The Co-ed Alternative

These days, a single-sex institution is a hard sell. Students think of college not only as a opportunity to learn, but also a place to have fun. And for most kids that means a co-ed school.

There aren’t very many single-sex schools left, and the vast majority of those are for women, with a small number of colleges in the Northeast, and a few more scattered throughout the rest of the country. They tend to offer high-quality academics, leadership opportunities, and availability for mentorship.

Women’s colleges offer valuable reasons to consider single-sex education. The schools tend to be smaller overall, with smaller class sizes as well. And they offer the students leadership opportunities not available in a co-ed environment; after all, without the competition of men, women are running the school—women presidents, women deans and provosts, women as heads of student government, theater and music clubs, and only women work with professors on publishable research projects.

Most of my female students don’t start out looking at women’s colleges. But during the college search process, they step onto one of the beautiful women-only campuses and begin to see the unique opportunities and potential for their futures. There are pros and cons of every type of school and style of education; single-sex colleges are certainly worth considering, and should not be dismissed without a thought.