-polar scales against which a stimulus is rated. Most Semantic Differential scales are answered by putting a checkmark somewhere along a seven point scale. A typical item might be: Women bosses are: Good |______|______|______|______|______|______|______| Bad Strong |______|______|______|______|______|______|______| Weak Give in |______|______|______|______|______|______|______| Stubborn Semantic Differentials are relatively easy to construct and to score. These scales tend to be fairly reliable. However, if the scales are too long the people taking them tend to get bored. One author recommends that there be no more than 15 stimuli (such as "women bosses") and no more than 15 to 20 bi-polar characteristics (such as good-bad) on which each is rated. An Example of Evaluation in Women's Studies. One well-known evaluation in women's studies is Project WELD (Formative Evaluation Research Associates, 1977). This was a study of internships, women's studies courses, and skill development classes in eight schools. The attributes studied in Project WELD are listed in Table 3. These attributes were measured by an Experience Inventory, shown in Table 4. Table 3 Attributes Evaluated Assertiveness skills Professional/technical skills Communication skills Sense of women's historical past Decision-making skills Sense of women's present Discrimination-coping skills Your creativity Feminist perspective Your independence Leadership skills Your openness to new experiences New career goals Your personal potential Personal role models Your professional potential Professional female Your risk-taking role models Professional male Your self-confidence role models Table 4 EXPERIENCE INVENTORY INSTRUCTIONS: Below is a learning inventory of skills and qualities which students may or may not gain as participants in your program. This form seeks your assessment of whether opportunities exist for the development of these skills and qualities and your assessment of the quality of student experience. If you can think of additional skills or qualities, please add them at the bottom of the inventory. Have the following been increased or affected | Traditional | by your experience in: | Curriculum | | | |Yes Quality* No| |Yes Quality* No| -----------------------------|---------------|---|---------------| | |Sense of women's | | | | | | | | | |historical past | | | | | | | | | |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Sense of women's present | | | | | | | | |I |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |D |Feminist perspective | | | | | | | | |E |Professional female | | | | | | | | |A |role models | | | | | | | | |S |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Professional male | | | | | | | | | |role models | | | | | | | | | |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Personal role models | | | | | | | | -----------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |New career goals | | | | | | | | | |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Assertiveness skills | | | | | | | | | |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |S |Leadership skills | | | | | | | | |K |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |I |Communication skills | | | | | | | | |L |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |L |Decision-making skills | | | | | | | | |S |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Professional/technical | | | | | | | | | |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Discrimination coping | | | | | | | | | |skills | | | | | | | | -----------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Your self-confidence | | | | | | | | | |-----------------------------|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Your independence | | | | | | | | |A |-----------------------------|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |T |Your risk-taking | | | | | | | | |T |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |I |Your openness to new | | | | | | | | |T |experiences | | | | | | | | |U |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |D |Your creativity | | | | | | | | |E |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| |S |Your personal potential | | | | | | | | | |-------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Your professional | | | | | | | | | |potential | | | | | | | | -----------------------------|---|-------|---|---|---|-------|---| | |Other | | | | | | | | | |Other | | | | | | | | ------------------------------------------------------------------ *Quality Scale: 5 = Excellent 3 = Good 1 = Poor 4 = Very Good 2 = Fair 0 = Not Applicable In addition to completing the experience inventory, the WELD students were asked to list the strengths and weaknesses of the program, to list ways in which the program could be improved, to rate their satisfaction with the program, to rate the impact that the program had on them, and to compare the program's impact with the rest of their educational experience. Data Collection and Analysis Sometimes available information (from existing tests and records) can be used instead of collecting data for evaluation. The chief advantage of using available data is that it is easy to do. However, there are also problems. Available data may not be complete or it may vary so much from one type of placement to another that meaningful comparisons