A CENTURY OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR WOMEN by Mabel Newcomer

A CENTURY OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR WOMEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Vassar's widely revered emeritus professor of economics and sociology has made- in this book- her contribution to Vassar's approaching centenary. While inevitably she has drawn throughout on Vassar's contribution to higher education, the text is a broad based survey:- historical, sociological and challenging to the goals, the aspirations, the present and future role of specifically the women's colleges of liberal arts. For those seriously concerned in examining a careful analysis, complete with comparative statistics, charts, etc. this probably meets the need. For those these who want a more lively and readable study, the facts and the challenge bog down here in a somewhat dead level of style, a repetition of viewpoint and facts as they seem pertinent at different levels of interest. Some surprising facts emerge:- that women's enrollment and sustained four-year attendance has not kept pace with men's; that lowered ages for marriage have militated against concern for and concentration on higher education; that the coeducational colleges reflect a trend away from the women's private institutions of higher learning. Granted that the early bias against higher education for women no longer exists, the case has to be proved again in favor of the liberal arts college for women. To this end, in final chapters, Dr. Newcomer sums up her concrete suggestions:- more flexibility of schedules to include preparation for family life and professional jobs after marriage, reconciliation between professional training and liberal arts; greater guidance to better use in directing liberal arts to professional ends; reduction of number of free electives; wider possibilities for exceptional students to speed up courses; new ideas in method of meeting college expenses; new incentives and attitudes towards opening admissions to other than present social classes; aid in post-marriage completion of college courses; importance in training for more scholars. To survive, she feels, the women's colleges must lead in providing dramatic changes in higher education for women.

Pub Date: Dec. 9th, 1959
Publisher: Harper