What are the differences between a single-sex and a coed college?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,132
    Jerome Cole, Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., explains the differences between a single sex college and a co-ed college.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: What are the differences between a single sex college and a co-ed college?

    Jerome Cole: I think the first and most obvious differences between the two institutions are, one the co-ed schools means that they have both men and women on campus versus a single sex school is going to have just one gender. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I would strongly encourage all students when they are looking at colleges to go into both. I think that in the college search process that you ought to go to see everything, my definition of everything, is you may sit at home and you may say to yourself, I am not small college kid in a rule of settings. So, that s all I want to look at. That would be a mistake. What you ought to do is, you are ought to look at small college setting in the city and you ought to look at the large school and you ought to look at the medium size school. You ought to give yourself that variety and at the same time you ought to go and look at that single sex school and you ought to look at the co-ed school.

    So, I know some students who come to me and say, you know what, I only want to go to a single sex school, that s where I am going to prosper, that s where I am going to be my best, that s fine. Let s go identify some appropriate school, let s go look at them, but don t look at co-ed school and I would say just the same just the opposite to a kid who came and said, I only want to look at a coed school, go and look at a single sex school because they are going to be things there that you are probably not going to be aware of that may or may not appeal to you but go just for the experience because ultimately when you sit down and make that final list of schools that you are going to apply to, that s the first step. Then the second step or final step is once you admitted and then you are going to decide, am I going to go to this school or that school? I have already been admitted. You want to know, you want to say to yourself with confidence, I have seen everything out there I went to a small schools, I went to the large school, I went to the medium size, I did single sex, I did co-ed and this is what s best for me and you can only do that if you go and experience that firsthand for yourself.