The College of New Rochelle (CNR) announced Tuesday that its Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the decision to transition the School of Arts & Sciences to a coeducational model, and will welcome men for the first time in the fall of 2016.
“For 111 years, The College of New Rochelle has been an innovative, dynamic, contemporary, and values-based institution that has nurtured the personal and intellectual advancement of more than 15,000 women in the School of Arts & Sciences,” said Judith Huntington, President of The College of New Rochelle. “We are eager to have this opportunity to do the same for men.”
This change is part of a strategic plan to advance and expand CNR’s academic programs, technology, and facilities. Supported by $14 million in federal grants, changes already underway include renovations to science labs, strengthening STEM programs, augmented library services, and expanding programs in the health professions, explained Huntington.
The College is already largely coeducational, in that its other three schools—the School of Nursing, the School of New Resources and the Graduate School—have been admitting both women and men since the 1970s.
When the Ursuline Order of Roman Catholic nuns founded CNR in 1904, women did not have the same access to education as men. However, with many more options available to women today, less than 5 percent of high school women will apply to single-gender colleges. In addition, of 230 colleges open exclusively to women in 1960, more than 80 percent have since closed, merged, or become co-ed.
In addition to changes to the College’s academic model, plans are underway to introduce men’s sports to the College’s NCAA Division III athletics program in the fall.
“With the introduction of men’s sports, we will build on our success in women’s athletics over the last several years, which has included three consecutive conference volleyball championships,” says Jay Butler, Director of Athletics at The College of New Rochelle.
Despite the introduction of men to the School of Arts & Sciences, Huntington stresses that CNR will remain committed to the advancement of women. Currently in the works are a new College-wide institute for women’s leadership and social justice, and a strengthened curriculum in women’s studies.
“Together, we move forward with great faithfulness to our Ursuline heritage, embracing the ongoing transformation of The College of New Rochelle,” she said.