Diversity & Community Studies

The Department of Diversity and Community Studies houses four programs, which offer the following minors or undergraduate certificates: African American Studies (minor); Gender and Women’s Studies (minor); Gerontology (minor); Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (certificate).

These interdisciplinary programs share certain important affinities:

  • Conceptual frameworks for understanding diverse communities, their histories and contemporary expressions, the structural challenges they face, and the contributions they offer to the fabric of American society;
  • A commitment to working for social justice and equality of treatment across differences;
  • A record of working collaboratively within communities—in service projects as well as participatory research;
  • An understanding that social systems are interconnected in perpetuating institutional oppression and dominate group privilege.
  • A conviction that interdisciplinary analysis and community experience are essential to addressing real world problems.

Individually, the programs focus on the particular issues and sectors of society that define their curriculum, programming, and outreach.

The Gender & Women’s Studies Program became official in 1990, with the approval of the undergraduate minor. In 2010-11 we celebrated our 20-year anniversary! We offer an undergraduate minor and a graduate certificate, offer a vigorous speakers/performers line-up, and have several outreach projects, especially the Women & Kids Learning Together Summer Camp.

Our director is Dr. Jane Olmsted and our full-time faculty are Dr. Kristi Branham and myself. If you’re interested in any of our programs, here is the link to access more information:

Our website is: http://www.wku.edu/womensstudies

MA in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities

Image for the master of arts in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities

This master of arts degree is an interdisciplinary program of study that provides students with the tools to lead communities toward social justice and sustainability. It is designed especially for students inclined toward the humanities, social sciences, and related fields.

  • Students take a core set of courses that provide interdisciplinary grounding in social justice and sustainability, economic and policy issues, leadership issues, community-building, and community-based research.
  • Students may focus their elective courses on environmental sustainability, women’s & gender studies, inter-generational studies, or other issues—depending on their interests, on availability of courses, and in consultation with their adviser.
  • Students in the MA in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities will cultivate the skills and knowledge necessary to be economic, political, and social change agents for more just and sustainable communities.

The Master of Arts in Social Responsibility & Sustainable Communities is learning in action.  As a student in this program you’ll have the opportunity to conduct an action research project to understand issues relevant to social justice and sustainability and identify possible solutions.  You’ll also participate in a unique experiential learning program where you’ll meet community members engaged in work relevant to these core principals.  Your master’s program will culminate in a conference style symposium where you’ll share your research and learn from that of your peers and faculty.

To learn more about the program watch this short video. Click Here