On a related note to the post on single-sex classrooms, the New York Times reports today on the trend of small women's colleges across the U.S. going co-ed or merging with co-ed institutions because of financial strains that the women's colleges are facing. The Times article focuses on the decision of Randoph-Macon Woman's College in Virginia to admit men beginning next year, noting that other colleges, including Regis College near Boston and Wells College in upstate New York, made similar decisions in recent years. Douglass College, which is part of Rutgers, will cease to become a separate degree-granting institution after this academic year, following similar decisions by Tulane and Fordham.
The article cites several reasons for the decline in enrollment of women's colleges. Among them are the fact that prestigious universities that had previously been all-male began admitting women, and that Title IX provided the enforcement mechanism to make sure that women who attended co-ed universities were being supported in the academic and athletic settings there.
It's an interesting, not altogether surprising, yet sad effect of Title IX -- that the empowerment of women in the co-educational setting has contributed to a decline in the interest level of women to attend women's colleges.