Douglass mission course: Knowledge & Power
Getting to Know Yourself and Your World
Knowledge and Power, a 3 three credit mission course taken by all Douglass students, guides students in beginning to develop an awareness of themselves as women in society.
The course meets following Core Curriculum Learning Goals.
21st Century Challenges
- 21C; a. Analyze the degree to which forms of human difference shape a person’s experiences of and perspectives on the world.
- 21c;c Analyze the relationship that science and technology have to a contemporary social issue.
Some topics covered in Knowledge and Power include women’s contributions to worldwide culture; the unique biological experiences of womanhood, including childbirth; milestones in women’s history; body image and self-esteem issues particular to female children, teens and adults; women’s access to education, public service and professional advancement in the U.S. and globally; challenges faced by today’s working women; women in military, religious, academic and other specialized environments; and how women become leaders within institutions, governments or kinship groups.
Each Knowledge and Power section includes a low faculty-to-student ratio plus peer mentors who assist students individually. Peer mentors are students who have already completed the Knowledge and Power course and can provide assistance with coursework and other issues first-year or transfer students may be dealing with.
Plenary sessions complement the Knowledge and Power experience for incoming Douglass students. Held on campus in the stately Voorhees Chapel, past Plenaries have included lectures by dynamic visitors including world leaders like former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and global activist Emily May. Plenaries also provide occasions for the induction of distinguished Douglass alumnae into the Douglass Society.
All Knowledge and Power students also attend lectures and events off-campus that relate to areas of study in the course, and conduct interviews with woman leaders they admire. At the end of the course, students create e-Portfolios under the direction of the instructor, sharing their experience in the course and taking the first step toward building a professional resume for the workplace or graduate school.
After completing the course, students report that Knowledge and Power helped them:
• Begin building an enduring community at college
• Become aware of their unique strengths and abilities
• Gain valuable academic and career skills for the future
• Learn how to use the various guides, advisers and mentors on campus
• Build confidence and creativity
• Begin thinking of themselves as leaders and achievers
• Become aware of modern-day issues that affect women in their communities, nation and world
In Knowledge and Power, students come to experience firs-hand the “Douglass Difference.”
For 2012, Knowledge and Power used the New York Times bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, as its primary text.