COLUMBIA, Mo. - The nation's second oldest women's college has changed its admissions policy to include transgender women and nonbinary students, the Missourian reports.


Because of evolving gender norms, Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. has “expanded its definition of womanhood to include both sex and gender,” according to an FAQ explaining the policy update.


“The world’s understanding of and definition of womanhood is changing,” Stephens College said in the statement. “Stephens is evolving — just as it always has — to ensure that it continues to provide the extraordinary experience of a Stephens College education to all women who will seek and benefit from it.”


The new policy, which goes into effect in fall 2019, will accept students who "identify and live as women,” but will require these prospective students to "provide legal documentation that they are legally women or that they are transitioning to female."


The college will also admit students assigned female at birth who identify as nonbinary, which Stephens defines as “students who experience their gender identity as falling outside the categories of man and woman."

However, in keeping with its definition of sex and gender, cisgender or nonbinary students who are transitioning to male will not be admitted to Stephens. Students who transition after enrollment will be found inconsistent with the College's policies and "will be allowed to finish only their current semester at Stephens," according to the FAQ.


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