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Women’s College Coalition

Magazine

VANCOUVER NATURAL BEAUTY, URBAN COMFORTS ★


LEADING THE CHARGE ★

Female students find success with a personal approach to education. By Laura Burkehart

Clockwise from above: Cottey College graduates, Hollins University campus, and Mary Baldwin student

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF WOMEN’S COLLEGE COALITION

PO Box 3983 Decatur, GA 404.234.8715 womenscolleges.org

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n 1972, the presidents of several women’s colleges joined forces to address education in a rapidly changing world. Social and economic changes brought on by the women’s and Civil Rights Movements and Title IX led many colleges to become coed. Today, while women make up 57 percent of undergraduates in the U.S., only five percent attend women’s colleges. Despite these numbers, alumnae of women’s institutions report higher rates of satisfaction with their educational experience than those who attended coed colleges and universities. Students at women’s colleges are more involved in campus activities and benefit from an academic environment tailored to their more collaborative teaching and learning styles. A personal touch sets the 43 colleges and universities of the Women’s College Coalition

apart. Student-centered education and smaller class sizes, compared to many coed institutions, allow women to thrive academically. More oneon-one attention from faculty offers greater opportunity for collaboration between students and professors on research, and encourages lively classroom discussions. Leadership is more than a buzzword on these campuses. A major focus for the currently enrolled and alumnae alike, building leadership skills is both an educational goal and a personal one for faculty and students. The colleges in the coalition promote women’s issues and interests, and turn out strong leaders across all disciplines. Whether in the classroom, in athletics, or in the workplace, these graduates are consistently at the forefront of their fields. The Coalition is dedicated to transforming the world through the education and success of girls and women by research-sharing, admissions advocacy, and providing opportunities for collaboration between member colleges, and it puts this mission into action in a variety of ways. Coalition institutions identify issues of importance to women’s colleges and conduct research together, sharing the findings among member institutions, and collaborate on special projects. One upcoming example is the Women, Leadership, and Sustainability Conference, a joint effort between the Women’s College Coalition, Women’s Education Worldwide, and two U.S. women’s colleges. In September, the conference will welcome women’s colleges representatives from around the world to promote women’s leadership in issues such as food security and sustainability, and explore ways to enhance the effectiveness of women’s colleges as agents of change. The WCC promotes its schools through its website and encourages college-bound women


to consider its colleges and universities as they begin to apply. Many of these colleges may not have the name recognition of large institutions, and the Coalition works to raise awareness of the benefits of attending a women’s college. The Coalition also hosts events so the presidents, administration, staff, and other stakeholders can have candid conversations about issues important to the schools and students, and to discuss the impact of higher education today. There are also economic advantages to consider. Women’s colleges offer a supportive environment for those undertaking the financial commitment of a college education. Nearly all first-year, full-time students receive financial aid, and almost half are eligible for Pell Grants. They are also more likely to finish college in four years or less compared to their coed counterparts, so they accrue less college debt. Though all the schools in the WCC offer advantages particular to a women’s institution, each shines in a special way. Explore these ar-

Alumnae of women’s colleges report higher rates of satisfaction with their educational experience than those who attended coed institutions. ticles on some Women’s College Coalition members to learn what makes them unique.

Members of the Women’s College Coalition For more information about women’s colleges, visit womenscolleges.org. Agnes Scott College Decatur, GA (see p. 180)

College of Saint Mary Omaha, NE (see p. 199)

Alverno College Milwaukee, WI

Colorado Women’s College of the University of Denver Denver, CO

Barnard College New York, NY Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA Brenau University Gainesville, GA (see p. 182) Brescia University College London, ON (see p. 194) Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA Carlow University Pittsburgh, PA (see p. 195) Cedar Crest College Allentown, PA College of New Rochelle New Rochelle, NY College of Saint Benedict St. Joseph, MN (see p. 196) College of Saint Elizabeth Morristown, NJ (see p. 197)

Columbia College Columbia, SC (see p. 198)

Mills College Oakland, CA

Smith College Northampton, MA

Moore College of Art and Design Philadelphia, PA

Spelman College Atlanta, GA

Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA

Converse College Spartanburg, SC

Mount St. Mary’s College Los Angeles, CA (see p. 201)

Cottey College Nevada, MO (see p. 184)

Notre Dame of Maryland University Baltimore, MD

Douglass Residential College of Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ (see p. 200)

Russell Sage College of the Sage Colleges Troy, NY (see p. 202)

Hollins University Roanoke, VA (see p. 186) Judson College Marion, AL Mary Baldwin College Staunton, VA (see p. 188) Meredith College Raleigh, NC (see p. 190) Midway College Midway, KY

St. Catherine University St. Paul, MN

Stephens College Columbia, MO Sweet Briar College Sweet Briar, VA (see p. 203) Trinity Washington University Washington, DC University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT Wellesley College Wellesley, MA Wesleyan College Macon, GA (see p. 204)

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College Saint Mary of the Woods, IN Saint Mary’s College Notre Dame, IN Salem College Winston-Salem, NC (see p. 192) Scripps College Claremont, CA Simmons College Boston, MA

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SCALING NEW HEIGHTS ★

Agnes Scott College launches Summit — an initiative to help students soar. By Nancy Oakley

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141 E. College Ave. Decatur, GA 404.471.6000 or 800.868.8602 agnesscott.edu

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Today, Agnes Scott’s mission is to educate the next generation of confident female leaders. Enter Summit: the progressive, four-year program focused on global learning and leadership development. Beginning in the fall of 2015, every student, regardless of major will participate in Summit, defined by President Elizabeth Kiss as “a strategic initiative to transform the college into a center for leadership in a global society in the context of a strong liberal arts education.” Women will encounter issues both in the classroom and around the world, beginning with a global study tour their first year. Leadership labs and interactions with influential figures from all social sectors will bolster leadership skills. And a unique, four-member advising team will support each student with academic and peer advising and a career mentor.

