Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Best Kept College Secret: Women’s Colleges

By Diane Propsner

Shhhhhhh, can you keep a secret?

Okay then, I’ll let you in on the best kept secret most college bound young women don’t know.

Graduates of women's colleges achieve higher rates of success than their female counterparts at coeducational institutions.

And while I’m not saying a women’s college is for every young woman, keep this in mind, the same studies that identified the higher achievement rates of alumna of women’s colleges, also identified that after two years in a coed college, women have been shown to have lower levels of self-esteem than when they first entered college.


The reason a women’s college is so powerful is that it provides an environment that is empowering to young women. If you watched Hillary Clinton’s video you heard her say, “. . . this is an opportunity for the women to run everything. You run the newspaper. You run the student government. You speak out in class . . . so I really cherished the experience that I had.”

When a young woman attends a coed college this environment is not offered (simply because both men and women are involved) and therefore is impossible to experience this same empowering environment. Only same-gender environments offer this possibility.

And this is what an empowering environment is all about.

Women’s colleges provide an empowering environment where small “wins” are experienced over a period of four years. The subconscious mind of a young woman does not realize that the deck is stacked in favor of women (simply because there are no men around); it only sees that women are successful and that she is in a caring and nurturing environment and this is the message that is driven home! And soon the young women becomes more involved and engaged in activities -- in the classroom, in college clubs, in sports, in the student government, and maybe even the college newspaper -- while the subconscious mind is reinforced with experiences of success and empowerment.

This is the power of a women’s college; this incredible environment that empowers young women. And if you like feel free to ask any Developmental Psychologist for they will reinforce the power and importance of a nurturing, supportive, and empowering environment. It’s an environment that positions young women to thrive.

Here’s how one of my classmates, Liz Verhey Neale feels about a women’s college:

"I believe my alma mater, a women’s college offered a unique educational experience in a beautiful setting. It had small classes where each student must be prepared and must participate in her education to succeed. The single sex environment made it safe for students to take chances and to participate in college life in ways she wouldn't be able to if those positions were filled with male students. Here students were not competing against one another for attention from male students, which creates a unique friendship arena. This is why alumnae love women based colleges with such passion."

Today Liz is co-owner of a gymnastics school in NH, Off the Wall Gymnastics. Please understand that her love for gymnastics was encouraged and fostered during her college years. If you would like to learn more about Off the Wall Gymnastics, click here.

So there you have it, the best kept college secret of college bound women.

And here’s the reason I say it's a secret. Consider this, only 2% of college bound women research all-female college institutions.

As a women’s college advocate, I’m committed to bringing more awareness around the advantages of a women’s college because I believe ever young women deserves the opportunity to have a choice in her education. If the opportunity is not know, the choice is not available.

Please help me by sharing this secret with your college bound girlfriends. Heck share it with everyone! Your family, your teachers, your neighbors, your friends . . . everyone!

Together we can bring more awareness to this important topic and encourage more college bound young women also to include women’s colleges in their mix when researching colleges to attend.

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