GVSU offers new LGBTQ minor
Starting this year, Grand Valley State University joins the University of Michigan as the only two universities in the state to offer a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer studies.
Danielle DeMuth, professor of women and gender studies at GVSU, was one of the key members of the faculty team that brought the minor to the university.
“The integrative and dynamic curriculum is designed to build leadership, activist and professional skills through theory and civic engagement,” DeMuth said.
Before establishing the minor, DeMuth and her team looked for feedback from local employers. They found that businesses all over the state were intrigued by the idea of hiring students with a background in LGBTQ studies.
“Employers want to hire graduates who are prepared to work with diverse populations and be leaders for their organizations in these areas,” DeMuth said. “Our students will be able to apply their education in many careers, including but not limited to counseling, education and higher education, business, social work, nonprofit work, government, social services, law, human resources, government and health professions.”
DeMuth also took student insight into account when deciding whether to establish the minor. After surveying 402 students who were enrolled in courses with an emphasis on gender and sexuality, her team found that about 42 percent had a “very strong” or “strong” interest in the minor, and 31 percent said that they “definitely” or “probably” would pursue the minor.
DeMuth said the program also received much support from students who visited the LGBT Resource Center.