PHOTOS BY JERRY MUCKLOW

Agnes Scott College

t first glance, Agnes Scott College appears to be the stereotypical academic oasis: Perched in the heart of downtown Decatur, Georgia, its red-brick Collegiate Gothic buildings have a stately ambience that has attracted many a television and film crew. But looks can be deceiving. Step inside the halls of this 125-year-old liberal arts institution, and you’ll find an intellectual fervor beyond measure and a commitment to global learning and leadership development. Agnes Scott began as a female Presbyterian school in 1889. The college was named in honor of founder and benefactor George Washington Scott’s mother, Agnes. A Scots-Irish immigrant known for her independence and intellectual curiosity, Agnes was the inspiration for the school’s original mission of educating women, and in turn, families.


Summit’s multi-pronged approach to education is tailored to a student’s academic aspirations: As a student pursues a field, she’ll apply her interests within the framework of leadership and a global perspective. And she gets to decide the proportions of each. For example, if a student decides to study studio art, she would have both a professor and a professional as advisors — say, a practicing artist or a gallery owner. She might study abroad in Paris, thereby fulfilling her global commitment. Perhaps she’ll intern at the Museum of Modern Art (as some students have), or learn about arts management, or open her own gallery. Others will have the opportunity to gain experience at global enterprises like Coca-Cola, Turner Broadcasting, or the Centers for Disease Control — just a MARTA stop away in downtown Atlanta. Agnes Scott understands that everyone has a different leadership style. While some are the take-charge types, others prefer to exert quiet influence from within the ranks. Whatever discipline an Agnes Scott woman chooses to study and whatever direction she takes it, she will join the ranks of other great alumnae: Jean H. Toal ’65, Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court; Jessica Daves Parker 1914, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine

Agnes Scott College: Committed to global learning and leadership development. from 1952–1962; Katherine L. Krill ’77, CEO of Ann Taylor; and Jennifer Nettles ’97, lead singer of the band Sugarland. Agnes Scott is consistently ranked highly by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report, and for good reason. Some 48 percent of students study abroad, 92 percent of those who apply to graduate schools are accepted, 62 percent participate in internships, and 53 percent receive at least one job offer at graduation. Such figures can only supplement the reality of Agnes Scott — a place where young women are encouraged to find their own voice and think globally. Summit assures that no matter what direction a student takes after graduation, more mountaintop experiences await.

Top left: the original gateway arch. Clockwise from far right: annual writers’ festival; the college offers additional support in math and science; and seniors ring the bell as a campus tradition

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DREAMING AND DOING ★

Brenau University continues its 135-year legacy of educating women leaders. By Ivy Lamb

B Clockwise from left: a view of campus, student athletes, a ceramics class, undergraduate research, and learning technical skills

renau University was built on the belief that every woman should be able to reach her potential. The 135-year-old institution started as a women’s college in 1878, and today it encourages students to become independent thinkers, leaders, and philanthropists. Located in Gainesville, Georgia, Brenau University offers coed programs online and at its regional campuses, but the Women’s College remains a cornerstone of the institution. At Brenau, young women engage in hands-on learning, athletics, Greek life, and community service on a campus that cultivates an atmosphere of sisterhood and support. An Experiential Education Brenau’s small class sizes and dedicated faculty members help women feel comfortable speak-

ing up in the classroom while they explore challenging topics. Standout programs include health sciences, which offers undergraduate degrees such as nursing and psychology, and prepares students for the professional world. The performing and visual arts programs are enriched by partnerships with institutions like the prestigious High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Brenau recognizes that learning happens outside the classroom, too. The Women’s College strongly encourages internships, and many majors go so far as to require students to complete one in their prospective field. Meanwhile, the study abroad program gives students a chance to experience other cultures and place their studies in a global context. Study abroad opportunities include a semester at Cambridge University, community service projects in Guatemala, and scientific research in the Yucatan.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRENAU UNIVERSITY

Learning to Lead In a world where women remain underrepresented in business and government, Brenau offers students the opportunity to hone their leadership skills in conjunction with academic pursuits. The college has a Women’s Leadership Certificate Program and the Vanguard Leadership Scholars Program, both of which were conceived and implemented by a group of students. Participants reside in on-campus “living and learning” communities, where they take part in community service, and discuss topics ranging from financial planning and orga-


nization to self-esteem and time management. “I’m amazed at how quickly the students learn to tackle hard problems,” says alumna Lee Anne White, who graduated in 1982, but has stayed involved with the school and mentors students in leadership workshops. “One student I was working with said to me once in a meeting, ‘Don’t tell me what to do, but tell me how you would think through a problem like this.’ She wanted to learn how to think, and that’s exciting to me as an advisor and an alum.” Building Community In addition to building critical thinking and leadership skills, Brenau women also gain a lifelong community of friends. A strong athletics program and active sororities give students ways to get involved on campus, and after graduation they join a network of more than 24,300

At Brenau University, we’re about doing things and not just dreaming about them. — Dr. Debra Dobkins, Professor of English and Dean of the Women’s College

alumni, 9,470 of whom are Women’s College graduates. Students also learn to give back and volunteer their time through sororities and the school’s Servant Leader program. “At Brenau, we’re about doing things and not just dreaming about them,” says Dr. Debra Dobkins, professor of English and dean of the Women’s College. “In my experience, there’s nothing more powerful than when a group of women comes together over a common purpose.”

500 Washington St. Gainesville, GA 770.534.6299 brenau.edu

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COTTEY: WOMEN GOING PLACES

From first-class dining to trips to Europe, everything here is designed to help women succeed. By Ivy Lamb

A From bottom left: students in a laboratory; learning occurs all over campus; and students come from all over the country and the world to attend Cottey College

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graduates successfully accomplish their aspirations. “What we want is for a woman to be competent in her major so that she can compete with anyone,” says president Judy Rogers. “But we also want her to study the opportunities and challenges for women leaders in her field. Our goal at Cottey College is to help women find their voice and take a seat at the table.” The school also encourages women’s leadership through its leadership certification program, a for-credit leadership course, internships, travel, and a lecture series that brings prominent women speakers to campus. International travel has long been a vital part of the Cottey experience. In 2000, the college started sending the entire sophomore class to study in a European city during spring break each year.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF COTTEY COLLEGE

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t Cottey College, 100 percent of the resources are dedicated to educating women to become confident, prepared leaders in a global society. Located in Nevada, Missouri, the liberal arts college has been at the forefront of women’s education since it was founded by Virginia Alice Cottey in 1884. Today, the school continues to adapt, regularly instituting new programs designed to help women succeed as learners, leaders, and citizens. Cottey College offers both bachelor’s and associate degrees to prepare students for their careers or graduate work. These interdisciplinary academic programs are unique, thanks to three important elements woven into the curriculum: women’s leadership, social responsibility, and global awareness. From scientists to entrepreneurs to operatic sopranos, Cottey’s


Past cities have included London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Madrid, and Barcelona, and the cost of airfare and lodging is paid for out of the college’s operational reserves — not the students’ tuition or fees. Cottey boasts distinctive academic programs and travel opportunities, but the heart of the school is the supportive campus community. In the classroom, women are encouraged to explore options, debate opinions, and develop a worldview, and the 10:1 student to faculty ratio means that everyone gets individual attention. Outside the classroom, suite-style residence halls build a family atmosphere, while more than 40 clubs and organizations allow students to pursue their passions. In addition, a four-star chef designs the campus menus and oversees the food preparation. For Cottey, staying small is a good thing. “It’s a huge advantage,” Rogers says. “It allows us to be very collaborative when developing programs and to make sure that they are as integrated as possible.” Cottey has a large com-

Our goal is to help women find their voice and take a seat at the table. — Judy Rogers, President, Cottey College

munity of alumnae and other supporters who believe strongly in the school’s mission. A recent $1 million gift to the college helped establish the Serenbetz Institute for Womens’s Leadership, Social Responsibility, and Global Awareness, which helps to find creative ways of integrating those three themes into the curriculum and the campus. The college also exceeded its goal in a recent five-year campaign, raising more than $40.4 million. As a result, the school broke ground in April 2014 on a new Fine Arts Instructional Building. Thanks to its many supporters and its bold plans for the future, Cottey College has successfully adapted its core mission of providing women with an outstanding education — in order to meet the unique challenges of the 21st century.

Cottey College 1000 West Austin Blvd. Nevada, MO 417.667.8181 cottey.edu

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EQUIPPED FOR THE FUTURE ★

A Hollins University education readies women for a lifetime, not just a job.

Hollins University Roanoke, VA 800.456.9595 hollins.edu

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tudents today need to be equipped for multiple careers and flexible roles in life. With its focus on critical thinking and communication, Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, offers excellent academic preparation, enabling students to keep up with the rapid advancement of knowledge and rate of change in all professions. Hollins’ Batten Leadership Institute has differentiated itself from hundreds of other college and university leadership programs. Undergraduates learn skills most people don’t get until later in their careers due to an emphasis on adaptive leadership — participants are encouraged to take risks and are challenged in a supportive environment. Another one of Hollins’ strengths is purposefully linking a liberal arts experience with career prospects. The university is committed to

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PHOTOS BY MICHAEL FALCO, SAM DEAN, AND SHARON MEADOR

Clockwise from left: interns at the National Dance Institute, annual Career Connection Conference, intern at the RX3 Compounding Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia

providing extensive internship opportunities and career preparation. Hollins’ comprehensive career center and the support of a dedicated alumnae network help students gain experience in their chosen fields before they graduate. Every student is guaranteed an internship experience. On average, 65 percent of Hollins students complete an internship during their four years. Internships take students all over the country, from hospitals to newsrooms, museums to government agencies, and movie studios to law firms. Hollins’ focus on internships generates excellent post-graduation outcomes for its students — 97 percent of graduates are either employed or have enrolled in graduate or professional school within a year of graduation. Hollins students can engage in real-world career experiences during their first year at the university. The first year internship program offers a range of opportunities in Roanoke during the January Short Term session. One of the cornerstones of Hollins’ strategic plan, “Connecting Liberal Arts Education and Experience to Achieve Results,” is engaging alumnae to help prepare students for leadership and service. Each year, sophomores, juniors, and seniors can apply for an exceptional slate of signature internships offered by alumnae in various fields. These internships carry academic credit, offer stipends, and in many cases, housing is provided. During the January 2014 Short Term session, Hollins students performed signature internships in New York City at The Estée Lauder Companies, National Dance Institute, and Newman Ferrara, LLP; in Washington, D.C., at the National Geographic Society, Library of Congress, and National Cathedral; in Philadelphia at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and in Boston at


