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                            PART ONE
                      CONTEXTS AND CLIMATES

                           CHAPTER ONE

                   THE HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
                     BY CARYN McTIGHE MUSIL

"You're advising me to do what? An assessment grant on women's
studies?" My voice grew thinner. The muscles in my neck tightened.
I managed to feign a certain modicum of interest. This was, after
all, a FIPSE program officer I was speaking to. She had called that
morning to give me feedback about a proposal I wanted to submit to
the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. The more
she talked, the more my neck muscles tightened.

The voice on the end of the line suggested that given the
increasingly contentious national debate about higher education, it
would be instructive to examine women's studies programs more
systematically in order to assess their contribution to student
learning. Although I refrained from expressing it, I felt an
overwhelming resistance to what proved to be very good advice.

My resistance was rooted in two things. The first was the weariness
I felt, after nearly twenty years, from having to prove the value
of women's studies one more time to a skeptical audience. The
second was the negative associations the word "assessment" conjured
up for me as a humanities professor. Assessment reminded me of the
statistics course I never took, the computer programming course
that was not available in my graduate days, and my deep suspicion
that most quantitative analysis flattened out the more interesting
things to be learned about education. I also thought of assessment
as something that is done to you, frequently by external agencies
with highly suspect motives. Paralyzed by my unfamiliarity with the
expertise I thought one had to have to "do" assessment, for more
than a week I was unable to write a single word of my grant

Feeling the imperative of a FIPSE deadline driving me, however, I
began to investigate assessment. After reading extensively in the
assessment literature and consulting nationally with assessment
experts, I began to understand the range of debate in the field as
well as the enormous variety of methods--both quantitative and
qualitative--for collecting data. I realized that assessment could
indeed generate invaluable data about women's studies and student
learning that would answer questions not only for skeptics but also
for women's studies professors.

Instead of a judgmental tool for punishment, assessment
increasingly appeared as a source of illumination--the beginning,
as Pat Hutchings of the American Association for Higher Education
(AAHE) likes to put it, of a more informed conversation about
teaching and student learning. Since the image of an animated
conversation over time is an apt one for women's studies itself,
describing assessment in those same terms made it seem commensurate
with our own educational goals.

My own transformation from cool wariness about assessment to warmly
embracing its possibilities paralleled the transformation I was to
witness among the various participants during our three-year
project. I recognized immediately the hesitancy and long list of
questions that women's studies faculty members brought to our first
workshop three years ago. As they themselves became assessment
proponents, they began to describe the initial skepticism they
encountered back at their campuses. In their final reports,
however, faculty members at most sites commented how professors and
students alike shifted their attitudes about assessment during the
project's span. By sharing the process through which many of us
moved from resisting to respecting assessment, we hope that
Students at the Center: Feminist Assessment will become for its
readers a vehicle that enhances campus conversations and ultimately
expands what we know about what and how students learn.

                      WHY SUCH A BOOK NOW?

The larger context for the current educational climate of
accountability is the global geo-political climate in which there
is renewed pressure in the United States to demonstrate to the
world--and to our own citizens--that we are still a superpower.
There is an aroma of decline that frightens policy makers and
citizens alike. This is especially true with regard to how the
United States competes in trade and manufacturing, the quality of
our products, and the productivity and creativity of our labor
force. There is a fear that our powers are waning like other former
imperial powers--England, France, the Soviet Union--despite our
momentary triumphant euphoria when communist governments collapsed
in the Soviet Union and Eastem Europe. In such an atmosphere of
critical concern about what is happening to America, there is
heated debate about what has caused this decline, who is to blame,
and how to fix it.

As students from other countries--especially from our economic
competitors--outperform U.S. students on standardized tests, our
educational reform that began in the 1980s and continues today, the
earliest critique was aimed at elementary and secondary schools;
the critique of higher education came later. The latter examination
reveals concern about the content of the curriculum; the
performance of students; the preparation of teachers and
professors; the perceived decline in standards; the fragmentary
nature of the curriculum; and the impact all this might be or
already is having on the quality of college educated workers in the
United States.  Several questions are contested: Who will set
standards for what is excellent? Are such standards even possible?
How do you measure them? What ought the role of federal, state, and
local governments be in terms of accountability? What kind of
knowledge do students need for their personal lives as well as
their work lives? Who is not served well by our current educational
systems? How do we create more affirming learning environments for
diverse students?

