Putting the “Co” in Education: Timing, Reasons, and Consequences of College Coeducation from 1835 to the Present
The history of coeducation in U.S. higher education is explored through an analysis of a database containing almost all 4-year undergraduate institutions that operated in 1897, 1924, 1934, or 1980. The opening of coeducational institutions was continuous throughout its history, and the switching from single-sex was also fairly constant from 1835 to the 1950s before accelerating in the 1960s and 1970s. Older and private single-sex institutions were slower to become coeducational, and institutions persisting as single-sex into the 1970s had lower enrollment growth than those that switched earlier. Access to coeducational institutions was associated with increased women’s educational attainment.
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