Wondering Why You Should Attend A Women's College?*Source: Women's College Coalition Web site
Consider these findings from the 2008 Hardwick-Day Research Survey:
A women's college education...
...creates leaders, communicators, and persuaders. Speaking out and speaking up - key components of leadership and civic engagement - are capacities actively developed at women's colleges. Women's college alumnae report more in-class experience with making presentations than their peers at other institutions and are more likely to gain leadership experience in student government and campus media.
...develops critical skills for life and career. As studies repeatedly underscore the need for critical thinking, global knowledge, intercultural competence, and real-world abilities, women's colleges surpass all public and private colleges in helping students learn to think analytically, bring social and historical perspective to issues, work as part of a team, write and speak effectively, make sound decisions, gain entry to a career, prepare for career change or advancement, and be politically and socially aware.
...enables students to engage with top faculty and resources. Women's college graduates attribute their success to interaction with "a high quality teaching-oriented faculty." They report strong benefits from mentoring, small classes and personal interaction with professors. At women's colleges, all of the resources, from sophisticated research equipement to preeminent athletics facilities to internship and fellowship funding, are focused on and available to women students.
...proves its value over a lifetime. Graduating from a women's college, versus a co-ed public or private college or university, significantly increases a woman's chances of earning a graduate degree. Women's college graduates succeed in entering a range of career fields and graduate programs, regardless of their undergraduate major. More than 95 percent of women's college alumnae believe the financial investment in their education was worthwhile and that the intellectual and personal capacities they gained are still extremely important to them.
What The Findings Mean...
Studies have found that, by attending women's colleges, women:
- Participate more fully in and out of class.
- Are more successful in careers; that is, they tend to hold higher positions, are happier, and earn more money.
- Seniors at women's colleges are more likely to engage in higher order thinking activities than seniors at coeducational institutions.
- Have a higher percentage of majors in economics, math and life science today than men at coeducational colleges.
- Have more opportunities to hold leadership positions and are able to observe women functioning in top jobs (90% of the presidents and 55% of the faculty are women).
- Report greater satisfaction than their coed counterparts with their college experience in almost all measures - academically, developmentally, and personally.
- Continue toward doctorates in math, science and engineering in disproportionately large numbers.
- Are three times more likely to earn a baccalaureate degree in economics and one and one-half times more likely to earn baccalaureates degrees in life sciences, physical sciences and mathematics than at a coeducational institution.
- Develop measurably higher levels of self-esteem than other achieving women in coeducational institutions. After two years in coeducational institutions, women have been shown to have lower levels of self-esteem than when they entered college.
- Score higher on standardized achievement tests.
- Tend to choose traditionally male disciplines, like the sciences, as their academic majors, in greater numbers.
- Both first-year students and seniors at women's colleges reported that their campus environment encouraged and supported diverse interactions and an understanding of diversity to a greater degree than women at coeducational schools.
- Are more likely to graduate.
- Indicate greater gains in understanding themselves and others, general education, ability to analyze quantitative problems, and desire to contribute to the welfare of their community.
- Tend to be more involved in philanthropic activities after college.
- In 2008, 19 women's colleges were named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll - Judson College was one of these.
- In the 2008 election, a record number of women won seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives of the 111th Congress. Of the 100 seats, 17 are held by women and two of those were graduates of women's colleges.
- Four women on President Barrack Obama's new administration were women's college graduates - Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Rodam Clinton, Desiree Rogers, and Mona Sutphen.
- OF BUSINESS WEEK'S list of the 50 women who are rising stars in corporate America, 15, or 30%, received their baccalaureate degree from a women's college.
- Of the 4,012 highest paid officers and directors of 1990 Fortune 1000 companies, 19, or less than one-half of 1%, were women. Of these women, 36% are women's college graduates.
- In a 1997 magazine survey, 20% of the 100 most powerful women in Washington, D.C., attended women's colleges.
- Graduates of women's colleges are more than twice as likely as graduates of coeducational colleges to receive doctorate degrees, and to enter medical school and receive doctorates in the natural sciences.
- 20% of women identified by Black Enterprise Magazine, as the 20 most powerful African-American women in corporate America, graduated from women's colleges.
- Almost half of the graduates in the work force hold traditionally male-dominated jobs at the higher end of the pay scale such as lawyer, physician or manager.
- 9 out of 10 women's college alumnae have participated in at least one civic or professional organization since college.
Did You Know...?
According to the 2009 U.S. News & World Report / Princeton Review of "The Best Colleges For You," women's colleges make up:
- 30% of the top 20 Best Value Colleges
- 50% of the top10 Colleges with Dorms Like Palaces
- 10% of the top 20 Colleges with the Greatest Food
- 50% of the top 10 voted for Most Beautiful Campuses
- 30% of the top 10 Schools with the Best Classroom Experience
And The World Said...
- Quotes about women's college education
"MY research findings, based on the national data, suggest that women's colleges are better than coeducational institutions in promoting women's intellectual and social self-confidence, academic ability and cultural awareness." - Assistant Professor Mikyong Minsun Kim, U. of Missouri-Columbia
"INTELLECTUAL support seems to prevail in the classrooms of all-women's colleges. As a result, women at these schools are more likely to take risks, to put themselves forward verbally, to assume leadership roles, both while in college and after graduation." - Reported by The Oregonian
"...STUDIES show that women in all-female environments participate more in class, take on more leadership roles, and are more likely to succeed in traditionally 'male' fields."
- Reported by Cosmo Girl magazine
"STUDENTS at all-girls schools far out-paced their coed counterparts in science and reading and were at least equal in academic achievement in other subjects. They also had stronger self-esteem, took more math classes, and set higher educational goals for themselves. In addition, they were less likely to hold stereotyped views of specific careers as 'a man's job' or 'a woman's job.'" - Study by Lee and Bryk, University of Michigan
* For more information about the value of single-sex education for women visit the Women's College Coalition Website.