What the "Courage to Question" project attempts to do is offer some
solutions for an educational system in a moment of crisis and
transition. Student bodies have changed radically in their typical
profile: in terms of sex, race, and age; in terms of how and how
long people move through the system; and in terms of the delivery
systems created to reach this widely diverse student population--an
increasing majority of whom commute to their classes or take those
college classes at their workplace, the local Y, or the
neighborhood elementary school. The content of the curriculum is
hotly contested and altering even in the midst of adamant arguments
that it should remain unchanged. The debate about content is
complicated by the knowledge explosion that has occurred in this
second half of the twentieth century, manifesting itself at the
college level in a dramatic expansion in the number of courses,
programs, and areas of inquiry. In the face of such a panoply of
possibilities, content no longer is the easy vehicle providing
intellectual coherence. Many argue we should be looking more at how
students know rather than concentrating so fixedly on what they
know. Finally, in a world where most students will change jobs at
least four times in their working lives and might, in fact, be
employed in jobs we have not even imagined, what preparation do
they need as undergraduates to function in a pluralistic society
deeply interconnected with the rest of the globe?

In the midst of all these questions and debates, what do we know
about student learning? What can students tell us about what they
need, what has worked, and how their lives have been changed by
what happens during the college years? Our project turns to
students to give us some answers, soliciting student opinions in a
variety of ways. Some people today are advocating some sort of
standardized "instrument of instruments" that can generate
indisputable national score sheets against which we can all measure
our individual and collective failures and successes. Our project
sees such an approach as ineffectual. It stifles solutions rather
than generating them. It offers simple answers where only complex
ones will suffice. Most significantly, it creates a false sense of
what the process of learning is all about.

This is not to say that there are no insights to be gained from
measuring things in statistical ways. It is not to argue against
evaluation, defining areas for improvement, or coming to some
consensus on a variety of goals we hold in common about the purpose
of our educational enterprise. It is to suggest, however, that
there is no single goal, no single solution, no single measurement
relevant to all.

In such a contentious climate, we are offering some space for
collegial dialogue: among faculty members; among students; between
faculty members and students; among graduates; and among graduates,
faculty members, and current students. We are advocating a
context-specific set of questions to be asked and a
context-specific set of means for gathering information to
illuminate those questions. We are urging that students be central
to the assessment process, that they be asked to reflect about
their learning, and that we listen and record those narratives over
time. We are joining with those who say it is time to ask some hard
questions--time to muster the courage to question even things we
might hold very dear. And we are especially interested in evidence
that students possess the courage to question, which is so
fundamental to sustaining a vibrant, innovative society responsive
to its citizens.

                        WOMEN'S STUDIES:

In 1989, the year the proposal for "The Courage to Question:
Women's Studies and Student Learning" was submitted to FIPSE, two
events were occurring simultaneously that affected the shape of the
grant and the attitudes of many of us involved in the project. The
first was the ongoing national call for educational reform already
mentioned, and the second was a national plan to celebrate twenty
years of institutionalized women's studies programs. By 1988 and
1989, the call for educational reform was acquiring a distinctly
ideological edge; figures such as Secretary of Education William
Bennett lambasted faculty members for caving in to "special
interests" such as women's studies and ethnic studies, and National
Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Lynne V. Cheney advocated
returning to an American past unclouded by what she perceived as
"political" and intrusive distractions of race and gender.

Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind (1987) extended
Bennett's attack on campuses by arguing that all the problems in
higher education today could be traced to the radical reformers of
the 1960s, the establishment of special programs like Black
Studies--from which women's studies later modeled itself--and the
decision to democratize academic institutional structures. In 1989,
the National Association of Scholars (NAS), a vociferous
conservative group organized to stem progressive reforms, held its
first national conference, which despite attracting only two
hundred participants--was covered on page two of The Washington
Post. The National Women's Studies Association's (NWSA) national
conference, held just up the road in Baltimore a few months later,
drew more than two thousand participants but received no coverage
whatsoever in the Post.

George Bush had been elected the "Education President" the year
before and joined others insisting that educational excellence
could be achieved if, among other things, we created the correct
national test for measuring it. In 1989, he called for an
Educational Summit of Governors, many of whom already were working
with their state legislatures to institute mandatory assessment of
public schools and state-supported higher education institutions.
Accountability was the rallying cry, global competitiveness in the
marketplace was the overwhelming driving force, and shrinking
economic resources cloaked all of these initiatives with a punitive

In the midst of this backlash, I--then executive director of
NWSA--was planning an invitational conference for women's studies
directors to mark two decades since the first program had been
formally approved. The conference was designed to celebrate past
achievements and forge an agenda for women's studies in the 1990s.
Held in Washington, D.C., it drew almost double the number of
participants in the NAS conference. NAS had titled its first
conference "Reclaiming the Academy," which explained in part why we
in women's studies were celebrating and a small contingent of
conservative academics were organizing. There was no question that
our presence had made a difference in the curriculum, in faculty
and staffing, and in campus life. 

While we sought to take pride in the difficult intellectual and
political accomplishments of the previous two decades, we had few
illusions that we were, as our critics liked to portray us,
"running the universities." We understood better than they that we
had indeed become institutionalized within academia, but we also
knew that we had little more than a toehold in many places. Today
there are 621 women's studies programs, but many are understaffed,
underfunded, and housed in basements. Faculty members teach their
women's studies courses and invest hours in cocurricular
programming often with little reward from their institutions.
Women's studies teachers continue to be subject to accusations that
they are politicizing the curriculum by including women and gender
in their courses, while those who exclude women are not.

Nonetheless, we understood that feminist scholarship had made it
impossible to return to the unexamined biases of earlier years.
Twenty years of feminist scholarship had transformed many
disciplines. Curricular transformation efforts had produced not
only thousands of women's studies courses but thousands more
courses that integrated new scholarship about women and gender into
general education and the curriculum as a whole. New faculty lines
in women's studies were becoming more common--a fact that insured
curricular stability. In addition to the unwavering growth in the
number of undergraduate women's studies programs, more of them were
establishing majors and minors. Moreover, what already had happened
at the undergraduate level was being replicated at the graduate
level as concentrations in women's studies, specializations within
disciplinary degrees, and the emergence of full master's programs
in women's studies became evident by the decade's end.

The most powerful witness to the influence of women's studies,
however, was the number of students attracted to it. Despite a
period in the 1980s when the national climate was largely
unsympathetic to feminist concerns, students continued to flock to
women's studies courses. Those students were women of all colors
and ages who represented an increasing range of political
orientations. Men, too, began to take more of the courses,
especially as they became exposed to the new scholarship on women
and gender through their transformed general-education courses and
electives. From those students we continued to hear women's studies
described as intellectually rigorous, personally transforming,
dynamic in its teaching, and challenging in its insistence that
students integrate what they learned from courses into the choices
they make about how to live their daily lives.

                    FRAMEWORKS FOR THE GRANT

I was poised, then, between two tensions as I constructed the FIPSE
assessment grant, "The Courage to Question: Women's Studies and
Student Learning." Women's studies was both embattled and
triumphant: attacked by some as the reason for the current crisis
in education, yet confident that it possessed some insights about
how to remedy some of those crises. It was a time when we in
women's studies were weary of having to justify our new courses,
our tenure-line requests, our scholarship, our existence. But it
was also a time to pause after twenty years of sustained activity
and examine more systematically what the effects of all our program
building were on student learning. At this historical juncture,
more than anything else, we needed time for reflection.

The project's title, "The Courage to Question," was inspired by a
student who claimed, "Women's studies gave me courage." Challenged
by her words, I wanted us to enter full force into the national
debate and see if we had such courage ourselves--courage to
question whether we actually did what we said we were doing.
Courage to question whether some of our critics might be right
about us. Courage to listen to what our students were telling us
about our courses, our teaching, our programmatic outreach. And
finally, courage to go public with what we discovered, even if it
might be used negatively by people unsympathetic to women's

The grant, then, sought to assess questions fundamental to us in
women's studies. We wanted to ask whether women's studies courses
provide a dynamic interactive environment, encourage critical
thinking, empower students as learners, enrich their sense of
civilization's rich and diverse heritage, connect their knowledge
from other courses, and challenge them to become actively engaged
in shaping their world.

From the outset, there were some basic assumptions undergirding the
design of the grant that were crucial to its success as an
assessment grant. The evolution and refinement of those assumptions
are discussed in more detail elsewhere in this book. From the
beginning, it was understood that the assessment designs would be
institution specific and that each program would have the
responsibility for determining what questions it wanted to explore
and how. All participants knew they were to use multiple measures
to gather data and that those measures might include both
quantitative and qualitative methods. There also was the
expectation that the process would involve campus-wide
consultations with faculty members and students as well as the
national consultations, which the two representatives from each
institution would have with two dozen other faculty members at our
project meetings. Finally, there was an assumption that we needed
a "National Assessment Team" of experts, familiar both with women's
studies and with a variety of evaluation approaches, who could
instruct project participants in assessment methods. Implicit in
our design was the belief that, like our students, faculty members
could be empowered as learners and anyone could be taught to "do"
assessment in their courses.

In selecting the NATs--as they came to be known--there was a
deliberate attempt to create a group of assessors with diverse yet
complementary kinds of expertise. Combining scholars of learning
and teaching with researchers who focused on diverse assessment
techniques and methodology, the NATs could offer campus
participants a wealth of approaches to evaluate student learning.
It also was important to the success of the grant that the NATs not
only were experts in assessment but also familiar with the
interdisciplinary area of women's studies. Ultimately, these
assessment consultants became the authors of the various chapters
in Students at the Center. For a fuller description of each
National Assessment Team member, see the "Directory of Consultants"
at the end of this volume. The team included the following people:

* Carolyne W. Arnold, a senior researcher from the Wellesley
Research Center for Women and an assistant professor of sociology
at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, has expertise in
quantitative assessment with a special emphasis on minority women
and public health.

* Pat Hutchings, a senior research associate at the American
Association for Higher Education and former director of AAHE's
Assessment Forum, has a national overview of what is being done in
assessment and which approaches have revealed the most.

* Lee Knefelkamp, chair of the Higher Education Department at
Columbia University's Teachers College, has written and lectured
widely about students' intellectual and ethical development and
about different learning styles.

* Joan Poliner Shapiro, associate dean at Temple University's
College of Education and formerly co-director of the Women's
Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, uses both
quantitative and qualitative assessment approaches in her area of
expertise: feminist assessment.

* Jill Mattuck Tarule, dean of the College of Education and Social
Services at the University of Vermont, uses qualitative research
and formative evaluation to trace developmental themes, especially
conceming women as learners.

* Mary Kay Thompson Tetreault, dean of the School of Human
Development and Community Service at California State
University-Fullerton, is known for her work on feminist pedagogy
and curriculum development and most recently has used an
ethnographic approach to analyze teaching.

In communicating to the public what it had discovered, the project
had at least two stories that needed to be told. The first
concerned the actual research findings of the seven participating
colleges and universities. That volume of case studies became The
Courage to Question: Women's Studies and Student Learning, which
was followed by the publication of a twelve-page Executive Summary.
The second story that needed to be told was not about the findings
themselves but about the process that led to them.

Students at the Center is a hybrid of a typical assessment manual.
We wanted a "how" and a "why" assessment book, not just a "how to."
We have thus retained the practical value of collecting sample
questionnaires, alumnae/i surveys, strategies for focus groups,
bibliographies, a directory of campus consultants, and other such
useful information. We also have sought to include a more
theoretical and historical framework. Would something evolve out of
this project that we could call feminist assessment? What would its
governing principles be? What is the relation of feminist
assessment to the broader assessment movement? What kinds of
approaches and methodologies would our project create? How would
they compare with the range of alternatives used by any number of
evaluators? Were there new questions that women's studies people
would pose about assessment? What were the political implications
for women's studies to participate in such a project? What use
would be made of the findings? by whom? for what purposes? What
were the particular sources of greatest resistance to assessment in
women's studies, and what might we learn by being attentive to
those resistances? 

The chapters, while individually authored, are the result of an
ongoing three-year conversation about the topic among the seven of
us. It is a conversation that has occurred during formal meetings
with National Assessment Team members, conference calls, and papers
prepared for panel presentations over the life of the project. Our
conversations also have assumed the form of short written exchanges
about focused issues as we conceived the shape of Students at the

As we debated a title for our assessment book, we kept coming back
to what we thought distinguished "The Courage to Question" as a
project. It was, at heart, student-centered. At each campus,
students, for the most part, were involved in every level of
inquiry: in the formulation of program goals and of key questions
to investigate and in supplying the data on which the case studies
rest. On several campuses, students became central investigators
with women's studies faculty members.

