College of New Rochelle School of Arts & Science's First Coed Class Arrives

For this group of freshman, the more diverse the merrier

When we interviewed College of New Rochelle (CNR) President Judith Huntington last November, she shared her appreciation for how education opens up “a world of opportunity.” That conviction was reinforced one month later when CNR announced that its School of Arts & Sciences would allow male students to register for the 2016 fall semester, a first in its 112-year history (its three other schools accepted have accepted men since the 1970s). And today, CNR officially welcomed its first coed population of incoming Arts & Sciences freshman.

According to the college, more than 50 male students from as far as Texas and Puerto Rico have enrolled for the 2016-’17 academic year. The transition coincides with CNR’s newly formed NCAA Division III men’s basketball, soccer, tennis, and swimming teams, although going coed appears to have prompted an uptick in women’s enrollment as well. Given that 80 percent of all-female colleges have either closed, merged, or become coeducational since 1980, CNR’s latest statistics corroborate the idea that virtually all students prefer an inclusive environment. Or as School of Arts & Sciences freshman Emily Briely puts it, “As a social science major, I know how important it is to have different perspectives. Having a male perspective in the classroom benefits all students.”

All told, college officials are expecting total freshman enrollment this year enrollment to top 200 students, compared to just 87 in 2015-’16. So while some students, staff, and alumni are bound to feel nostalgic for a century-old tradition, this decision may have ensured CNR survives for another 100-plus years. 

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