|by Jim Amidon • April 25, 2006|
New York Times education reporter Peter Applebome began researching a feature on colleges for men almost six months ago following a series of national media stories on the declining number of men attending America's colleges. His story, dubbed "The Final Four" and including Wabash College, appeared in the April 23 edition of the New York Times Education Supplement.
Applebome began his research on Wabash by making a few phone calls, reading through the web site and the College's marketing materials, and interviewing students, faculty, and administrators. He repeated the pattern at Morehouse College (Atlanta), Deep Springs College (California), and Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia). Deep Springs is a 27-man, intensive two-year college that focuses on shared work and responsibility.
Applebome's research covers the "extinction" of men's colleges during the 1960s and 1970s. However, the article notes a disturbing trend: men are now disadvantaged and underperforming in higher education, mirroring the trend with women 40 years ago.
He writes, "In the past few years, a major public debate about education has shifted from underperforming women to underperforming men, from how schools fail to support girls to how they fail to support boys. Consistently, boys do more poorly than girls when tested for verbal skills and get lower grades, and they are more likely to drop out of high school and college. Nationally, the gender mix on campuses has shifted from a predominance of men to one that's 57 percent women and 43 percent men. As a result, men's colleges find themselves talking about issues that sound oddly contemporary. Long after everyone else changed, the dinosaurs seem to be having their day."
Wabash, according to Applebome, is one of those happy "dinosaurs," capable of allowing men to have a keener understanding of what it is to be a man; to examine issues through a distinctly different lens.
Read Applebaum's New York Times article by clicking here.
The New York Times feature marks the second time this year that Wabash has received positive national media attention. Jeff Gordinier wrote a six-page feature about the College — and the new role for men's colleges in higher education today — in the November issue of Details magazine.