One of the nation’s most prestigious historically black colleges for women announced that it will accept black transgender women next fall.
With just over 2,000 students, the small women’s college will now accept men who have transitioned to become women in the 2018-2019 academic year, the college’s President Mary Schmidt Campbell announced on Tuesday according to the Root. “Like same-sex colleges all over the country, Spelman is taking into account evolving definitions of gender identity in a changing world and taking steps to ensure that our policies and plans reflect those changes in a manner that is consistent with our mission and the law,” Campbell wrote in a letter to the Spelman community.
Spelman “will consider for admission women students including students who consistently live and self-identify as women, regardless of their gender assignment at birth. Spelman does not admit male students, including students who self-identify and live consistently as men, regardless of gender assignment at birth. If a woman is admitted and transitions to male while a student at Spelman, the College will permit that student to continue to matriculate at and graduate from Spelman,” the new enrollment policy states.
Campbell noted that this does not change the college’s “fervent belief in the power of the Spelman Sisterhood,” nor the core mission to educate high achieving black women. Campbell also attached in her letter a link to a frequently asked questions page which indicated that students have the option of disclosing to admissions whether they are transgender. Further, anyone admitted to Spelman as a woman at birth or a transgender woman will receive a degree if they fulfill the requirements, even if they transition to become male while at the university. The page also said that housing accommodations will be handled case by case.
Wellesley women’s college also changed its policy to allow transgenders to attend the college and take their first classes this week, following in the footsteps of other female colleges like Smith, Barnard, and Bryn Mawr. (Related: All Women’s College Lets In First Transgender Student).
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