Before graduation, a student minoring in Women's Studies will submit a portfolio for review to the Women's Studies Program Committee (WSPC). The purpose of the portfolio is to provide you, as a Women's Studies minor, an opportunity to:
- Develop a collection of work that best represents your engagement with and understanding of the Women's Studies learning concepts.
- Reflect on how your coursework demonstrates your learning within the interdisciplinary field of Women's Studies.
- Consider how your Women's Studies learning applies to your experiences outside the classroom.
What do I include in my portfolio?
- Three papers that illustrate your engagement with Women's Studies learning concepts
- A reflective cover letter/essay
The portfolio should include three papers that represent coursework from three different disciplines. These papers should be selected carefully, so that together they illustrate your breadth of knowledge within the field of Women's Studies and confirm your engagement with the Women's Studies learning concepts. Please give preference to major course projects, particularly assignments where you were asked to incorporate research. At least two of the papers you include in your portfolio should demonstrate research.
The first document in your portfolio will be a 2-3 page reflective essay. This reflective essay gives you the opportunity to introduce readers to the papers you've selected for your portfolio and to explain how the papers demonstrate your engagement with the following learning concepts. Students graduating with a minor in Women's Studies should be able to demonstrate knowledge of:
- The socio-cultural and historical construction of gender as a category of experience that intersects with race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality, at both local and global levels.
- The contexts in which gender influences agency and disempowerment and how these contexts pertain to individuals' lives, both historically and in contemporary society.
- The varieties of feminism and feminist activism and how they connect to feminist theory and practice.
In your cover letter, you should plan to discuss how your portfolio demonstrates your understanding of each of these concepts and to explain to your readers where in your collection of material these concepts are illustrated.
One helpful way of framing your cover letter is to introduce each paper you've selected—what class is it from, what did the assignment entail—and explain how your work on the project allowed you to engage with a specific concept. What did you take away from this project in regards to your broader Women's Studies learning? Did your work on this project change previous perceptions you may have had about the issue?