WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Following months of research and analysis, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Board of Trustees unanimously agreed today that the University's admission process for full-time undergraduate programs will open to all students in the fall of 2018.
"This is a very exciting day for everyone associated with the University of Saint Joseph," said Rhona Free, Ph.D., president of USJ. "With today's decision, we reaffirm our commitment of educational excellence to our undergraduate women students, reinforce our culture of openness, diversity and inclusion established by our Sisters of Mercy founders, and continue our mission of responding to the needs and interests of today's students."
"The Board's unanimous decision to open undergraduate enrollment to men followed a thoughtful and inclusive process based on a lengthy accumulation of data, followed by a detail-oriented process of overview and discussion," said E. Clayton "Skip" Gengras Jr., chair of the University of Saint Joseph Board of Trustees. "I am very thankful for all the input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University that led to this significant development in USJ's history."
USJ began its comprehensive research and review of becoming a coeducational institution in November 2016. The University established 12 task force groups with each commissioned to research and document findings in their respective areas, such as: mission integration, academic programs and consortia, athletics, student life, and academic and administrative support.
"The data we received and analyzed during the last eight months was conclusive: by opening the admission process to all academically qualified students we would have significant opportunities to expand our undergraduate programs and increase the diversity of academic thought in the classrooms, while also providing a catalyst for a more active campus life," said President Free. "Studies show that less than one percent of full-time female college students today attend a women's college and only two percent of female high school seniors say they would consider attending a women's college. Admitting men will open our doors to 98 percent more women who would otherwise not even consider our high quality, distinctive educational experience here at USJ.
"Also, my meetings with faculty, staff, students, and alumni, showed a clear consensus that current students' interests have changed in regards to the kind of college experience they want to have. Today's women want an active, engaging college environment that mirrors the real world. By admitting men, the educational experience for USJ's women undergraduates will be more aligned to their expectations of a four-year university experience," said President Free.
"The determination of the Founding Sisters to provide higher education for women will continue with this decision to become fully coeducational," said Patricia J. Rooney, RSM, secretary of the University of Saint Joseph Board of Trustees. "As a University, we will continue all efforts on and off campus to ensure that the Catholic tradition and original mission remain central to the identity of USJ."
To view a video with soundbites from the University of Saint Joseph President, Board of Trustees, and students about the University's decision to open its full-time undergraduate programs to men, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W25FLpQrqsg