By Christine Hand
Although women's college graduates account for a mere 4 percent of college-educated women, they have made impressive contributions to all facets of society. So what would a woman gain by attending a women's college?
- Women are more likely to perceive their colleges as caring about them and their learning
- Promotes a woman's intellectual and social self-confidence, academic ability and cultural awareness
- Women participate more fully in and out of class and engage in higher order thinking activities
- Students are likely to trust institutions missions and exhibit leadership traits such as public speaking skills and promote racial understanding
- Overall satisfaction academically, developmentally, and personally
- Students often have higher academic and professional aspirations
- These institutions employ many women faculty members who are high quality teaching-oriented individuals
- Students score higher on standardized achievement tests
- Women tend to receive more doctoral degrees and enter medical school
- An increase is salaries along with opportunities for women alumnae to develop leadership and management skills, and lifelong career advancement
- Higher percentage of majors in economics, math, life science and engineering
- There are strong benefits from mentoring, small classes and personal interaction with professors
- Resources are set aside for sophisticated research equipment to preeminent athletics facilities to internship and fellowship funding, all focused on and available to women students
- Women's colleges 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
- 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
- Some statistics about women who graduated from women's colleges:
- 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 Rodham 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 women's college 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.
About The Author: Christine M. Hand, Ed.D, has spent the last 20 years as a consultant, instructor, high school college counselor, and registered therapist. Her work with high school juniors and seniors focuses on career exploration and college counseling. Dr. Hand is a graduate of St. Lawrence University where she received a B.A. in Art Education and Economics. She earned a Masters in Counseling Education from the University of Bridgeport, and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University. She is an instructor for UCLA's online College Counseling Certificate Program and provides college search and admissions advice on her website, http://www.college-path.com.
Article Source: The Advantages of Women's Colleges