Wilson College to Transition to Coeducation

100x100xwilson-college.gif.pagespeed.ic.sFXaM8vb5jWilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1869 as a college for women. In recent years, enrollments have remained flat, averaging about 763 students over the past decade. This fall, there were only 695 students enrolled. The college has had operational deficits in three of the last four years and has nearly $31 million in total debt.

Wilson College maintains a residential college for women but allows men over the age of 22 to attend classes as commuter students. Men can also enroll in graduate programs. Men make up less than 12 percent of all enrollments.

barbara-mistickWilson College President Barbara K. Mistick proposed strengthening existing majors and adding a number of new academic programs, including several in the health sciences, making facilities and infrastructure improvements, and expanding co-education across all programs. She also recommended that tuition be lowered.

The board of trustees of Wilson College met for two days from November 30 to December 1 to consider President Mistick’s proposals to strengthen the college academically and financially. But the board put off making any decisions at that time.

Now the board has decided to approve President Mistick’s plan. Beginning this fall, men of traditional college age will be admitted as commuter students. In the fall of 2014, men will be admitted to the residential college. The goal is to raise enrollments to about 2,000 students.

“I applaud the board for its bold actions in the best interests of Wilson College,” President Mistick said. “We’ve known from the start that there would be no single solution to transform the college and to achieve financial sustainability — that it would take a comprehensive plan to assure success. I am confident that this plan is the right mix of initiatives to help Wilson grow and remain a vibrant institution that will not only provide students with a high-quality education, but also benefit the entire community.”

Filed Under: NewsWomen's Colleges


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