Women in Higher Education

By cmh1033
  • Bethlehem Female Seminary (now Moravian College), Pennsylvania

    First American boarding school for young women. It was founded by the Countess Benigna von Zinzendorf, German settlers in Bethlehem, and Moravians of the Protestant Moravian Church. Moravians were immigrants from Moravia, a region of the Czech Republic. The seminary did not grant baccalaureate degrees until 1863. In 1913, it became the Moravian Seminary and College for Women.
  • Salem College in North Carolina

    This college is the oldest of the first female institutions to remain a college since it was first founded as the Little Girls School and later known as Salem Female Academy.
  • Period: to

    American Revolutionary War

    Women and education were affected greatly by this war. Women were expected to better shape the moral character of societies and educate their children, specifically their sons, so that the growing democratic population was an educated one. The war also emphasized men's rights and denied voting and higher education to women. During the war, women filled more roles designated to men, such as business and money issues, because of their husbands' participation in the war.
  • Beginning of the Second Great Awakening and the Industrialization in the Northeast

    There was a growing need for women to be educated because of the need to Christianize the Western frontiers. The industrialization in the Northeast alleviated many of the household duties leaving women more time for leisure. Academies and seminaries were forming for women beginning with one of the most successful, Litchfield Academy for girls. “The pioneering institutions for organized advanced education for women were the female seminaries.” (SLANTCHEVA, 2011)
  • Litchfield Female Academy

    Created by the writer, Sarah Pierce, in her home became known as one of the most successful academies. Classes included the usual “ ‘accomplishments’ courses such as sewing and dancing, but also included reading, writing, composition, arithmetic, geography, history, and science.” Students included Harriet Beecher Stowe and Catherine Beecher
  • Period: to

    “Romantic Period” or “Era of Republican Motherhood”

    This period was the beginning of many female institutions and different forms of female education.
  • Troy Seminary

    Founded by Emma Willard; one of the most influential seminaries for women that helped to spread feminist values in the 19th century
  • Hartford Seminary

    Founded by Catherine Beecher; one of the most influential seminaries for women that helped to spread feminist values in the 19th century
  • Establishment of co-educational programs

    Oberlin College allowed male and female, white and black, to receive higher education.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College)

    The first school of the “Seven Sisters”; The “Seven Sisters” was the name for the seven colleges analogous to their male counterpart Ivy League schools. They included: Barnard, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Vassar, Bryn Mawr, Wellesley, and Radcliffe. They emerged over the next 24 years from 1837. The “Seven Sisters” also had a high percentage of women on their faculty. This was one of the most influential seminaries for women that helped to spread feminist values in the 19th century.
  • Georgia Female College (now Wesleyan College)

    First female school to become college exclusively for women; Oldest women’s college
  • Tennessee and Alabama Female Institute (now Mary Sharp College)

    First female college to grant higher education degrees to women “equivalent” to those given to men. Mary Sharp College closed in 1896.
  • Elmira College

    This college picked up where Mary Sharp left off in granting degrees and is the oldest college to also grant higher education degrees to women comparable to men. Elmira still exists and is located in Elmira, New York.
  • Higher education for African-American women

    First assembly of African-American women to receive a form of higher education was by Mytilla Minor in Washington D.C.
  • Vassar College

    One of the “Seven Sisters” schools; It became a co-educational institution in 1969.
  • Graduate degrees issued to women

    Syracuse University was the first university, followed by Boston University, to issue doctorate degrees. Helen Magill was the first woman to receive a Ph.D in Greek studies from Boston University in 1877.
  • The Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women or “Harvard Annex”

    Harvard permitted examinations to women and offered courses outside the university to women. It opened with 27 students.
  • Radcliffe College

    The “Harvard Annex” was turned into Radcliffe College, but doesn’t merge with Harvard until 1999 thereby granting Harvard degrees.
  • A Step Back

    The University of Chicago makes all of their undergraduate students be re-segretated by gender. This is an example of the university system responding to the sudden threat women posed to a previously male dominated school system. Their main argument was that if women needed to be segregated in most social settings, they could not share a classroom with men either.
  • Women’s Educational and Industrial Union of Boston

    The union had been focused on assisting women with work and providing welfare opened a division which assisted college women get non-teaching professions. They also studied potential opportunities that college-educated women could take advantage of.
  • Ella Flagg Young

    From 1909-1915 Ella Flagg Young becomes the first female superintendent of a major school system in Chicago. In 1919 she was elected president of the NEA. She attempted wide-spread reform in an increasingly industrialized city.
  • Smith-Hughes Act

    The Smith-Hughes Act provided funding for vocational training such as home economics for the first time. This gave women the training they needed in vocations that were more open to them.
  • G.I. Bill Passes

    When the G.I. Bill passed it allowed citizens an unprecedented opportunity to attend a university for those who could not before. Women made up 3% of the people who were able to take advantage of this bill.
  • Alice Hamilton

    Harvard Medical School accepted its first female student, Alice Hamilton, though she still faced a great deal of discrimination and was not able to attend social functions.
  • Women’s Educational Equity Act

    Representative Patsy T. Mink introduced this to Congress, it provided federal funds to support women equity in the classroom. This gave classrooms incentives to create programs which benefited women and provided them a means of obtaining materials.
  • Women 51% of population

    Women become 51% of the college population, actually becoming the majority.
  • Virgina Military Institute

    Supreme court ruled that the institute had to become coeducational.
  • Women Dominating Colleges

    According to the Department of Education, women are more likely to get their bachelor degrees than men, no matter their race or socioenomic status. Women also tend to get better grades than their male counterparts.
  • Women with Ph.Ds

    The council of Graduate schools found that more women were receiving their doctorate degrees than men.
  • Title IX Passed

    "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance".This amendment protected women from sex discrimination when applying for and attending federally funded educational programs.