College of New Rochelle—Oasis for Women
The College of New Rochelle began its historic mission in higher education in 1904 when the State of New York recognized it as the first Catholic college for women in the state. In the century since, CNR continues to respond to the contemporary needs of women and helps its students, women and men, transform and transcend the traditional roles of women and men. Education at CNR honors women's perspective and experience. While the College has expanded to include men in the School of Nursing, Graduate School, and the nationally recognized baccalaureate program for adults, School of New Resources, the School of Arts and Sciences continues to offer a special academic, spiritual, and nurturing environment just for women.
But the question today is why now, as we move into the 21st century, do we still have a college for women at CNR? Part of the answer lies in what Carol Travis, author of The Mismeasure of Woman, writes, "The fact is—as research has demonstrated consistently over the years—young women do better in their intellectual development when they have at least a few years to learn and study with each other than when they are in co-ed environments."
In fact, when compared to women graduates of other colleges and universities, women's college graduates are more likely to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate degree and to become leaders. According to recent research by the National Institute of Education, over 81 percent of women's college graduates pursue further graduate or professional training, and a recent alumnae study revealed that 91 percent of women's college graduates were totally satisfied with their decision to attend a women's only college.
While women's college graduates represent only 2 percent of all female college graduates, they constitute 20 percent of women in Congress, and 30 percent of a Business Week list of rising women stars in Corporate America.
The College of New Rochelle prepares graduates for life-long learning by providing an excellent education, by challenging them to excel in their chosen fields of business and service, and by connecting them to a network of alumnae/i they can rely on for most of their professional and personal lives.
This year, The College of New Rochelle celebrates its Centennial and at a special colloquium will welcome several presidents of other women's colleges to explore and reaffirm the many positive educational advantages for women at women's colleges.
In staying true to its founding mission, The College of New Rochelle has prospered as new generations of women, now joined by men, experience a transformative education, and gained wisdom for life in a safe and sacred place that is in many ways, a college of their own.#
Joan Bailey, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs at The College of New Rochelle.