graphic for Immediate Help Resources which links to the Resource Directory page

News & Events

Department Image

About Us

Front view of Boucke Building Open the Center for Women Students brochure


Contact Us


Center History

Vision Statement

Mission Statement

Overarching Goals

Our Services

Calendar of Events

Center History

The genesis of the Center for Women Students, which provides a central focus for meeting the needs of women students, began with a recommendation from the Commission for Women in 1983. With President Bryce Jordan's support, as well as others, they identified important University-wide needs for the Center. The center, founded in 1985, works to build a supportive environment for women in the University's classrooms, other campus locations, research centers and in the community.

back to top

Vision Statement

The Center for Women Students was conceptualized and is designed to provide a central focus for meeting the needs of women students. Although it is clear that all units within the University have a responsibility to address these needs, the Center for Women Students provides a point of entry where women students' concerns can be handled directly or referred to appropriate units within the University or local community.

back to top

Mission Statement

The Center for Women Students has six primary objectives in meeting the needs of women students:


To advocate for women students and to bring to the attention of the University, the problems and issues of women students, including sexual harassment, treatment in the classroom, institutionalized sexism, sex-based discrimination, violence against women and other conditions which impede women students' personal and academic development.


To provide to the University, and to individual students, information about women's issues, to publicize widely all programs and services for women, and to make available current written materials about women.

Educational Programming

To offer programs for and about women, and women's issues or coordinate the offering of such programs by other groups on topics such as classroom/campus climate, sexual harassment, violence against women, women of color issues, lesbian/bisexual women's civil rights, and other relevant topics.

Services and Referrals

To provide services to assist students who seek help at the Center for Women Students or refer them to appropriate helping agencies. CWS is a place where women students can go to seek support and assistance from the CWS staff and from other women.

Coordination with Existing Groups

To work closely, cooperatively, and extensively with other units and groups concerned with women, including:

Liaison with Campuses

To serve as a resource for Penn State's other campuses on matters concerning women students.

back to top

Overarching Goals

The commitment to inclusion is a key component in all CWS Programs and services. The Center, in both philosophy and program implementation, is committed to be a multiracial unit serving all women students. Accordingly, this unit concerns itself with the issues of women doubly or multiply discriminated against on the basis of race or ethnicity, as well as by virtue of sexual orientation, disability or age.

Additionally, although the programs and services of the Center for Women Students are designed primarily for women students, such offerings are available to all students at the University. Men students, interested in and concerned about the problems and issues of women students are encouraged to participate in the Center's activities. Other members of the University and local community are also welcome to attend all educational programs of the Center for Women Students.

back to top

204 Boucke Building | 814.863.2027 | Contact the Center for Women Students