WEST HARTFORD. Conn. (WTNH) – The University of Saint Joseph Board of Trustees unanimously agreed on Wednesday to open admission to students of all genders starting in the fall of 2018.
“This is a very exciting day for everyone associated with the University of Saint Joseph,” said Rhona Free, Ph.D., president of USJ. “With today’s decision, we reaffirm our commitment of educational excellence to our undergraduate women students, reinforce our culture of openness, diversity and inclusion established by our Sisters of Mercy founders, and continue our mission of responding to the needs and interests of today’s students.”
USJ had been a women’s college since it was founded in 1932. The university began research into becoming a coeducational institute in November 2016. Twelve task force groups examined how men and women attending the university would impact areas such as academic programs, athletics, student life, and academic and administrative support.
“The data we received and analyzed during the last eight months was conclusive: by opening the admission process to all academically qualified students we would have significant opportunities to expand our undergraduate programs and increase the diversity of academic thought in the classrooms, while also providing a catalyst for a more active campus life,” said President Free.
The school also drew upon studies that showed less than one percent of full-time female college students today attend a women’s college and only two percent of female high school seniors would consider attending a women’s college.
“My meetings with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, showed a clear consensus that current students’ interests have changed in regards to the kind of college experience they want to have. Today’s women want an active, engaging college environment that mirrors the real world. By admitting men, the educational experience for USJ’s women undergraduates will be more aligned to their expectations of a four-year university experience,” President Free said.