After years of debate, Smith College will begin accepting applicants who identify as transgender women this fall.
The decision was revealed Saturday after Smith’s board of trustees voted to change its admissions policy, which formerly required that all applications and supporting documents – including high school transcripts – reflected a female identity.
“Our clarified admission policy reflects a women’s college that is steadfast in its founding mission yet evolving to reflect a changing world,” the announcement read.
The policy change applies to any student applying during and after the fall of 2015.
The admission policy does not affect students who transition during their time at Smith, as “any student who completes the college’s graduation requirements will be awarded a Smith degree and welcomed into the Alumnae Association of Smith College,” the school said.
The decisions is a culmination of a year’s worth of formal exploration of the issue by the college. A board-appointed admission policy study group collected feedback on the issue from thousands of people in the Smith community and consulted women and gender studies experts.
In September, Mount Holyoke College changed its admissions policy to welcome transgender women to apply to the school. Smith formed its admission policy study group — a 13-person panel comprising faculty, students and administrators- soon after.
Although the issue of whether to allow transgender women to attend Smith College has been a topic of discussion for years, it came to a head in 2013 when the school refused to consider the application of Calliope Wong, a male-to-female transgender high school student from Connecticut.
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SOURCE: Masslive.com – Laura Newberry