AASU Adds Gender and Women's Studies Major
(Savannah, GA-February 22, 2007) Armstrong Atlantic State University
(AASU) will begin offering a bachelor's degree in gender and women's
studies (GWST) beginning in the fall of 2007. The existing program
currently offers a minor and a certificate. AASU is one of only three
public universities in Georgia to offer a Bachelor's of Arts degree in
Gender and Women's Studies draws upon various perspectives of human
experience in areas as diverse as literature, history, art, political
science, sociology, and psychology. GWST students will be required to
take upper-level classes in both the arts and humanities, and in the
social and behavioral sciences and/or health professions. Additionally,
a required junior/senior seminar will emphasize a service-learning element.
"Since the approval of the minor and graduate and undergraduate
certificates in women's studies in 2000, student demand for GWST classes
has been strong," said Teresa Winterhalter, program director.
The enthusiasm on campus for the major became evident in the fall of
2000; when 150 students enrolled in GWST-related courses were surveyed.
Nearly 60 percent of them expressed an interest in pursuing a major in
GWST if a program were to become available.
In the fall of 2005, a GWST track was added to the Master of Arts in
Liberal and Professional Studies.
"The addition of the major is the latest development in the growth of
the Gender and Women's Studies program at AASU," said Winterhalter.
The demand for graduates with a background in the study of gender and
women's issues is growing. Professionals in the field are required to
develop and implement programs designed to address problems of violence
against women, illiteracy, and inadequate healthcare.
Outside the classroom, there has also been a demand for annual women's
studies conferences on the part of AASU students and faculty. In the
past five years, more than 800 students, faculty, and members of the
community have participated in these conferences.
"The breadth of focus under Gender and Women's Studies is not available
in many traditional undergraduate degrees," said Winterhalter.
The faculty in the GWST program at AASU reflects the multidisciplinary
nature of the program and includes professors from the social sciences,
history, literature, film, and health sciences.
AASU's female student population of 68.8 percent reflects a cultural
need for the major. At the same time, registration in current and past
GWST courses also reflects that male students have a keen interest in
this intellectual field. Overall there is a growing demand for programs
that foster students' intellectual understanding of their
responsibilities as global citizens.
For more information, please contact Teresa Winterhalter at 912.921.5632