Online women's collegesThere are close to 50 colleges intended exclusively for women in the United States, but will any allow female students to earn a degree completely online? Many women’s colleges are relatively small, private liberal arts schools, and have been slower than the norm to embrace 100 percent online education options. However, one women’s college has launched online degree programs designed to allow adult women to earn their degrees while balancing work or family obligations.

Bringing Women’s College into the Online Education Mode

In 2013, Bay Path University, based in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, launched the American Women’s College. The private university billed the college – one of several that make up the institution in its entirety – as “the first ever all-online program designed for adult women.”

The American Women’s College, like Bay Path University as a whole, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It features more than 20 fully online certificate, associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree programs in disciplines like business, criminal justice, cybersecurity, health services administration, leadership and organization, liberal studies, nursing and psychology.

The online course experience at the American Women’s College is designed to be so intuitive that even less tech-savvy students can adjust to the learning platform. Students learn through watching videos and presentations and taking part in interactive projects. While just 800 students had enrolled online as of August 2015, the university administrators expect enrollment to top 5,000 students as the program continues to grow over the next several years, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Why Attend a Women’s College

In many industries, modern workplaces see a more equal distribution of male and female employees than ever, which has led many education experts – and, for that matter, students – to wonder if women’s colleges are relevant in today’s world. According to Forbes, they are.

Students who attend women’s colleges are there for the education – not for the parties, dating or an “MRS degree.” There’s no pressure to find your future spouse or to sacrifice your education for a social life that impresses your peers. The main draw of attending a women’s college today, according to Forbes, is “learning and living among a select group of intelligent, ambitious women.” Studies have shown that graduates of women’s colleges receive more leadership training and are more likely to become entrepreneurs than counterparts at coeducational schools.

“Women” doesn’t only mean “female” – it also means adult. The adult education focus of schools like American Women’s College can be just as important in creating a different sort of learning environment as its focus on empowering female students. Online colleges that focus on adult education are different from other online degree programs because they address adult learners’ needs and tailor lessons to match adult learning styles.

If you’re considering a woman’s college for an online education, research to find out if the choice is right for you. Make sure that the school is accredited, and learn whether the program is 100 percent online.