Women's Education

On Second Thought For Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019

Aug 28, 2019

It’s back-to-school time, which looks a lot different for women now than in decades past.  For female students, getting an education used to mean attending finishing school courses on being a “proper” wife and hostess.  The Lucy Cobb Institute helped change that. 

University of Georgia Professor Fran Teague and WUGA student Kristen Gragg visit On Second Thought to explore how this Georgia facility expanded what women could learn and do.

Women's educational opportunities in the 19th Century were few and far between. Finishing schools focused on women's socialization and skills like art, music and French, rather than a rigorous academic curriculum.

The Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens aimed to change that. It opened in 1859 and taught women finishing school skills alongside math and science classes. The institute cemented Athens as a place for women's education in the South.