Bennington College is a private, nonsectarian liberal arts college in Bennington, Vermont. The college was founded in 1932 to explore new approaches in higher education, including an emphasis on self-directed learning and hands-on experience in the field. Originally a women's college, it became co-educational in 1969. Bennington was the first college to include visual and performing arts as an equal partner in the liberal arts curriculum. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges.