Why a Women’s College?
Since 1838, Judson College has been a remarkable place for young women. In a time when women could not vote, own property, or gain custody of their own children, a group of visionaries in Marion, Alabama began making plans to build a school for women that would offer an education comparable to that received by men at Harvard and Yale. Judson’s founders understood that educating women would not only improve the lives of their students, but would also strengthen families, communities, churches, and society as a whole.
Because women have now achieved greater equality in our society, many people are surprised to learn that research demonstrates that women and men still experience college differently. For example, young women are more likely to underestimate their academic ability, more likely to grow through honest dialogue with professors, and more likely to benefit from moving away from home for college than are young men.
Because of these and other differences, we believe that it is important to offer opportunities for young women to learn in a single-gender setting. Young women educated in this environment participate more fully in college life inside and outside of class, believe their college experience to be worth the financial investment, indicate a higher level of overall satisfaction with college, and are more likely to graduate than their counterparts at coeducational schools. We are proud that, at Judson, every question in every class is asked or answered by a young woman, every leadership position is held by a young woman, and every institutional resource is used to help young women succeed.
The benefits of single-sex education continue after the college experience as women’s college graduates hold higher positions, earn more money, and report being happier in their careers than their peers. These women attribute their success largely to mentoring, small classes, and personal interaction with professors during their college years. In addition to personal mentoring by faculty and staff members who are interested in their best interests, Judson students benefit from an average student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. Judson students rank their level of student-faculty interaction more favorably than other students, not only at other four-year private colleges and universities, but also at other women’s colleges.
Judson students ranked the overall support offered to them by their college; the quality of their relationships with professors, staff members, and other students; and their ability to thrive on their campus more favorably than students at 90% of participating institutions in a recent National Survey of Student Engagement. Women’s college students report feeling more self-confident as a result of their college experience, while young women at coeducational schools actually report lower levels of self-esteem after their sophomore year than they had when they started college. Research also shows that women’s college graduates are more adept at thinking critically, making sound decisions, and understanding the social, historical, and political context of a situation than female graduates of coeducational universities. Judson’s traditional student leadership program, coupled with multiple service and leadership opportunities offered through our nationally-recognized Faith-Based Service and Learning program, ensure that our students have experience evaluating problems, building consensus, and creating solutions to problems. These experiences empower Judson graduates to effect positive change wherever life takes them, just as Judson’s founders believed they would 175 years ago.