Notre Dame Of Maryland To Go Coeducational Next Year

BALTIMORE (AP) — Notre Dame of Maryland University, the nation's first Catholic college to award a four-year degree to women, announced Tuesday that it will admit men to its traditional undergraduate program starting next fall.

The board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to become coeducational after a review of enrollment trends at women’s colleges, the school said in a news release. While fewer than 2% of female students enroll in private, nonprofit women’s colleges and universities annually, there’s a growing need for higher education opportunities for traditional college-age men, the school said.

“The Board recognized that in order for NDMU to flourish for years to come, we needed to expand our mission to admit women and men who want a co-ed college experience,” Board Chair Patricia McLaughlin said in a statement.

The school was founded in 1895 as a college for women, but it established a weekend college for adult undergraduates open to men in 1975 and has offered coeducational graduate programs since 1984, according to the university. The NCAA Division III university plans to begin men's athletics teams next year.

Last year, the school had 807 undergraduate students, including 30 men, and 1,377 graduate and professional degree students, including 280 men, its website said.