September 19, 1997 · Cavalier Daily

Sisson Highlights Advantages Behind Single-Sex Education

Assistant Dean of Students Shamin Sisson speaks to the UVA chapter of NOW about the benefits of women attending single-sex institutions, including the lower rate of gender discrimination and the fact that women are given less individual instructional attention at co-educational institutions. Members of NOW attest that gender diversity among faculty would be more conducive to female students' education.


1997-09-19 Cavalier Daily Sisson Highlights Advantages Behind Single-Sex Education (part 1).pdf
1997-09-19 Cavalier Daily Sisson Highlights Advantages Behind Single-Sex Education (part 2).pdf
D.J. Moore
Cavalier Daily
Cavalier Daily
Sisson Highlights Advantages Behind Single-Sex Education
Cavalier Darly Staff Writer
Continuing efforts to examine the role of women in higher education, Asst. Dean of Students Shamin Sisson discussed single-sex education with students during last night's National Organization for Women meeting.
The discussion stemmed from a growing national realization that women graduating from single-sex colleges are pursuing more non-traditional careers in the sciences, businesses and mathematics than women attending co-educational institutions.
"Women who attend women's schools are sometimes two or three times as likely to go into non-traditional majors," Sisson said.
During the discussion, Sisson addressed the advantages women attending single-sex colleges have and the discrimination women face in co-educational institutions. She said women in co-ed universities get less attention from instructors, "receive less eye contact from professors and are interrupted more often."
Sisson also examined the role professors play in creating gender equality at the University.
Because the highest percentage of tenured female professors in any department is in the Enblish department (8 percent), students said the lack of a diverse faculty could have an adverse affect [sic] on female students.
"l think students learn best from a diverse body of professors,” Secretary Jessie Gilliam said. “Women do feel and are overlooked because they don't have someone like them talking to them."
Sisson said one of the major reasons women from single-sex institutions pursue more challenging careers is because of diminishing confidence of women at co-educational schools. In a study conducted a few years ago about the academic preparedness of students, the Untversity’s Office of Career Planning and Placement reported that in every question women at the University felt less academically prepared than men even though their grade point average's [sic] were high.
"Women from the University should have all kinds of possibilities, but they don't feel that way," Sisson said.
The discussion also focused on male single-sex institutions, and the recent addition of women to the Virginia Military Institute. This fall, 30 women entered the freshman class at VMI, the first large-scale integration in VMl's history. Although most single-sex educational institutions are private, VMI was one of the few public schools left in the nation that did not admit women
"If you don't to go co-ed, go private,” first-year College student Jessica Holmes said. “the fact is that it was limiting opportunities, and we are paying for it.”
Some students said the discussion made them realize there is still sexism prevalent in higher education.
“We have a huge problem in our educational system perpetuating this sexism,” third-year College student Sam Eder said. “Our actual system isn’t working, and we have to make some touch decisions to make it work.”
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Date Added June 23, 2016
Date Modifed December 23, 2017
Collection Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination

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