This week is “Why a Women’s College” Week, and we’re featuring a post a day from different perspectives on the value of an inclusive women’s college education. Today’s post comes from Nancy Beane, a long-time college counselor and alumna of the Agnes Scott Class of 1968.
Choosing to go to a women’s college was one of the smartest decisions I ever made, and I fully credit my experience there with setting me on the path to becoming the person I am today. When I entered college, I was a shy, linear-thinking young woman who lacked confidence intellectually and personally on many levels. But I can remember countless experiences where I was challenged by professors and peers to rise to the occasion, to develop my voice, and to believe in myself. All students at Agnes Scott College were women, the student body was small, and the support I received there was critical to my development. I felt empowered to work hard and subsequently graduated with honors, wrote an independent study my senior year after doing extensive research with the support of my major professor, and ran for and was elected to a leadership position in my class.
After graduation, I earned two graduate degrees and ultimately had the opportunity to be elected or chosen for several boards of directors/trustees, including serving as president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, which had 15,000 national and international members at the time.
In my 46-year career in education, including 28 years as a college counselor, I worked with and advised many students. Most did not choose a single gender institution, but I tried to make sure that they understood what I saw as significant advantages to at least considering a student body of all women or all men. I am grateful every day that I chose to attend a women’s college and truly believe that every young woman should seriously consider the experience.
In Summer 2020, Nancy Beane retired as the Associate Director of College Counseling at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. She graduated with honors in history from Agnes Scott College in 1968, earned an M.A.T. in History from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed the Education Specialist Degree at Georgia State University. Her 43-year career in education includes both public and independent schools, and she has done college counseling at the Westminster Schools for the last 25 years. She has been active in numerous professional organizations, including NACAC, SACAC, College Board, GSCA, ACCIS, and GICA. She was President of SACAC, served on the Board of Directors of NACAC, and was a member of the Board of Trustees for ACCIS. She served as President of NACAC from 2015-2017, and she is a mentor for many in the college counseling and admissions professions.