The unparalled insights and experiences offered by Hollins’ internship and mentoring programs prepare women to take on the world. America’s Test Kitchen, among others. Hollins also offers internships through its Abroad-London program. For more than 50 years, the university has offered study-abroad opportunities with unmatchable experiences like the Theatre Immersion Semester, through which students can take performance courses and intern in some of London’s most famous professional theaters. A summer internship program is also available — students are placed based on their interests and academic major. The annual Career Connection Conference, or C3, brings alumnae from all over the country to campus to share career advice and serve as mentors. Approximately 5,000 alumnae participate in Hollins’ Career Advising Network, a worldwide group whose members speak to students about career-

planning strategies and answer questions about professional development. The unparalleled insights and experiences Hollins offers prepare women for more than just a first job — they leave Roanoke ready to take on the world.

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AN ENGAGED EDUCATION ★

Mary Baldwin College carries on a tradition of service.

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101 E. Frederick St. Staunton, VA 800.468.2262 mbc.edu

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Renamed in 1895 for one of its first students — Mary Julia Baldwin, who led the school in the late 1900s — MBC today continues the traditions it was founded on: academic rigor, service, and leadership. From the gateway programs for first-year students to the outreach opportunities offered by the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement, MBC provides a supportive yet challenging environment for students. Annual events celebrating service, community, and academics are a big part of life at MBC. A prime example is Apple Day, which goes back more than 60 years. Every October, students and faculty glean apples and donate the fruit to local food banks, enjoy a day off

PHOTOS COURTESY WOODS PIERCE/MARY BALDWIN COLLEGE

Mary Baldwin College

rom its regal, neoclassical buildings to its sweeping expanses of lawn, Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, looks like the venerable institution it is. Founded in 1842 as Augusta Female Seminary, the college is one of the oldest schools of higher learning for women in the U.S. It is also a progressive coed university with highly regarded nonresidential and graduate programs. MBC also provides two opportunities available nowhere else: The Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, the nation’s only all-female cadet corps; and the Program for the Exceptionally Gifted, which allows students as young as 13 to skip high school and go straight to college with a community of intellectual peers.


from classes, volunteer with local organizations, and feast at the Apple Day brunch. Another cherished tradition is Junior Dads and Family Weekend. Originally a fatherdaughter dance and ring ceremony, today a junior might invite a family member or favorite professor to present her with her class ring. At the Capstone Festival, select seniors present their best work, giving the community a window into the high-quality research and creative projects turned out by students. Experiential learning is woven into the curriculum, creating a clear pathway from college to career. Professor Bruce Dorries says that “students leave Baldwin stronger, ready to take the smart risks necessary to address problems and to capitalize on opportunities.” With a broad range of academic offerings, MBC is well known for its outstanding offerings in the education field. Programs in social work, criminal justice, and health care administration prepare students to enter some of the fastest growing segments of the job market.

Students leave Mary Baldwin ready to take the smart risks necessary to address problems. History, psychology, business, studio art, and biology are also popular, with excellent job outlook and graduate-school placement records. For undergraduates seeking a graduate degree, the process is streamlined. The BA/Master of Arts in Teaching lets students earn both degrees plus teacher licensure in five years. Another five-year option dovetails the theatre major with the master’s in Shakespeare and Performance, which combines scholarship and stagecraft with emphases in acting, directing, and teaching the Bard of Avon’s great works. Most recently, MBC opened a branch campus nearby to house the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences with doctoral programs in physical and occupational therapy and a physician assistant program.

Clockwise from left: the stately hillside campus, freshman gateways foster friendships, making art from discarded plastic bottles, and a field biology class making discoveries

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BECOME MEREDITH STRONG ★

Helping students build on individual strengths sets this school apart. By Laura Burkehart

Clockwise from top left: Johnson Hall, Meredith’s lacrosse team, a theater student onstage, and STEM students in lab

3800 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, NC 919.760.8600 meredith.edu

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long, tree-lined drive leads to stately, Georgian-style Johnson Hall when you enter the grounds of Meredith College. Its 225 acres on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh are just down the road from the capitol, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and Research Triangle Park. Meredith’s historic campus is ideally located for arts, culture, coeducational opportunities, and internships. First chartered in 1891, the school has always emphasized individualized education, resulting in strong, confident graduates. “Strong” is a byword at Meredith College. Dr. Jo Allen, the school’s eighth president and first alumna to hold the office, explains, “Current students, alumnae, and those who have hired our alumnae consistently cite strength as a distinguishing quality that most authentically characterizes Meredith and her graduates.”

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Today, the tradition continues with Meredith’s signature advising and personal coaching model called StrongPoints™, wherein students identify their strengths and work with faculty and staff to develop a personalized plan to build on them. One-on-one guidance by expert researchers and exceptional teachers, plus plentiful opportunities to work closely with professors on research projects, internships, service-learning, and study abroad programs provides students with more than just a basic classroom education. Besides the in-school benefits and skills of StrongPoints, students gain insight on post-collegiate experiences, and learn goal-setting and financial planning skills. Think Strong is another unique initiative at Meredith. Focused on honing critical thinking skills, the program helps students analyze their decision-making processes. This deeper under-


standing of thought patterns leads to greater reflection and creativity. Think Strong continues throughout a student’s four years, beginning with a discipline-specific seminar freshman year, and intersects powerfully with StrongPoints. As one of the largest women’s colleges in the country, the school is dedicated to preparing students for professions where women are underrepresented, and for the past decade, has invested heavily in its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs. The state-of-the-art, 80,000 square foot Science and Mathematics building opened in 2003, and since then the number of students majoring in STEM programs has increased by 25 percent. Among the exceptional programs offered at Meredith is a dual degree engineering program in conjunction with N.C. State University, the Meredith Autism Program, which provides early intervention for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and the Business Administration degree. The school is one of only two women’s colleges with a School of Business accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Meredith is also well-known for its excellent Education department, which offers a Teaching Fellows program with two-year internships and honors classes. Meredith has been rated by the Princeton

From the beginning, Meredith’s emphasis on individualized education has produced strong, confident graduates. Review as one of the “Best Colleges in the Southeast,” and 97 percent of graduates report being “very satisfied” with their academic experience. Among its alumnae are the first female journalist to anchor a national newscast, the first woman to hold a leadership position in the North Carolina General Assembly, and the first female U.S. Attorney in the state. With Meredith’s ideal location, individual focus, and outstanding academics, it’s no wonder the school’s motto is “Going Strong.”

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LEADING THE WAY

Salem College sets a high bar for women’s education. By Jennifer Gravely

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601 S. Church St. Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336.721.2600 salem.edu

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beautiful and quaint backdrop for the school. Salem College’s primary goal is preparing students to excel in and impact their chosen professions. This commitment is visible in the various programs and opportunities afforded to students. Unique to Salem College is the Salem Signature Program, an interdisciplinary program that equips and encourages students to learn outside the classroom, leading them along a path of self-knowledge, community service, and career preparation. Salem is also dedicated to helping graduates launch careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). A 2014 study found that small to midsize independent institutions are more efficient in preparing students for STEM careers. In addition, the Women in Science & Mathematics Program at Salem

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SALEM COLLEGE

Salem College

n a time when women’s colleges are shutting their doors or going coed, Salem College continues to thrive, expecting its largest incoming class in history this fall. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this fouryear liberal arts school for women was the first of its kind in the United States. In fact, with a founding date of 1772, it is the 13th oldest college, both coed and women-only, in the nation. The Moravians, an early Protestant denomination, founded Salem College on the belief that women deserved a comparable education to men. They created their community and women’s school in the village of Salem, which now exists as a world-renowned living history museum. A stroll through Old Salem reveals original structures, gardens, and cobblestone streets from this settlement, all providing a


At the forefront of a liberal arts education, Salem College is listed among Money magazine’s “Best Buys.” (WISMP) coordinates student seminars, research internships, independent lab work, and trips to professional conferences. Students are also encouraged to expand their horizons during January Term. Specialized courses such as “Politics in Film” and “The War on Drugs” are offered. Many students use this time to take part in schoolsponsored trips abroad, most recently to Costa Rica, Hungary, Italy, and Austria, and others complete independent studies or internships. Fitting for the City of Arts and Innovation, Salem College prides itself on its involvement in the arts. Each year the June Porter Johnson

Series for the Visual and Performing Arts brings renowned artists to conduct workshops, performances, and discussions, such as dancer, choreographer, and Kennedy Center honoree Twyla Tharp, who will speak in the fall. Focused on creating a well-rounded individual, Salem College is a member of the NCAA and the Great South Athletic Conference (GSAC). With seven intercollegiate sports and the recent victory of the coveted GSAC President’s Cup, Salem’s athletic program continues to thrive. Considered to be one of the top ten “Best Buys” for women’s colleges by Money magazine, Salem College remains at the forefront of liberal arts education, recently welcoming its 20th president, Dr. Lorraine Sterritt, the former Dean for Administration at Harvard College. Under new leadership, Salem College will continue to grow while maintaining the distinct Moravian commitment to individual education that has kept it flourishing since before the Declaration of Independence.

Clockwise from left: view of Salem College’s main hall, scenes of campus life, and a soccer match

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CULTIVATING LEADERSHIP ★

Student-centered learning and a strong sense of community help mold female leaders. By Laura Burkehart

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From left: Students perform labwork, and Dr. Christine Tenk leads a discussion.

1285 Western Road London, Ontario 519.432.8353 brescia.uwo.ca

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Along with strong arts and social sciences programs, Brescia is known for its Division of Food and Nutritional Sciences, which prepares women for careers in community nutrition, dietetics, food service, and food science. The Foods and Nutrition graduate department offers a Thesis Stream for Registered Dietitians who wish to pursue a master’s degree, and an Internship Stream for applicants planning to become Registered Dietitians. With plentiful volunteer and community outreach opportunities and several specialized degree paths, graduates of this department leave Brescia with a wealth of experience and knowledge. With its vibrant culture, safe and active campus, and accessible advisers and professors, Brescia University College is an excellent choice for college-bound women seeking a holistic education in a supportive environment.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BRESCIA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

Brescia University College

ince 1919, Brescia University College, affiliated with Western University, has been turning out strong leaders, determined to break down barriers in education for women. Founded by the Ursuline Religious of the Diocese in London, Ontario, Brescia is Canada’s only all-female university. Small classes and comprehensive degree programs like Dimensions of Leadership, which explores aspects of leadership across academic disciplines, create an atmosphere where women flourish. Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Brescia University College Principal, explains the school’s philosophy this way: “One of the things that Brescia does is to challenge the young women that we serve to imagine themselves making a difference in the world — to see themselves as agents of change. And then we provide the skills and the backup to allow them to develop into leaders.”


