Women in College

Women in College

Week 4: Assignment

Ashford University

EDU 657: History & Philosophy of American Higher Education

Women in College

Women being allowed in higher educational facilities was not always commonplace or readily accepted. The movement toward reform really began in 1920 and continued well on through 1945. The brave and forward-thinking actions of the women of the time created an imprint that has lasted and influenced the 21st century higher education experience for women in a positive light.

The desegregation of higher education was a debate that lasted over a century. (Gordon, 1997) Women’s desire to take part in the higher educational experience was one that caused an immense stir and elicited no small amount of fear in a male dominated world. Conservative representatives claimed outright that to allow women in their colleges, to allow them to enter that realm, would abolish and destroy the role that women had as homemakers, wives, mothers, and staying in their place – at home. Those that subscribed to a more Liberal mindset, claimed that allowing women in college would not take away from their abilities to care for their houses, families, and husbands; but, rather, allow them to excel at those jobs with newfound confidence. This was an important discussion because women were living in a time where they received a primary education and occasionally, a secondary education; with higher education being the final separation between men and women. (Parker, 2015)

During World War II, collegiate institutions in the United States saw a decline in male enrollment and faculty. This created a vacuum that needed to be filled. With so many of the male population involved directly with the war, women were finally allowed to enter the world of higher education that was previously occupied by men alone and even begin to take on positions at their respective colleges as staff. In being allowed these opportunities, women were able to show the world that they were capable and efficient in their new roles and that they not only “managed” but were able to excel.

The struggles that women dealt with in these times helped paved the way for the modern woman of today. Their fight for not only the right to attend higher education institutions but, be allowed to hold places there as members of the staff and in many cases “Deans of Women” (later changed to “Dean of Students”) was one that is still very much relevant today. The woman that lived during 1920-1945 was a woman that knew her value and knew that she would fight for equality. Over the years, this trend has continued, and women have pushed and pushed for greater gains concerning higher education.

The modern woman looks at college not as a privilege, but a right. Women are not expected to stay home all day with the children and take care of the house with no other ambitions. They are now expected to go to school and get at minimum, a four-year college degree. We live in a world that demands its’ people be educated and able to fend for themselves. Add to that, the high cost of living and constantly rising debt, most households need both partners to work to stay afloat. These all are motivating factors for women to continue education beyond high school. The 21st century woman demands that she be taken as seriously as her male counterparts and with that level of expectation, she is also demanded to be just as educated, just as driven and motivated.

Women’s only colleges and men’s only colleges still exist, but many people want to have the experience of being involved with a campus that has both men and women, also; state schools are primarily coeducational and cater to all genders, races, and orientations. The modern woman does not want to be excluded from life and what can be gained from experiencing it. In choosing to go to college, people consider the cost and reputations of the school they will be attending. They consider if going into debt is going to be worth the risk. Also, to not be in college now is generally frowned upon and employers, at face-value will not take a seemingly underqualified candidate over a candidate that has that background and degree under their belt. It is a far cry from how women approached school in the 1920’s, but it is based on the foundations that were placed down during that time that women have the right to pick and choose what best suits them and are not pigeon-holed into a handful of majors that would be deemed “appropriate for women.”

Potential employers know that with women that have attended a coeducational school, they will have been exposed to a variety of people and challenges. When considering a woman that attended an all-women’s institution, they will know that this is an educated individual, but may wonder how she would react to dealing with men in the workplace. I could easily see a woman that is applying for work in a special project and relations job being considered first perhaps, certainly in cases of social work that needs specialists with women that are survivors of domestic violence. Not because a woman that was in a coeducational school is less qualified, but perhaps it would make the women she helps feel more at ease. Overall, coeducation and all-women’s schools should not have much bearing on if a person can or cannot do a job and do it well and if I were a potential employer, it would not effect the choices I make concerning who I choose to hire.

Place an Order

Plagiarism Free!

Scroll to Top