Although it was published after we had already picked our title,
Jean O'Barr's and Mary Wyer's Engaging Feminism: Student Speak Up
and Speak Out captures eloquently the way we in higher education do
not listen carefully enough to students. Because of our
inattention, we have overlooked one of our richest resources:
students themselves.

     It is all well and good to suggest that students might learn
     from each other....It is even acceptable to say that...we
     should learn with students, cooperating with them in a common
     classroom activity. It is another issue altogether to suggest
     that thos teaching in American higher education today,
     including those in women's studies, would be enriched by a
     shift in our perspectives on students, to suggest that we
     might be more effective teachers if our approach was grounded
     in an appreciation for the knowledge, diversity, and
     intellectual strengths of those who take our classes. If we
     listen to what these students...say, they thrive on
     recognition, appreciation, and trust; they notice their
     marginalization; and they despair of the waste of their

Sharing O'Barr's and Wyer's desire to refocus new attention to
students' voices, especially as we assess the strengths and
weaknesses of the education they are subjected to for so many
years, we titled our book Students at the Center: Feminist

                  THE STRUCTURE OF THE GRANT

Ten women's studies programs were invited to be part of the
project.  Seven ended up completing all three years.  The grant was
structured around a series of workships with two representatives
from each campus, the National Assessment Team members, and the
project director.  The first year focused on defining campus-based
program goals in consultation with broad campus constituencies,
determining what key areas they wanted to investigate about student
learning, and designing an assessment plan for their program. 
During the second year, programs put their plans into practice--
gathering data, bringing National Assessment Team members to campus
for site visits, and writing preliminary reports of their findings. 
In the third year, final data collection and analysis were
completed and final chapters of the findings written for The
Courage to Question: Women's Studies and Student Learning,
published in June 1992.

At the beginning of the project, each campus was asked to define
its women's studies program goals in four areas: the knowledge
base, critical skills, feminist pedagogy, and personal growth.
There were, however, no preconceived formulas for program goals and
no assumption that they would be the same at each campus. We did
assume, nonetheless, that once they were compiled we all would gain
a more accurate picture of what women's studies learning goals were
across the nation. With this task as the focus of the first year of
the project, yet another given of the grant proposal surfaced:
nothing was permanent, nothing was sacred, and, like most women, we
could change our minds.

The first year of the project began with a workshop in October,
1989, tied to the invitational women's studies directors'
conference, "Women's Studies: The Third Decade." Participants
gathered around the table for that workshop arrived with all the
recognizable signs of caution, resistance, and suspicion about
assessing women's studies that had surfaced for me during my first
phone conversation with FIPSE.

Central to the work of the first year was articulating on each
campus what we came to call "passionate questions." The phrase
builds on the use of "passionate" in Women's Ways of Knowing, where
the concept of "passionate knowers" is defined as "a way of weaving
their passions and intellectual life into some recognizable
whole."[2] They are described as "knowers who enter into a union
with that which is to be known."[3] We urged students and faculty
and staff members on campuses to become "passionate questioners,"
focusing on issues of greatest concern, without worrying until
later about how to answer them. The decision to focus squarely on
questions of great importance provided an overriding purpose for
the project and gave us the impetus to plunge ahead. Passionate
anxieties began to give way to passionate questions.

By the spring of that first year, campus representatives had
accumulated an expanded set of questions spawned by several months
of consultation with faculty members and students. Although we
debated whether to have a common set of questions to ask across all
campuses, we decided against such an approach. Instead, we remained
firm in our premise that positionality and institutional context
should determine the specific questions posed for each of the
women's studies programs involved. "I like to keep things messy,"
said one women's studies faculty member who was explaining her
distrust of predetermined questions and categories. Generating the
questions proved the most important part of the process. As Mary
Kay Tetreault, one of the National Assessment Team members, put it,
"Being clear about what you want to know is the hard part.
Measuring that is easier."

One of the greatest obstacles during the first year was wariness
toward the assessment movement and its language. We devoted many
discussions to assessment: its uses and misuses, its range of
methods, its value, and its potential as a vehicle we could claim
as our own. Had the programs not ultimately decided that they
could, in fact, create a version of assessment consistent with
feminist goals and maintain some control about how the results
would be used, the project would not have lasted beyond the first
six months. Faculty members at Hunter College described the gradual
transformation in their attitudes this way: "Learning about
assessment as a tool for curricular improvement, and not as a means
of disciplining the faculty and student workforce, has been
extremely valuable."

