From EducationDIVE: Sweet Briar closure not a sign of single-sex higher ed’s demise
Women’s college supporters point to tough market, not female-only model
By Tara García Mathewson
The number of women’s colleges in the United States has been shrinking for decades. Fifty years ago, there were 230 all-female colleges. Now there are fewer than 50. But Marilyn Hammond, interim president of the Women’s College Coalition, wouldn’t say women’s colleges are “struggling to survive” any more than their co-ed peers.
Colleges close every year, Hammond said. “Sometimes it’s a co-ed college, sometimes it’s a women’s college.”
Sweet Briar College, an all girls school in Virginia, is the latest to announce its closure and make headlines, many of which are questioning the very foundation of single-sex education. There doesn’t seem to be any data about the death rate of certain types of higher education institutions, and most colleges to close in recent years have not been single-sex, but plenty of people will argue, anecdotally, that Sweet Briar’s closure is proof women’s colleges are becoming irrelevant.
Top Image Credit: Flickr user: Boston Public Library