Why an All-Girls School
As the oldest all-girls school in the state of Connecticut, Sacred Heart Greenwich serves as a leading advocate for girls' education. We believe that single-gender schools provide the most powerful, transformative learning environments for students. Sacred Heart’s tradition of excellence in all-girls’ education dates back to 1801 and the founding of the first School in Amiens, France. For more than 200 years, students have been held to the highest expectations and have been encouraged to become confident learners, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers.
The demands placed on women today highlight the continued need to develop in young women a sense of their power and ability. Current research clearly points to the effectiveness of single-sex education for young women. Graduates of girls' schools account for a significant percentage of women in leadership positions in industry, academia, public life, and the professions. Students describe their experience at an all-girls’ school as demanding, exciting, and life-changing. Their voices are heard and their accomplishments are numerous. They don’t need to fight for attention or for opportunities to lead. They are encouraged to focus on developing the very best in themselves, while pursuing challenging coursework. Students in all-girl classrooms confidently voice their opinions, ask thought-provoking questions, and embrace new learning experiences and opportunities.
A growing body of research during the past decade has documented what all-girls’ school educators have long understood: All-girls’ schools give young women the best education to succeed in college and the world beyond. A recent example of this research is the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies' report on single-sex schooling and the transition to college. Based upon their nationwide blind study of female college freshmen, the UCLA researchers found that girls’ school alumnae start college with a number of significant advantages, including:
- Ten percent more girls' school graduates rate their confidence in math and computer abilities high at the start of college compared to their peers from coed schools.
- Girls' school alumnae are three times more likely than their coed peers to consider pursuing careers in engineering.
- More than 80 percent of girls' school graduates consider their academic performance highly successful, compared to 75 percent of women from coed schools.
- Forty-five percent of all women graduating from single-sex schools rate their public speaking ability as high, compared to 39 percent of female graduates of coed schools. Sixty-four percent of girls' school alumnae assess their writing skills as high, compared to 59 percent of female alumnae of coed schools.
- Female graduates of single-sex independent schools spend more time studying, talking with teachers outside of class, and tutoring peers.
- More girls' school graduates consider college a stepping stone to graduate school.
- Fifty-eight percent of girls’ school graduates report they are more likely to stay informed about politics and to participate in classroom political discussions, compared to 48 percent of their coed school peers.
For a comprehensive listing of the research about the benefits of all-girls’ education, visit the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS).