Hood College Coeducational Experience

As noted in the campus community presentations, a number of former women’s colleges have successfully transitioned to a co-educational setting over the past two decades while maintaining their commitments to women and women’s education.

One such school, Hood College in Maryland, began accepting men in 2003 as a response to declining enrollment that culminated in their lowest enrollment since 1973 in the fall of 2001 with 784 undergraduates. Following their transition to co-ed, their undergraduate enrollment grew ~90% to stand at 1,487 undergraduate students in 2011 (ten years after their low enrollment point).

They recently published a special feature in their alumni magazine celebrating the 10th year anniversary of their decision with perspectives from students, faculty, alumnae and administrators. They have agreed to let us provide a link to a PDF of the article for this blog post.

Click here to view the article PDF

Consistent with our Board’s thinking as Chatham considers coeducation, the article emphasizes the importance of “continuing Hood’s mission to educate women, despite its change in direction.” According to Hood’s longest-serving faculty member, “Of its identity in caring for women and women’s rights and preparing women for careers, Hood will always stand by that.”

  1. Jen G says:

    While we’re at it, let’s look at Randolph-Macon (Women’s College) as well.


    “The Association of Art Museum Directors, which represents more than 200 museums in North America, has issued a rare sanction against the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., after the museum’s sale of a George Bellows painting to raise money to shore up the college’s operating budget.

    While museums commonly sell works in order to buy other works – a practice known as deaccessioning – ethical standards in the field strongly prohibit sales for other purposes, like capital projects or operating costs. “Men of the Docks,” a 1912 painting of workers milling around an ocean liner docked at the Brooklyn waterfront, was the museum’s centerpiece, bought in 1920 by students who raised $2,500 for the purchase at what was then known as the Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. But last month the National Gallery of Art in London announced that it had bought the painting for $25.5 million, money that will go to the college’s endowment.”

    It needs to be stated that becoming a co-educational college is in no way a guarantee of success, nor is it the only (or best) way to change direction.

    Thank you,
    JenG, Class of 1994

  2. '11 Alumna says:

    It’s obvious what EB and the board want. Stop stringing us along like any of you are actually taking seriously any what we’ve voiced. The “town halls” were a joke (ESPECIALLY Philly). Stop stringing us all along and just get it over with.

  3. Kathleen A Ferraro says:

    This post by Chatham’s Marketing VP with its link to an article by Hood’s Development VP epitomizes most of what’s wrong with the Administration and Trustees’ case for coeducation. The Administration and Trustees shouldn’t be *marketing* coeducation to us. The should be using reason and data to make their case. I am extremely irritated that after listening to townhall presentations and reading everything that’s been mailed or posted, I don’t even really know what the problem is, let alone whether coeducation will solve it. Maybe it would help if we heard from the faculty or at least the Dean of the College. Where are they? Where are the reports and documents from all the meetings we’ve been told about?

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  6. coug for life says:

    You have to realize, Hood has been enrolling men for much longer than 2003. You cannot compare schools who have been enrolling men for decades to those who just started (Hood v. Randolph Macon, respectively). This comes from the Hood website: “Though commuting male students have been a part of Hood’s undergraduate and graduate populations since 1971, in October 2002 the Board of Trustees voted to allow men to reside on campus, making the College fully coeducational in fall 2003.” If the school is seeing growth now, decades later, what else could be a cause for the change? It was probably easier to market Hood to males as they already were enrolled students since 1971.

    Again, Chatham twists facts on this blog to report only positives of going coed. There needs to be balance. Please note the blog post about the success of a group of colleges that recently went coed–those numbers are only about enrollment, not expenses.

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