All female colleges are institutions of higher education that are primarily or exclusively devoted to the academic training of women. They are often small liberal arts colleges with small class sizes and faculty who value student interaction. Many women’s colleges are part of larger networks such as the Five College Consortium, the Claremont Colleges, or Scripps College.
female only colleges offer students an educational experience that is fully equal to the one offered at coeducational schools. They also provide many of the same extracurricular, athletic, and social opportunities that coeducational schools do.
These colleges are also a great place for women to explore their interests and talents, without the distractions of being exposed to a male-dominated environment in which they may not be comfortable. In addition, women’s colleges usually have a strong community of alumnae who can help them make connections beyond graduation.
Alumnae at all-women colleges have been shown to be more likely to advance to leadership roles after graduation than alumnae from coed schools. This is because all-women colleges have an established tradition of supporting their students’ efforts outside the classroom.
The list of graduates from all-women colleges is a long and impressive one. It includes Hillary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro, Katharine Graham, Nancy Pelosi, Madeleine Albright, and Meryl Streep, to name just a few.
While the majority of all-women colleges have closed in recent years due to declining enrollment or financial problems, some still exist and are actively thriving. These are the schools that offer students a truly exceptional education in a setting that focuses on the development of leadership and organizational skills.
They offer an education that is equally rigorous as the best coed colleges, and often have a strong tradition of educating women scholars and professionals. For example, Bryn Mawr has a well-known program in classics and Smith offers a graduate degree in social work.
Their alumni are also a good resource for employers and recruiters who want to find talented leaders who have demonstrated the ability to navigate their careers in a diverse and multi-cultural environment. They can serve as a model for younger generations of women seeking to lead in an increasingly gender-fluid workplace.
Most all-women colleges have a reputation for preparing their students for success, with more than 81% of these graduates saying that their college was extremely or very effective in helping them land their first job. A large percentage of these graduates go on to complete a graduate degree, as well.
These colleges are also an important resource for educating students from underserved and low-income communities, whose economic resources are less than those of their counterparts at more prestigious, coed universities. For instance, many of these colleges have partnerships with local, low-income high schools to help underserved students enroll and thrive at college.
As a result, many women’s colleges have become renowned for their commitment to equity and advocacy for women. Their mission is to educate women by providing them with the tools they need to be independent, strong, and capable members of the global society.