This article is part of a series of women’s college features written by L. N. Holmes. The last article featured Scripps College.

Cedar Crest College, gate, women's college
Cedar Crest College south gate/Cedar Crest College (4) By CyberXRef (Own work)/CC BY-SA 3.0

Located in the third largest city in Pennsylvania, Cedar Crest College’s community continues to thrive. In a time where other women’s colleges are facing decisions like becoming co-educational or closing their doors forever, President Carmen Twillie Ambar insists that Cedar Crest is going strong. As a leader in women’s education, it is no surprise that the institution encourages leadership development in their students.

Originally affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Cedar Crest College was established in 1867 as one of the revolutionary places popping up across the country that educated women. Recently, College Choice and US News & World Report ranked Cedar Crest as one of the best women’s and regional colleges in the nation. The institution is also an approved STEM Jobs college.

Students are also expected to lead. A 12-credit leadership certificate is offered to undergraduates currently enrolled in any major. Programs fostering leadership on campus are also available to students, such as the Leigh Valley Women’s Summit, which will be featuring Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman this summer. Cedar Crest College is also a member of the Public Leadership Education Network and offers students the chance to attend national seminars in Washington D.C.

Academics are a mix of the conventional and the innovative. Many familiar majors are offered, such as English, Art, Business Administration, and a plethora of science programs. Exciting modern majors such as Art Therapy, Genetic Engineering, and New Media are also available. Minors range from Writing to Film Studies to Global Diseases to Speech.

Allentown, PA, downtown
Allentown PA – downtown by Allie_Caulfield/CC BY 2.0

Students have a great deal of opportunities to have a social life at Cedar Crest College. Traditions like the Open Door Ceremony allow new students to introduce themselves to the community. There are many official clubs and organizations that students may join. Nine NCAA D-III sports and two varsity sports make up the Falcon athletic teams. In addition to on-campus activities, Muhlenberg College is within walking distance, and students are only a nine-minute drive from bustling downtown — not to mention that Washington D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia are all within driving distance.

With so many positive things happening at Cedar Crest College, negative news is virtually nonexistent. One concern may be the high price for tuition, room and board, and other fees, but President Amar claims that they are modest compared to other private colleges. There is also the Four-Year Guarantee Graduation agreement, which helps students graduate on time.

Cedar Crest College also currently has no transgender or transsexual admittance policy. The Crestiad reports that after Simmons College, Smith College, and Wellesley College altered their policies to include students identifying as women, Cedar Crest was prompted to start an “educational phase” that would allow the possibility of a similar change. For students who are already enrolled, inclusivity appears to be a high priority. Senior Emily Baxter said, “My favorite thing about CCC is that I am included and welcomed no matter what my beliefs. I am politically conservative, and while most of the campus is liberal and emphasizes on feminism, most people respect my beliefs and we have great dialogue together.”

Women (and a small group of men) are changing the world as we know it at Cedar Crest College. If you want to be a strong leader that is respected, you might consider going to this promising institution.

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