From 1920 to 1945, there was significant expansion and reforms in higher education. Reflect upon the opportunities to attend college for women during this time period. Women made up about 40% of the undergraduate enrollments in 1940. This was remarkable considering that women were not permitted to earn a bachelor’s degree just 60 years prior to 1940. Also of significance were the women’s colleges of the privileged elite such as Wellesley, Radcliffe, Smith, Vassar, and Barnard. Examine colleges for women during this time period and compare them to your educational experiences today. Consider the following questions:
In what ways did female college students in the era from 1920 to 1945 influence the current generation of female college students? What factors, conditions, and values influence present-day women to enroll in women’s colleges? Discuss each one. What factors, conditions, and values influence present-day women to enroll in coeducational colleges? Discuss each one. If you were an employer, what would you see as the advantages and disadvantages of a female graduate from a women’s college? Discuss each one. Have your perceptions changed last five to ten years about your own potential prospects for academic and professional advancement?
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