Womens History Month: The Legacy of Higher Education

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Since this is the very last day of Women's History Month, let's learn more about the amazing contributions that women have made to society....

March is Women's History Month, and as with other celebratory designations, observe markers through the lens of education. As such, March look at how the attainment of a college degree has changed the course of history for American women. It is well known that our institutions of higher education were not originally founded with the intention of educating any and all persons interested in a degree. In fact, it wasn't until 1803, over 160 years after the founding of the first American college, that a college or university opened their doors to female students. To combat the obvious and pervasive gap in opportunity for American women with educational aspirations, women's colleges, started opening in the 1840s, beginning with the founding of Georgia Female College in Macon,GA. By the 1960s, the number of women's colleges in the United States had grown to 230 institutions. Perhaps the greatest catapult in educational equity for women came in 1972 with the passage of The IX. The law stated that no federally funded educational program or agency could discriminate on the basis of sex, cascading int a landslide of changes for women well beyond the increased accessibility of a college education. To explore the ripple effect of Title IX, and the impact that degree attainment has had on shifting gender dynamics in American society, the month of March is used to observe women.

 

Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: "No person of the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."