LOG ON TO LEARN ★

Carlow University’s online graduate programs are flexible, affordable, and approachable. By Lauren Eberle

L PHOTO COURTESY OF CARLOW UNIVERSITY

isted among the top 20 “Best Bang for the Buck” private colleges by Washington Monthly, Carlow University is a coeducational, Catholic institution situated on 14 beautiful, secluded acres in the heart of Pittsburgh’s bustling Oakland neighborhood. But for hundreds of graduate students enrolled in the university’s online programs, “campus” is their home sweet home. Eight degrees in the fields of management, education, and nursing are offered all-online utilizing a learning management system to deliver course materials and facilitate regular, substantive interactions between students, their instructors, and peers. With an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio, Carlow provides its graduate students the opportunity to collaborate with experts in their fields: Even while professors are primarily committed to teaching and student development, they also continue scholarship through ongoing

research. In the field of management, students can earn a Master of Science in Fraud and Forensics or a Master of Business Administration. A Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in education and leadership or an MSN-MBA dual-degree program are available from the School of Nursing, while an alcohol and drug counseling certificate can be earned after a series of four eight-week courses. For students with a heartbeat for the next generation, a Master of Education with special education certifications or an autism spectrum disorders endorsement certificate are available. Carlow also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice program that’s a mix of both in-person and online classes. Not bound by schedule or geographic restrictions, Carlow’s online learners are more prepared than ever to transform their lives and transform the world.

Two Carlow students find a tranquil place to study on campus.

Carlow University 3333 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 800.333.2275 carlow.edu

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A UNIQUE EDUCATION ★ Innovative learning, community, and timeless values meet at the College of Saint Benedict. By Hannah Sherk

W College of Saint Benedict 37 S. College Ave. St. Joseph, MN 320.363.5011 csbsju.edu

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illuminate it into the second century. The College of Saint Benedict has a unique partnership with Saint John’s University, a men’s college located just a few miles away. The two schools operate Mary Hinton, Ph.D., a single academic began her term as program and share CSB’s 15th president in one another’s on July 1, 2014. social and cultural activities. You’ll find students from both schools cheering each other’s teams from the sidelines, or flying overseas in the same study abroad programs. Saint Benedict’s growing international education program draws students from around the world and also offers semester-long study abroad programs in Australia, Chile, China, England, Guatemala, India, Japan, and other locations across the globe. At home on Saint Benedict’s picturesque campus, students excel in small classes. A 12:1 student-faculty ratio and a median class size of 20 allow every voice to be heard. It’s a small liberal arts school with a big reputation. The U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the College of Saint Benedict as one of the top three Catholic colleges in the nation and called it one of 13 “up and coming” liberal arts colleges. It may be up and coming, but Saint Benedict’s timeless values have long prepared women to be their generation’s best leaders, professionals, and scholars.

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hen a student chooses the College of Saint Benedict, she chooses more than an academic program. She also finds a caring community that will long outlast those next four years. Community is what brings students back to the College of Saint Benedict year after year (the school boasts a 90 percent retention rate). This sense of community propelled the college to its centennial celebration in 2013 and will


SERVANT HEARTS, LEADER MINDS ★

The College of Saint Elizabeth trains the whole student. By Lauren Eberle

T PHOTO BY AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPHY

he College of Saint Elizabeth redefines the stereotypical spring break experience. Rather than resting on beaches, many students go on service trips to underserved regions of Mexico, Mississippi, West Virginia, and elsewhere. Others opt to earn psychology course credit while leading domestic violence workshops in rural Dominican Republic, or obtain hands-on nursing experience while caring for 3,000 clinical patients. At the College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE), the faculty understands that lessons instilled outside the classroom are just as valuable as those learned inside it. To this end, the Center for Leadership Development and the Geraldine Doyle Riordan Center for Volunteerism and Service-Learning offer year-round programs, courses, and events to foster the lifelong skills of service and leadership.

Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, CSE is less than an hour from New York City and is the oldest women’s college in New Jersey. A Catholic liberal arts institution, the 200-acre campus is home to 1,500 students enrolled in the highly ranked women’s college or in one of the affordable coed adult undergraduate and graduate programs held nights, weekends, and online. A faculty-student ratio of 1:9 promises an individualized college experience. And students learn from the best: 86 percent of full-time instructional faculty members have the highest degree in their field. With more than 18 undergraduate degrees, plus graduate and doctoral programs, eight varsity sports teams, and a number of cultural and social clubs, CSE is equipping women to be both servants and leaders in today’s society.

Students stroll on the beautiful College of Saint Elizabeth campus located in Morristown, New Jersey.

2 Convent Rd. Morristown, NJ 800.210.7900 cse.edu

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CHARTING A COURSE ★ Columbia College has a strategy for every phase of a student’s experience.

Above: Columbia College students aim high.

1301 Columbia College Dr. Columbia, SC 800.277.1301 columbiasc.edu

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preparation for a successful future. From the moment a Columbia College student sets foot on campus, the Institute engages with her to support the transition from high school and connects her with exciting opportunities to prepare for her career. The experience starts with academic and professional advising, which guides students’ coursework and helps them identify professional goals. Career coaches assist with resumes and interview preparation, while dedicated faculty and staff connect students with community leaders and mentors via internships, projects, job shadowing, and research. This real-world experience prepares young women for success, tapping into the potential of future leaders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs. Whatever the path of a Columbia College grad, she’ll tread it with greater ease, thanks to the vision of her alma mater.

