The educational aspirations and attainments of faculty wives at Virginia Polytechnic Institute

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Virginia Tech

After marriage and child rearing, women are returning to the labor field in growing numbers. There are increasing opportunities and responsibilities on the part of educational institutions to provide these women with an opportunity to fit them for useful and satisfying lives, to give them a chance to make a contribution to the social order.

This study has revealed that the majority of faculty wives are interested in raising their educational status. Sixty-six per cent of these faculty wives were dissatisfied with their educational backgrounds. At the time of this study only six per cent of these women were attending classes.

Ninety-two per cent of the faculty wives were Blacksburg residents; therefore, propinquity is not a handicap. Sixty-seven per cent of the husbands were willing to help with household tasks to free their wives for classes.

One of the reasons for some of these women not being in class is that the education of their husbands and children is their first concern. However, 145 of these faculty wives felt they could pay for full- or part-time education. Another major factor that enters into women returning to classes is their place in the life cycle. Women, on the average, have their last child in school by the age of 35. This study revealed that the median age bracket of this sample to be 30 to 34. In a few more years these women will have the time available to pursue further study if they so desire.