Spelman to Admit Transgender Students

Officials at Spelman College today announced new elements of its admission policy, which will allow transgender students to enroll, and female students who transition to male gender to remain enrolled and to graduate. From the announcement:

Spelman College, a Historically Black College whose mission is to serve high-achieving Black women, 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 announcement caps a year-long assessment conducted by a college-based task force to consider legal, cultural, social and policy-based considerations for the change. In a letter to the college community, Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell said that the school’s ideals and traditions as a single-sex school for black women will be maintained, but will adapt to changing times and social norms to support its global competitiveness.

“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…”  

“In adopting this admissions policy, Spelman continues its fervent belief in the power of the Spelman Sisterhood. Students who choose Spelman come to our campus prepared to participate in a women’s college that is academically and intellectually rigorous, and affirms its core mission as the education and development of high-achieving Black women.”

Dr. Campbell said the change comes as the college prepares to release details of its five-year strategic plan. The new admissions policy will take effect for the 2018-19 academic year.

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