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLUMBIA COLLEGE

Columbia College

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here was a time when college seniors languished in their last semester, putting off real-world decisions until after graduation. But that “I’ll-think-about-it-tomorrow” approach just isn’t practical in today’s workplace. Columbia College in Columbia, South Carolina, understands the importance of preparing its students to succeed in an increasingly global and competitive world. The 160-year-old liberal arts institution also has the compassion to know that transitions are tough. Inexperience, and sometimes low confidence, can hinder a young woman’s progress and realization of her dreams. The solution? The Institute for Leadership & Professional Excellence at Columbia College. Comprehensive, and with personal attention to each student’s development, the Institute combines liberal arts education with real-world experience, giving young women well-rounded


CULTIVATING THEIR FULL POTENTIAL ★

Nebraska’s College of Saint Mary prepares students to thrive. By Jennifer Gravely

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PHOTOS BY HEATHER HALL

xpanding the mind and spirit is the objective at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. This all-women’s institution offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a supportive, spiritual environment that holds true to the university’s Catholic heritage. Founded in 1923 by the Sisters of Mercy, College of Saint Mary provides a liberal arts education to a student population of roughly 1,000 and is the only all-women’s college within a five-state area. The majority of students major in occupational therapy, nursing, physician assistant studies, education, business, or the sciences. One of the university’s goals is to make higher education more affordable, and many academic departments have been restructured to achieve this. For instance, a new three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is being introduced that will save students more than $20,000 if they attend year-round. The university also offers unique suite-style campus apartments for single student mothers and their children called Mothers Living and Learning, the largest initiative of its kind in the nation. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, College of Saint Mary offers competitive cross country, soccer, basketball, softball, tennis, swimming, golf, and volleyball. With a central location in the city of Omaha, students also benefit from a wide array of cultural, recreational, and professional opportunities outside of campus. Pair that with the supportive, academic-based collegiate community, and students have everything they need to thrive at College of Saint Mary.

From top: Biology major Brianna Tureaud (left, Class of 2015), Nursing major Bridgette Weishaar (Class of 2017), and Physician Assistant Studies major Jessica Parks (Class of 2016)

7000 Mercy Rd. Omaha, NE 402.399.2355 CSM.edu

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BEST OF ALL WORLDS ★ A women’s college within a world-renowned research institution.

A Above: Douglass students pose with Rutgers’ Scarlet Knight.

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Project for Women in Math, Science & Engineering provides opportunities and support to women pursuing STEM degrees. DRC’s Living-Learning Communities are another way residential and commuter students benefit from the college’s emphasis on mentorship. Women with similar passions or academic interests are brought together under one roof for a unique housing experience. Global Village housing, such as the Africana, Spanish, or Human Rights Houses, celebrates a language or special topic. There’s also an engineering community and an environmental issues house among the many options. Many houses have the opportunity to take a Douglass-funded trip to destinations like Washington, DC, and Thailand. Through a number of programs, layers of support, and a network of notable alumnae, DRC provides women with academic, global, and professional connections, all within the larger community of Rutgers– New Brunswick.

PHOTO BY PETCHARAT CHAIYASETH AND KAILA BOULWARE

100 George St. New Brunswick, NJ 848.932.2900 douglass.rutgers.edu

s part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Douglass Residential College (DRC) is not your traditional women’s college. DRC is the only women’s residential college in the country to operate as part of a public research university. Commuter and residential women who jointly enroll in DRC and Rutgers–New Brunswick receive the benefits of a close-knit community while being fully integrated into the university’s coeducational academic and student life. DRC has numerous mentorship programs in place to ensure students’ success. Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) are available to help fellow students navigate the transition from high school to college and answer questions about everything related to campus life. The college’s highly regarded externship program links students to alumnae in a wide range of fields — from public health experts to television producers — so the networking opportunities are plentiful. And the award-winning Douglass


A STAR IN LOS ANGELES ★

At Mount St. Mary’s College, bright futures are born. By Laura Burkehart

From left: Chalon Campus, and actress Geena Davis

M COURTESY OF MOUNT ST. MARY’S COLLEGE

ount St. Mary’s College has been a part of the fabric of the City of Los Angeles since 1925. Created by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, a group of fearless women concerned with social justice, the college was founded as a place where women could thrive. Now the school is forging ahead in the 21st century, promoting women’s issues and education through a variety of programs and forums. Mount St. Mary’s is involved in several women’s initiatives and hosts events throughout the year. Ready to Run®, a nonpartisan campaign training program for women, is co-sponsored by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The college also partners with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and

the U.S. State Department, for the Women in Public Service Project. Rather than being starstruck by Hollywood glamour, the school views L.A. as a learning lab for programs like its new MFA in Film and Television. And in 2013, Mount St. Mary’s joined forces with actress Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to create new research, education, and advocacy programs. Empowering women, public service, and social justice are cornerstones of a Mount St. Mary’s education. “Women’s perspectives and experiences are vital to public policy–making,” says Dr. Ann McElaney-Johnson, president. “Yet too often women’s voices are absent from our most important local, state, and national policy conversations.” Mount St. Mary’s College is helping to change this as its programs and initiatives work to improve the lives of all women.

