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What purpose does a single-sex college serve for an artist?

NovelNova2010NovelNova2010 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
edited November 2010 in Women's Colleges
Maybe my perspective is somewhat skewed since I was in a single sex middle and high school before going to a seventh sister, but I'm seriously wondering what an artist can get out of going to a women's college? It was discussed at Bryn Mawr's 125th that the numbers are there to show a higher percentage of women in math and the hard sciences at a women's college than at a co-ed LAC or university. No such numbers, however, were provided for women who are interested in the arts.
Can somebody here please give me a compelling argument or a set of numbers that I've missed?
Post edited by NovelNova2010 on

Replies to: What purpose does a single-sex college serve for an artist?

  • sanapplecap2sanapplecap2 Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    Perhaps you need a more specific reason, but isn't the point that if a school is a good fit and is well respected in your major, it is worth going to? If the ratio of males/females is important to you, so be it. Others might find location, dining, dorms of importance in making a college selection.

    I'm not sure I understand why a compelling argument or set of numbers to represent all single-sex colleges is needed.
  • NovelNova2010NovelNova2010 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    I'm just trying to understand the purpose of single-sex education at the collegiate level, as well as single-sex education for myself. The statistics are there to prove that it is useful for women who are interested in pursuing the sciences and mathematics, but none are there for the arts. So many people have told me it's wonderful that I'm going single-sex, and I thought it was a good idea at first too. It seemed to work perfectly well in middle and high school. At the collegiate level, I'm really not sure, and I just want to know if it's me or if I'm going semi-crazy.
    There's also the separate issue that my college does not have the major I want to pursue...leave it to me to fall in love with an art that's only offered as a minor...
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Registered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    For some reason my post didn't come through here, so I'll re-post and please forgive if you have to read this twice.

    Women's colleges are traditionally strong in the arts. It's very en vogue right now for them to trumpet how great they are at sciences, because that's a very under-represented field for women traditionally, and even traditionally a not strongly represented field at colleges. So a lot of women's colleges are pushing their science stats to show that one of their advantages is they give women a great spring board into male dominated fields like sciences.

    This does NOT mean that women's colleges are not strong in the arts. In fact, traditionally they have very strong art programs. It's just that art is not really seen as a fashionable area where we need to create more opportunities for women at this moment. So while they may have great programs, they aren't necessarily talking those up at admissions events. Also let's be honest that many parents are not excited about dropping lots of money on an education in art, whereas a lot of families see an education in sciences, with its generally higher earning potential, as a better investment. I don't agree with that view, but a lot of people have it. And admissions events are about playing to the general audience.

    I think if you like the college, you should go for it. Almost all of the women's colleges have great art programs. I only know personally about Smith's though. I know we have an amazing museum (number 2 collegiate art museum in the country) and while our new engineering building gets a lot of billing, we also have a fairly new art building with fantastic opportunities particularly if you're interested in printing, as well as the traditional mediums (photography, painting, etc). The classes are very hard (art majors and engineering majors I think spend comparable amounts of time shut away in buildings working on projects. Possibly because art majors are bad time managers, but largely because they both have a ton of work).

    Whether single sex education makes sense for you on a personal level I can't answer. What I can say si that you should go with your gut on these things. And I can also say that strong science programs and good art programs really arent' mutually exclusive. A good LAC fosters both.
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