Finding the right fit in a college – the college at which you will thrive and reach your academic and personal potential, the college that will best prepare you for success in life – is one of the most important tasks you will undertake. The decisions you make in your college selection process will influence and shape many of the options you will have and the decisions you will make both while you are in college and after you graduate.
Finding the right fit in a college is all about you. It’s about who you are and what matters to you. It’s about your dreams and expectations – of yourself and your college experience, both in and out of the classroom, as well as your life after college – in graduate school, in your career, in your family and in your community.
Why might a women’s college be the right fit for you? Take a look at what matters in college – because what matters in college matters after college. And it matters in the college selection process.
Research shows that students who are actively involved in both academic and out-of-class activities gain more from the college experience than those who are not so involved. Recently conducted research comparing the experience of female students at women’s colleges with those at coeducational colleges and universities found that women at women's colleges are more engaged and more likely to experience high levels of academic challenge, engage in active and collaborative learning to a higher degree, and take part in activities that provide opportunities to integrate curricular and co-curricular experiences than do their counterparts at coeducational institutions. Women at women's colleges tend to thrive studying such subjects as science and math.
Women's colleges offer distinctive options and notably different pedagogies, curricula, and environments that are focused on you – your education, your personal and professional development for the many different roles you will assume in life, and your advancement in the ever-changing global economy.
Why does this matter? A women’s college education:
Proves its value over a lifetime. Graduating from a women’s college, versus a co-ed public or private college or university, significantly increases a woman’s chances of earning a graduate degree. Women’s college graduates succeed in entering a range of career fields and graduate programs, regardless of their undergraduate major. More than 95% of women’s college alumnae believe the financial investment in their education was worthwhile and that the intellectual and personal capacities they gained are extremely important to them.
Enables students to engage with top faculty and resources. Women’s college graduates attribute their success to interaction with “a high quality teaching-oriented faculty.” They report strong benefits from mentoring, small classes and personal interaction with professors. At women’s colleges, all of the resources, from sophisticated research equipment to preeminent athletics facilities to internship and fellowship funding, are focused on and available to women students.
Creates leaders, communicators, and persuaders. Speaking out and speaking up – key components of leadership and civic engagement – are capacities actively developed at women’s colleges. Women’s college alumnae report more in-class experience with making presentations than their peers at other institutions and are more likely to gain leadership experience in student government and campus media.
Develops critical skills for life and career. As studies repeatedly underscore the need for critical thinking, global knowledge, intercultural competence, and real-world abilities, women’s colleges surpass 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.
Two of the top-of-mind questions in the college selection process are: Does the college have the academic discipline I think I want to major in – and is it a good department? When I graduate, will I get a job and/or into graduate school?
The answer to the first question is fairly easy to ascertain by exploring the majors that colleges offer and by talking with professors and students. The answer to the second question, however, is more complex, especially in the ever-changing global economy.
According to a survey of employers conducted on behalf of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, employers expect college graduates to have a diverse skill set, including teamwork, ethical judgment, social responsibility, quantitative reasoning, oral and written communication, self-knowledge, adaptability, critical thinking, self-direction, and global and intercultural knowledge. The survey also found that employers look for evidence of how college graduates apply these skills to complex, real-world challenges and projects that integrate problem-solving, writing, and analytical reasoning skills in such hands-on opportunities as internships, community service projects, study abroad experiences and senior projects.
During the past few years, jobs and the requisite qualifications and career paths have changed. Some jobs that exist today will not exist when you graduate from college. Many of the opportunities you will have throughout your life and career have not yet even been created.
Your education might not end with your bachelor’s degree. Increasingly, master’s degrees and additional credentials and certifications are becoming requisite. Your bachelor’s degree must provide you with a solid foundation – including a portfolio of skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience – on which to build your capacity for the inevitable changes that will occur in whatever paths you take in life and career.
Each women’s college has its own distinctive identity and culture. From the east coast to the west coast, from the Midwest to the south, women’s colleges are in the hearts of cities and deep in the country. Students come from all socioeconomic, ethnic, racial and religious groups, from across the country and around the world. What women’s college have in common is an unequivocal commitment to your education and advancement. Finding the right fit is all about you. Women’s colleges are all about you!
For more information:
The Women's College Coalition
P.O. Box 1952 » Hartford, CT 06144