Marywood University

Posted on September 1, 2010

Nearly a Century of Commitment to Women

Marywood University, located in Scranton, PA, was founded nearly 100 years ago in the spirit of advancing opportunity for women by women. Embracing this ideal, Marywood still strives to educate and empower women through learning and leadership. Although now co-ed, Marywood continues to operate under a guiding belief that education is vital to the development of nations and of generations. The Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation recognizes Marywood’s commitment to improving the lives of Mature Students and celebrates the partnership it has enjoyed since 1982.

While Marywood no longer requires freshmen to wear an identifying beanie or seniors a trademark green blazer and has opened its doors to men, women continue to predominantly comprise the student body, representing 70% of undergraduate and 80% of graduate students. We are especially proud of our Mature Students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. They inspire us with their determination to manage family, career, and school. With a long commitment to women, the University continues to provide opportunities for academic success and advancement so that mature women may achieve their personal and professional goals.

From innovative ideas in the Roaring Twenties such as Saturday and evening courses, encouraging school boards to accept academic credits for wage increments for teachers, and even offering a Bachelor’s in Household Economics, to today’s accelerated-degree programs, reduced-cost childcare, credits for experience, and a new professional degree program in Architecture, Marywood believes in making education accessible and attainable for Mature Students.

The University offers an army of mentors who guide adult learners through their journey. From registration to scheduling to graduation, our Mature Students receive academic and personal support that motivates them to continue and empowers them to succeed. Marywood’s Office of Prior Learning Assessment – directed by a former mature woman student, who also manages the Newcombe Scholarship Program – appraises prior learning experiences for academic credit value and provides academic advisement. We understand that many mature students approach the university experience with college-level learning acquired outside the traditional classroom. Academic credit or waivers for other college-level learning can be awarded through a variety of programs, including standardized testing, challenge exams, and place-out exams. Students also may present a portfolio to demonstrate that they have acquired college-level learning for particular courses.

To ensure that mature women and adult returning students not only excel in their academic studies, but also achieve their ultimate goal of graduation, our Office of Retention and Advising assigns an academic advisor to every student. Advisors are instrumental in helping students select, plan, and complete a program of study, and in making critical decisions regarding academic, professional, and life goals. Project GREAT provides orientation programs and support specifically for mature learners, including assisting in the development of part-time schedules, with day and/or evening classes.

Additionally, Marywood’s Personal and Academic Success Services (PASS) program provides free psychological and academic counseling and assessment services to ensure students’ personal health and well being. From time management to test taking strategies to college adjustment and career exploration, services are provided by graduate students in Marywood’s Mental Health Counseling program under the direct supervision of counseling program faculty.

Since many Mature Students return after lengthy academic breaks, they take advantage of the peer-mentoring program and free academic tutoring services provided by the Academic Excellence Center. The Center offers one-on-one tutoring, writing and technology workshops, and customized consultations to identify support services for improving learning strategies. Individual workstations with PCs, a testing room, an assistive technology laboratory, and a general lounge are available to students daily, including evenings and weekends.

To help mature women and adult students with young children bridge the gap between after school hours and dinnertime, Marywood created an extended care program at its four-star rated, award-winning childcare center. The program provides young children with a structured, safe environment in which to learn and explore as their parents attend class or campus-related activities. Children of Mature Students are given priority placement and services are provided at a reduced rate.

Given our large female student population, Marywood is dedicated to developing programs that increase women’s participation in underrepresented fields – particularly in the sciences. Our biotechnology, aviation, and kinesiology programs provide new opportunities for women to succeed in growing fields where their skills and talents are needed. Additionally, Marywood opened Northeastern Pennsylvania’s first School of Architecture – one of only a handful in the nation that focuses solely on sustainable design – to educate a new generation of environmental stewards who will be responsible for resolving the significant environmental challenges facing our region, nation, and world. This year, more than thirty women are studying to lead this new cadre of environmental advocates.

As learning is the foundation for a fruitful life, Marywood continues to expand its Adult Basic Literacy Program, particularly for mature women, to ensure that more women earn their General Education Diploma and have an opportunity for career and personal advancement. In partnership with the PA Department of Workforce Development, the University recently established and received a state grant for an innovative career pathway program on campus. The structured program provides adult basic literacy education to disadvantaged workers without a high school degree, advanced Certified Nurse Aide training, assistance in securing employment, and financial support and planning to transition into postsecondary education. The University has received an overwhelming response, particularly from Mature Students, who comprise nearly 98% of participants thus far.

Our women students greatly value their Marywood experience and many continue to embrace the University’s central mission of living a life in service to others. We are immensely proud that many of our female alumni give back to other women students through mentoring, scholarships, and internships. For example, Marywood’s Class of 1961 is exploring opportunities to support the next generation of Mature Students in celebration of their education, sisterhood, and solidarity.

As Marywood approaches its centennial celebration and reflects upon a century of commitment to women, we are greatly bolstered by the advancements made by and for women. The University remains committed to educating and empowering a new generation of women leaders.

For further information about Marywood University, please visit their website.