Through articles circulated to participants, group discussions,
campus-wide consultations, and one-on-one meetings with members of
the National Assessment Team, participants gradually made their
peace with assessment. Although most resistance to assessment had
been overcome, the residue remained in the reluctance to call their
design an "assessment plan." We eventually settled for "The
Institutional Research Design Assessment Plan." While IRDAP sounded
more like a new weapons system than an investigation of student
learning, it was language everyone could live with.

The difficulty most programs faced as they were about to launch
their assessment investigations was captured succinctly by one
women's studies director: "Where is this going to fit in when
nothing else has dropped out?" People worried there was no time, no
staff, and few resources. On some campuses, the project was not a
program priority for everyone. We tried to solve these problems by
pressing for more institutional support in the form of released
time, research assistants, and developmental funds. In some cases
we were successful; in others the failure to get more institutional
cooperation created insurmountable difficulties for some sites and
slowed others considerably. We urged creative use of staff time by
weaving the assessment plan into a seminar project for a women's
studies major, a student internship, or a graduate student research
project. That proved a very successful strategy for several

We also urged programs to pick a plan they could actually do,
maintaining consonance between resources and ambition. We
recommended an unobtrusive assessment strategy to embed the
questions in what programs already do on campus. Once they had
gathered the data, we reminded them that they needed only to ask
some of the questions at this point and could return to the data
later when time and staffing permitted. These various strategies
did not solve every problem, but they gave programs momentum and
confidence. As one participant described it, our workshop offered
a reality check on what programs can accomplish and "helped check
overambitious plans. The workshop provided me again with a sense of
purpose, importance, and enthusiasm. All of the earlier
reservations vanished as each campus got down to business."

The efforts during the second year took place primarily on
individual campuses where programs collected all sorts of data
through a wide variety of methods. Some used focus interviews;
others examined student journals over time; still others used
surveys, pre- and post-tests, reviewed syllabi, observed classes,
examined annual reports, and phoned alumnae and alumni. On several
campuses, students were deeply involved in collecting data,
analyzing it, and writing up reports. On most campuses, a
significant number of faculty members became increasingly part of
the process. The most recurrent problem during the second year was
knowing what to do with the mountain of data that was now available
about student learning in women's studies. National Assessment Team
members made site visits and offered telephone
consultations to help unravel this dilemma.

Throughout the first and second years, and even into the third and
final year of the grant, the project benefitted significantly
because everyone was so willing to share what they knew and did.
While the grant structured such a process into the design, the
sites entered into the exchange with relish. Everyone had a copy of
each other's program goals and institutional profiles. We compared
our "passionate questions" and paired in different clusters to help
each other formulate assessment designs, which also were shared
with everyone in the project. Programs exchanged course
evaluations, alumnae surveys, and classroom climate surveys already
in use. This level of exchange, intense dialogue, and mutual
support contributed to the project's eventual success.

By the end of the second year, the seven participating programs
wrote their preliminary reports, revealing among other things the
importance of engaging in assessment. As Marcia Westkott of the
University of Colorado put it when she compared our assessment
project with the state's, "The state mandate created an atmosphere
that encouraged compliance rather than enthusiasm." By the end of
our project, faculty members and students had become passionate
questioners in assessment, intellectually challenged through
discussion with a women's studies national community, and informed
in very concrete ways about some of the strengths and areas to
improve in their programs. By the end of the project, every program
had generated not only new insights about student learning but also
a host of additional passionate questions to pose in their post-
project lives. They had come full circle indeed.

Women's studies participants became convinced that student-
centered, feminist assessment as they came to define it is a useful
vehicle for imporving teaching and learning in women's studies. In
publishing this volume, our hope is that the conceptual shifts,
strategies, and instruments we developed during our three-year
experience will be useful to facutly members and administrators
whether or not they teach in women's studies programs. We also hope
that by the time you finish reading our book, the muscles in your
neck will not tighten the next time you hear the word "assessment."

1. Jean O'Barr and Mary Wyer, eds., Engaging Feminism: Students
Speak Up & Speak Out (Charlottesville, Va.: University Press of
Virginia, 1992), 1.
2. Mary Field Belenky, Blythe McVicker Clinchy, Nancy Rule
Goldberger, and Jill Mattuck Tarule, Women's Ways of Knowing: The
Development of Self, Voice, and Mind (New York: Basic Books, 1986),
3. Ibid.