are impossible. Once you have developed or selected the tests and other data collection instruments (such as questionnaires), you must decide who will provide the data. It is not always necessary to obtain all information from all students, especially if large numbers of students or several colleges are involved. In evaluating a small program in a single college, however, it is probably wisest to collect information from all program participants. Project WELD compared students in three kinds of programs in eight schools. To do this they selected a random sample of 270 students who had been involved in each kind of program; each of these students completed a questionnaire. In addition, the project obtained information from 50 faculty members and from 25 intern employers. Interviews can be used instead of questionnaires if you are dealing with a relatively small group of students. Interviews are especially helpful informative evaluation where you may not always know all the possible answers. In addition, people are often more comfortable in confiding sensitive information to an interviewer than they would be in writing it down on a questionnaire. Also, an interviewer can ask additional, follow-up questions depending on a previous response. Data analysis in an evaluation does not have to be complicated. In Project WELD, the analysis included the percentage of students in each program answering "Yes" to each attribute item on the Experience Inventory, the average quality rating for each attribute item in each of the three programs, the percentage of students giving each impact rating, and the percentage of students giving each satisfaction rating. In addition, the number and percentage of students suggesting specific types of program improvements or additions was shown. Computations showing the significance of the differences between percentages and average ratings of programs is sometimes used in evaluations. If you want to try some more elaborate data analysis techniques, you will find books like Anderson, Ball and Murphy's Encyclopedia of Educational Evaluation or Guttentag and Struening's Handbook of Evaluation Research helpful. Evaluation data should be reported in such a way that it is impossible to identify a given individual. Many evaluations also combine data so that a given course, placement or school cannot be identified. Reporting Data The information from the evaluation should be shared with others. Just who these people are depends on the purpose of your evaluation. Typically, all of the individuals involved in the women's studies service learning program (students, faculty, and agencies/organizations providing the placements) will be given a copy of the evaluation report. In addition, copies (sometimes shortened, edited, "executive summary" versions) may also be sent to deans and other administrators. If the service learning program has been supported by funds from the institution, Federal or State programs, or a foundation, these people should also share the information. Evaluation information is, indeed, often required when a program has received Federal money. Finally, it is important that you share your evaluation instruments and outcomes with other women's studies service learning programs. References and Resources American Institutes for Research. Sourcebook on Measures of Women's Educational Equity. Palo Alto, CA: American Institutes for Research, 1979. Anderson, S.B.; Ball, S.; and Murphy, R.T. Encyclopedia of Educational Evaluation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1975. Beere, C.A. Women and Women's Issues: A Handbook of Tests. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1979. Bose, C. E., and Priest-Jones, J. The Relationship Between Women's Studies,Career Development, and Vocational Choice. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Education, in press. Ekstrom, R.B; Harris, A.M.; and Lockheed, M.E. How to Get College Credit for What You Have Learned as a Homemaker and Volunteer. Princeton, N.J.: Educational Testing Service, 1977, 1979. Formative Evaluation Research Associates, Inc. Project WELD: Women's education:Learning and Doing. Ann Arbor, Ml: FERA, 1977. Fry, R., and Kold, D. Experiential learning theory and learning experience in the liberal arts. New Directions in Experiential Learning, 1979, 6, 79-92. Guttentag, M., and Struening, E.L. (Eds.), Handbook of Evaluation Research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1975. Guttentag, M.; Brush, L.R.; Gold, A.R.; Mueller, M.W.; Tobias, S.; and White, W. Evaluating women's studies: A decision-theoretical approach. Signs, 1979,3(4), 884-890. Millsap, M.A.; Bagenstos, N.T.; and Talburtt, M. Women's Studies Evaluation Handbook. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Education, 1979. National Student Volunteer Program. Evaluating Service-Learning Programs.Washington, D.C.: ACTION, 1978. (Pamphlet No. 4300.7) Sackmary, B., and Hendrick, H. Assessment of the experiential learning of women for college credit in the area of women's studies. Paper presented to the National Conference, Council for the Advancement of Experiential Learning, San Francisco, October 1977. (ED 155 208) Williams K.L.; Parks, B.J. and Finey, C.J. Measures of Educational Equity for Women: A Research Monograph. Palo Alto, CA: American Institutes for Research, 1977.