The Board of Trustees is responsible for weighing this very important decision, based on facts and analysis undertaken by the CSE cabinet. Ultimately, the final decision is up to the Board of Trustees.
The Board has had ongoing discussions during the fall of 2014 and in early 2015 about going coed, as well as applying for university status. Substantial analysis and fact gathering goes into making these types of decisions. It is not a decision taken lightly; therefore, it will take time.
Ideally, we would plan an academic year in advance. Therefore, any decision made now would be implemented no sooner than the fall of 2016.
To broaden the mission. Becoming coed provides opportunities not only to open our campus to men, but also to women who value the opportunities presented at CSE but are interested in a coed campus.
There are fewer high school students to enroll in colleges, a greater percentage of students leaving New Jersey to attend college, and fewer than 2% of young women nationally who even consider applying to women's colleges.
Nationally, the number of women's college has declined significantly. In 1960, there were more than 230 women's colleges; today, there are 42 private, four-year women's colleges. There were even changes to the "Seven Sisters" when Vassar went coed in 1969 and Radcliffe merged with Harvard in 1999. In 2014, CSE is the only remaining women's college in NJ after Georgian Court went coed in 2013. However, for those seeking a women's college experience, several options exist within a two-hour radius, including Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Cedar Crest and College of New Rochelle.
These conditions are forcing us to examine alternatives for the future direction of CSE. An analysis of our undergraduate applications shows that students do not apply to CSE for the all-female experience. They apply for specific academic programs or based on our mission and values.
The mission of the College is, and will continue be, a commitment to "serve where there is need." This is the College's founding vision and will remain so. When the College was founded more than 100 years ago, the need was to educate young women. Today, women may not need an all-female atmosphere to have their educational needs addressed.
Yes, in evening, weekend and online classes. Undergraduate continuing studies programs were opened to male students in 1976 and our graduate programs have accepted male students since 1993. In some daytime programs such as teacher education and foods & nutrition, men are already in the daytime classes due to specialized programming or cross-registration with our neighboring schools.
If so, where? Yes. There is available space in our residence halls. The issue will be analyzed by our student life and buildings and grounds professionals.
If so, which ones? Yes, there will be male sports teams. To comply with Title IX, we would have to offer male sports teams within three years of going coed. We would have to offer an equal number of sports opportunities for men as women in proportion to enrollment. Of course, we would work through the NCAA and appropriate conferences at the time. Teams under consideration include soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis and golf.
We are always re-evaluating our activities and curriculum to ensure they meet the contemporary needs of our students. Therefore, yes, we will evaluate the whole CSE experience. However, we will remain dedicated to providing leadership opportunities for women.
An analysis of schools who became coed in the last 10 years, male enrollment remains at approximately 30%.
Most of the costs would be associated with necessary upgrades in the sports facilities. At present, access to the pool and gymnasium are provided through locker rooms, therefore design changes are necessary. A cost analysis of this is underway.
At most schools, there is no discernable change in fund-raising. In fact, some institutions report increased support.
Renovations to our residence halls are already being planned so coed would not affect the costs of these improvements.