Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

I have learned that the Hardwick-Day Comparative Alumnae Research Survey, conducted in October, has released important findings about women's colleges.

Most importantly, women educated at single-sex institutions report greater success and accomplishments.

The survey was composed of 2,000 alumnae (Classes of 1970-1997) of single-sex and co-ed public and private colleges and universities.

I attended a local private women's college: Hollins College, now Hollins University. I consider it the best thing I ever did for myself.

Here are 13 great things about women's universities. I took the good news straight from the Hollins website and added my own comments on some:

1. Women’s colleges’ alumnae are more likely than all other groups to say they benefited very much from good academic facilities and equipment. I love the campus at Hollins. It has old buildings and while they needed upgrading a bit (for ADA compliance, mostly, which I think has since happened), I found them welcoming.

2. Women’s colleges’ alumnae are more likely than all other alumnae to say they benefited very much from a high quality, teaching-oriented faculty. I loved my professors at Hollins. Many were published writers. All were professional and interested in their students.

3. Women’s colleges’ alumnae are more likely than all other alumnae to say their experience often included student presentations in class. I remember a lot of reading things aloud, class discussions, and great activity. Is that what they're talking about?

4. Women’s colleges’ alumnae are more likely than all other alumnae to say their experience often included classes that include the perspectives of women and minorities. Of course being in a women's college it include women's perspectives. At least I hope it did. Minorities maybe not so much. I remember a lot of white girls only in most of my classes.

5. Women’s colleges’ alumnae are more likely than all other graduates to say they benefited very much from an emphasis on personal values and ethics. I learned to be my own person at Hollins. I learned that I have value. It was the greatest lesson I could have learned.

6. Women’s colleges’ alumnae were more likely than all other graduates to be involved in campus publications or student government. At Hollins I wrote for the student newspaper even though I wasn't on campus much. I was a married adult student and I think the fact that someone like that was able to be involved speaks volumes.

7. Women’s colleges’ alumnae were more likely than any other group to complete a graduate degree. I have worked toward my graduate degree but haven't completed it. I do have more education than anyone in my family, though.

8. Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students to develop the ability to learn new skills. Because Hollins was *such* an ego boost for me, I would have to say this is true. It gave me the courage to try art, among other things.

9. Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than other liberal arts colleges and the public universities for helping students have a sense of purpose in life. I think this was true of Hollins as well. Again, it fostered such a strong sense of self for me. It made me a much better person.

10. Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness than all other colleges and universities for helping students develop self-confidence and initiative. See above on all the wonderful self-esteem issues that Hollins helped me with.

11. Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students learn to write and speak effectively. Hollins most definitely helped with this.

12. Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than other liberal arts colleges and the public universities for helping students develop moral principles that can guide actions. Hollins had an honor code in place long before many other places did. I thought it was a good thing.

13. Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students learn to relate to people of different backgrounds.

There is more beyond 13 -

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than other private colleges and public universities for helping students learn to think analytically.

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students learn to work as part of a team.

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students to be prepared for their first job and for career change or advancement.

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students learn to be a leader and have a leadership role with their college or university.

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students learn to appreciate the fine arts.

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students learn to be politically or socially aware.

Women’s colleges receive higher effectiveness ratings than all other colleges and universities for helping students to place problems in social and historical perspective.

Women’s colleges’ alumnae are more likely than all other graduates to believe it is extremely important to have the authority to make decisions.

To view the complete survey results, visit the Women’s College Coalition website, www.womenscolleges.org.

3 comments:

  1. I went to Roanoke College as an adult student. Even with it being co-ed I think similar statements could be made about it. Do you think the rationale is more of one of smaller colleges? Or definitely single sex education? Just curious on your opinion.

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  2. Jen - Good question. It could be the small college thing, for sure. The only thing I can say for certain is that when I had classes that had male graduate students in them, they ended up taking over the class, usually. I saw that as a gender thing, definitely. But I think the small nature of the campus certainly helped with many of the things mentioned above as well as the gender separation.

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  3. One of my dearest friends attended Hollins back in the 70s. She loved it. Since moving to Floyd, I finally got to see the campus. I could see why she liked it.

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