Chalon Campus 12001 Chalon Rd. Los Angeles, CA 310.954.4000

Doheny Campus 10 Chester Place Los Angeles, CA 213.477.2500 msmc.la.edu

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Clockwise from left: Students study on the lawn, work in a laboratory, and participate in college athletics.

SAGE MEANS SERVICE ★

Russell Sage College teaches service, passion, and adventure. By Hannah Sherk

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65 First St. Troy, NY 518.244.2000 sage.edu

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“Sage Summer on the Hudson,” traveling from Troy to New York City with the Hudson River as their teacher. “The history of the region runs the full length of the river,” Heald explains. “It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to learn about art, architecture, and ecology as they travel the Hudson.” Students also have the unusual privilege of seeing others “do” more at the undergraduate level as part of The Sage Colleges, including interacting with programs and students at the coed Sage College of Albany and the graduate schools of health sciences, management, and education. “There are exciting connections here — including accelerated pathways — to professional programs and experiences,” Heald says. At Russell Sage, passion is built into the curriculum. So along with their diplomas, students earn a love for lifelong learning — and doing.

PHOTO COURTESY OF RUSSELL SAGE COLLEGE OF THE SAGE COLLEGES

Russell Sage College

hen Russell Sage College was built on the banks of the Hudson River in 1916, it was founded as a “school of practical arts.” Like its steady neighbor, Russell Sage hasn’t changed course. Today, it infuses a commitment to practical service in its liberal arts curriculum. That means that the 800 undergraduates at Russell Sage College are ready to take on the WORLD — as in its general education program, Women Owning Responsibility for Leading and Doing. “When you come to college, you’re taking responsibility for your own learning,” says Dean Donna Heald. “But we also want you to take responsibility for doing.” Some students elect to pursue the Discovery Degree path, where they can earn a bachelor’s degree in almost any major in just three years. Discovery Degree students participate in


INSPIRED BY PURPOSE ★ Sweet Briar takes a practical approach to the liberal arts.

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PHOTOS (FROM TOP) BY MARGRET WOOD AND MERIDITH DE AVILA KHAN

ince 1901 Sweet Briar College has educated women, in the words of its founder, “to be useful members of society.” That’s always meant a strong liberal arts foundation and rigorous academics, allowing graduates to compete in whatever fields they choose — including those traditionally dominated by men. Sweet Briar is one of two women’s colleges in the country to offer an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science. Women benefit from classes that average about 12 students and the strong faculty relationships you expect of a small liberal arts college. Professors know students by name, reach out when they need help, and readily share their own research or expertise with students seeking undergraduate research opportunities. Situated on 3,250 acres in central Virginia, Sweet Briar takes full advantage of the surrounding fields, forests, and historic buildings to provide hands-on teaching in subjects ranging from pre-Civil War American history to the local atmospheric conditions that give the neighboring Blue Ridge Mountains their name. Art majors and creative writing students find inspiration in the natural and built landscape — the college has topped the Princeton Review’s list of most beautiful campuses in America. Sweet Briar, nationally recognized for career services, faculty interaction, and experiential learning, encourages students to become well-rounded individuals. During their time at Sweet Briar, young women balance athletics, campus clubs, and other interests with challenging academic opportunities that allow them to pursue their passions — even those outside their majors. Many students will tell you, “If you have the drive and capacity to do something, Sweet Briar will help you achieve it.”

From top: Sweet Briar’s world-class equestrian program, and engineering students work on circuits

Sweet Briar College 134 Chapel Rd. Sweet Briar, VA 434.381.6100 sbc.edu

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AN EDUCATION WITHOUT BORDERS ★ A women’s college with a global reach. By Laura Mazurak

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Above: Wesleyan students enjoy camaraderie on campus.

4760 Forsyth Rd. Macon, GA 800.447.6610 wesleyancollege.edu

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In 2013, Wesleyan introduced a Confucius Institute on campus to increase cultural exchange between the U.S. and China. That same year, the U.S. Department of State awarded Wesleyan a grant to develop an American Cultural Center at Guangzhou University in China. Both institutions have afforded Wesleyan women unrivaled opportunities for international studies. Recently, the college reaffirmed its commitment to educating the next generation of female world leaders. The new Wesleyan College Global Scholars Program (WCGSP) will grant full scholarships to young women across America who immerse themselves in cultural exchange and serve as student ambassadors for the school. WCGSP representatives will live and study with international students, attend Global Scholar Seminars, study abroad, and share their experiences with fellow students.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WESLEYAN COLLEGE

Wesleyan College

ince it was chartered in 1836, Wesleyan College has balanced a global mindset with a strong focus on community and sisterhood. Located 90 minutes from Atlanta, Wesleyan’s historic campus is home to 700 women who enjoy the benefits of small classes and personal attention. Yet the college has never lost sight of its greater role in the world. In 1904, three Chinese sisters traveled to Georgia to study at Wesleyan. Not only were the Soong sisters the first Chinese women educated in the U.S., but they returned to become the most influential female leaders of modern China, including a first lady and an honorary president. The Soong sisters’ legacy at Wesleyan continues to this day. On average, more than 20 percent of the student body is international, creating a unique, cross-cultural experience for all students.

Profile for Brenau University

Brenau Featured in 'Leading the Charge'  

'Leading the Charge: Female students find success with a personal approach to education.' By Laura Burkehart.

Brenau Featured in 'Leading the Charge'  

'Leading the Charge: Female students find success with a personal approach to education.' By Laura Burkehart.

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