NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Sept. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new era began at The College of New Rochelle (CNR) today when it welcomed its first coeducational freshman class to the School of Arts & Sciences. Having accepted only women since its founding 112 years ago, dozens of men have been registered for the 2016-17 school year. Additionally, an increased number of women – who would not consider an all-women school – have enrolled at CNR, making this the largest freshman class in 30 years.
With the transition, CNR has attracted male students from all over the nation. So far, over fifty men have enrolled in the College. Some will play on the new NCAA Division III men's teams that have been created in basketball, soccer, tennis and swimming.
"The Board was compelled first and foremost to expand the College's capacity to bring its educational excellence and record of success to a broader range of students," said Judith Huntington, President of the College of New Rochelle. "Now the vast majority of young women who would not consider a single-sex college and the incoming young men will benefit from CNR's distinctive student-centered education and outstanding commitment to academic success."
The higher education landscape has changed dramatically since CNR was founded in 1904 when 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 coeducational. Sweet Briar College, a women's college in Virginia, made national headlines last year when it was on the brink of closing its doors.
The College is already largely coeducational, in that its other three schools– the School of Nursing, the School of New Resources (for adult learners) and the Graduate School – have been admitting both women and men since the 1970s. However, CNR announced late last year it would be welcoming male students to the School of Arts & Sciences for the first time this school year.
The decision was made after a collaborative, community-wide evaluation process that included very careful consideration of enrollment trends, market research, and robust feedback from over 1,000 members of the College Community, including the Ursuline Community, students, faculty, staff, as well as alumnae and alumni.
Now, sixty incoming freshmen are enrolling from Catholic high schools, compared with 19 in 2015-2016. Seven freshmen are also coming from Ursuline Sisters' high schools, which are girls' schools. Additionally, the incoming students are hailing from 18 states – stretching from as far north as Maine, as far south as Florida, North Carolina and Texas, and as far west as California – as well as Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Incoming male students have already expressed their excitement over the transition.
"I'm excited to be part of this new class," said Daniel Hancock, 18, an incoming freshman student from North Carolina. "We're making history!"
Dante Pulido, 18, an incoming freshman from Queens shared similar sentiments, "I know it's going to be a great experience. It's a first year for many things – both for CNR and for me personally. I think that's really cool."
But the men are only part of the story. Perhaps the biggest plus to welcoming men has been a significant jump in women who have enrolled. After enrolling just 87 freshman students in 2015-16, its final year as being all women, CNR officials expect 2016-17 freshman enrollment to top 200. The incoming freshman class is on pace to be the largest in 30 years.
Incoming freshman Emily Briely, 18, of Long Island said, "As a social science major, I know how important it is to have different perspectives when you're studying society. Having a male perspective in the classroom benefits all students."
"The diversity is going to be awesome," added Lisbet Zepeda, 17, an incoming freshman from New Rochelle. "We're currently in a phenomenon that focuses on the importance of equality. It is great to have both genders in our classrooms."
About The College of New Rochelle
The College of New Rochelle is ranked by U.S. News and World Report in the Top Tier among Regional Universities in the north. Recognized as a "Catholic College of Distinction," it has been named for five consecutive years to the President's Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Founded in 1904 by the Ursuline Order, The College of New Rochelle comprises four coeducational schools: School of Arts & Sciences, School of New Resources (for adult learners), School of Nursing and Graduate School. The main campus of the College is located in lower Westchester County, 16 miles north of New York City. The College maintains seven locations for the School of New Resources in Brooklyn, Co-op City, the South Bronx, Harlem, New Rochelle, Yonkers and at DC-37 Union Headquarters in Manhattan. Visit the College's website at www.cnr.edu.
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SOURCE The College of New Rochelle