The Value of a Woman's College Education
Although the number of women's colleges
has dwindled in recent years, the value of a single-sex education for women, however, remains strong. Indeed, recent data confirm that the small number of women graduating from women’s colleges constitute a significant percentage of those women who go on to attain
positions of influence in politics, education, journalism, and the arts and sciences.
Reasons for the stellar achievements of women graduating from women’s colleges are varied. Current studies about the woman's college experience, however, point to significant differences in the educational experiences of women who attend single-sex versus co-educational institutions. The Sunflower Initiative believes that women’s colleges provide experiences for young women that are not available within the co-educational setting.
Some of the Most Prominent Women are or have been Products of Women’s Colleges. Consider:
· In politics, education and public life: Hillary Clinton, Madeline Albright, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, Julianna Smoot, Mary McLeod Bethune, Elaine Chao, Benazir Bhutto, Marian Wright Edelman, Drew Gilpin Faust, Barbara Mikulski, Geraldine Ferraro, Jean Kirkpatrick, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem.
· In literature and the arts: Marianne Moore, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Bishop, Pearl Buck, Flannery O’Connor, Gertrude Stein, Wendy Wasserstein, Marsha Norman, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Kiran Desai, Sally Mann, Sofia Coppola, Ruby Dee, Twyla Tharp, Suzanne Vega, Sylvia Plath, Annie Dillard, Lee Smith, Helen Keller, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ursula Le Guin, Nora Ephron, Maxine Kumin, Adrienne Rich, Jacqueline Kennedy, Mary Gordon, and Mary McCarthy.
· In journalism: Lesley Stahl, Barbara Walters, Ann Compton, Molly Ivins, Gwen Ifill, Candy Crowley, Anna Quindlen, Cokie Roberts and Diane Sawyer.
· In math, science, and economics: Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, Rachel Carson, and Alice Rivlin.
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