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Women in Higher Education: An Encyclopedia

edited by-
Ana M. Martinez Aleman and Kristen A. Renn


The purpose of the Encyclopedia is to provide a comprehensive information resource about women in higher education, with particular emphasis on the United States. Entries will be useful to students, scholars, policymakers, journalists, and others seeking to gain an understanding of key issues related to women and gender in higher education. This Encyclopedia will provide accessible sources of information, scholarly interpretations, and historical context for what is known about women in higher education, enriching research papers, class projects, course lectures, and articles in the popular media. We are committed to creating a resource on all women in higher education by including the diversity of race/ethnicity, sexuality, socio-economic background, and age represented among women students, faculty, administrators, and other employees throughout the history of higher education.

The history and social context of women in higher education provides a unique perspective on the history of higher education in general. From the foundings of the first "female seminary" (Mount Holyoke, in 1837), to the fight for women's admission to public military institutions (West Point, 1976; The Citadel, 1995), through very recent decisions to admit men to one of the few remaining women's colleges (Emmanuel College, beginning in 2001), the ability of women to participate equally with men in higher education reflects the larger social forces of religion, economics, immigration, race relations, and the movement for women's equal rights. Public policy has been a critical feature of this history, usually advancing women's status (Title IX, Affirmative Action) but sometimes reinforcing the dominant place of men in the academy (the G.I. Bill).