Studies indicate that women have different college experiences than men and require different support systems to foster academic and personal success. The Women in Learning and Leadership (WILL) program is designed to develop the analytical abilities and skills of undergraduate women and promote their will to be community leaders. WILL allows students to connect knowledge gained in the classroom with learning experiences in the community by combining course in Women’s Studies (including a special Leadership and Social Change course), co-curricular programming, a student leadership organization, and internship and co-op opportunities in the community. The following are the main goals of the program:
- To encourage critical thinking, intellectual curiosity and active learning opportunities that empower women as leaders during and beyond their college tenure.
- To increase awareness of obstacles created by gender, ethnic and social class stratification, with attention to what those obstacles mean for students living in metropolitan Detroit, and to develop awareness of individual and collective strategies to address these obstacles.
- To promote self-confidence, assertiveness, a realistic sense of efficacy and willingness to lead.
- To provide opportunities for students to explore their career and life choices, and to build a multicultural and co-generational community on campus that supports this learning and exploring.
- To develop ongoing networks of collaboration between community organizations, leaders, and students.