Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In higher education, particularly in the United States, a women's college is a college (that is, a primarily undergraduate, bachelor's degree-granting institution) whose students are exclusively women. The Seven Sisters are among the best-known women's colleges, but some are now coeducational. Some women's colleges admit small numbers of male students in their graduate schools, but all serve exclusively female undergraduate populations.
Women's colleges filled the need for higher education for women, because most early colleges in the United States admitted only men. (The first coeducational college was Oberlin College, founded in 1833; by 1860, only five colleges or universities were coeducational.) Among the first all-women's colleges in the United States were the Oread Institute, founded in 1849, which closed in 1881, and Wesleyan College in Georgia, founded (as the "Georgia Female College") in 1836.
- Lynn D. Gordon. "Women's Colleges." In Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History. Ed. Wilma Mankiller et al.. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.
- Irene Harwarth, Mindi Maline, Elizabeth DeBra. "Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges: Executive Summary." U.S. Department of Education National Institute on Postsecondary Education, Libraries, and Lifelong Learning.
- Rosalind Rosenberg. "The Limits of Access: The History Of Coeducation in America." In Women and Higher Education: Essays from the Mount Holyoke College Sesquicentennial Symposia. Ed. John Mack Faragher and Florence Howe. New York: Norton, 1988.
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