Women in Higher Education

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In 1795 to 1800 women trying to pursue a higher education was not tolerated. This was far-fetched because women were supposed to be taking care the of home; cooking and cleaning not trying to elevate their educational levels. The first is women to attend college as stated in Thelin (2011) women began in seminary schools that taught the fundamentals of how to be a good wife, mother, and to be socially acceptable; in addition, women were only allowed to work in primary and secondary school teachers, (Thelin, J.R., 2011, Chapter 5, p.180). In 1800, there were twenty-five degree granting colleges in the United States (Thelin, 2011). By 1820, the number had increased to fifty-two. Despite that fact, many women who could develop into highly talented leaders found their potential changes or misunderstood these constraints are seen in higher education (Longman and Madsen,2013). Women were expected not to be encouraged to obtain a real education or pursue a professional career. Currently, the same things are going on in present day America. Women shouldn’t be getting advance degrees or even becoming successful. The fight for freedom of women rights has been just as strong as the fight for Black Americans to vote.

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Historically, there has always been issues with women pursing higher education. The educational history of girls and women is one that is continually trying to move from the dark to the mainstream. In Ancient Egypt, women and men were both allowed to be scholastically unified. This provide men and women to get the same education equally. After several women had to justify their work it was presumed the work wasn’t authentic. An example is Juliana Morrell the first women to obtain a university degree. She had to bring her thesis to the Pope and defend the meaning of it to get credit.

Women colleges were founded in the 1800s in response to a need for advanced education for women who were not allowed into most higher education institutions. The three main types of women’s colleges evolved after their origin in the early 1800s were independent private colleges, catholic colleges, and public colleges (Thelin, 2011). In 1742, Bethlehem Female Seminary, in Germantown, Pennsylvania it was the first boarding school for girls. Then in 1863 they converted it into the Moravian College. The curriculum that was offered was spiritual and moral guidance, intellectual and cultural pursuits, and vocational training. Around the same time in 1869, two women by the name of Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon founded an all women college called Girton-College at Cambridge. This was the first university in Britain history to offer residents to women in college seeking educational degrees. It didn’t get formally afflicted with the university until 1948. The misconception is women cannot do the same things as their male counterparts. For example, the belief that women cannot work in the same fields as men sometimes men feel like leaving their workplace. Women’s opportunities in the first half of the 20th century continued to be limited mostly to traditional nurturing professions like teaching, nursing and home economics. We always say think outside the box women in those times were limited into that small box. If men felt threatened or inferior to an educated woman, it was an issue. But in the earlier days’ women were only supposed to take care of home and make sure the provider was satisfied.

Consequently, because of the history of women education is so important, currently women are still fighting the great fight. Women’s education is important because women always must prove themselves more than men. It is evident when reading about women who have worked hard to prove themselves worthy of the knowledge given to them within the educational sector.

Works Cited

  1. John R. Thelin, “”A History of American Higher Education”” (Baltimore, Md., and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004).
  2. S. Willis Rudy, “”The College of the City of New York: A History, 1847-1947″” (New York, N.Y.: City College Press, 1949).
  3. Gordon, L. (1997). From seminary to university: An overview of women’s higher education, 1870 -1920. In L. Goodchild & H. Wechsler (Eds.), The history of higher education (2nded.), (pp 473-498). Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster Custom Publishing.
  4. Harwarth, I., Maline, M., & DeBra, E. (n.d.). Women’s Colleges in the United States: History, issues, and challenges. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/PLLI/webreprt.htm/.
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Women in Higher Education. (2021, Apr 08). Retrieved August 17, 2022 , from
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