State of Pennsylvania OKs Wilson College’s Transition to Coeducation

100x100xwilson-college.gif.pagespeed.ic.sFXaM8vb5jWilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1869 as a college for women. In January 2013, the board of trustees decided to admit men of traditional college age as commuter students for the entering class in the fall of 2013. In the fall of 2014, men were admitted to the residential college for the first time.

Some alumnae of the college strongly objected to the transition to coeducation. While they were unsuccessful in persuading the board of trustees to keep Wilson as a women’s college, a group of alumnae took their case to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Wilson College Women, a group of alumnae, former faculty members, and other friends of the college, claimed that the college failed to receive permission from either the Pennsylvania Department of Education or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, its accreditation body, for a fundamental change in mission. The group asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to reverse the decision.

But the Pennsylvania Department of Education has now ruled that “the admission of male residential students is a decision within the purview of the board of trustees.” The state agency did admit that the board should have received approval before authorizing the transition to coeducation. But the Department of Education said that it “does not believe this to be a reason to deny the charter application or impose other restrictions.”

Filed Under: Women's Colleges


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply