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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection
Title: University College records
Dates:1960-2005
Call Number:A50

Historical Note

Established in the fall of 1960, University College is a part-time undergraduate division of Northeastern and is accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In its first year, 4,000 students enrolled. With an open admissions policy, University College's mandate was to educate adult students with previous work experience, part-time students working toward an undergraduate degree, and full-time students who had varied scheduling requirements. Because of traffic and parking concerns, the college soon began offering courses outside of Boston in Burlington, Framingham, and Weymouth. By 1975 University College had also made use of educational facilities in other locations, including Ayer, Bedford, Bourne, Boxford, Haverhill, Lynn, Lynnfield, Milford, Norwood, Reading, and Springfield. In the early 1970s, University College expanded its adult day and full-time programs. Traditional part-time programs also grew, with degrees being offered in almost 40 fields of study. By 1975 enrollment had tripled to 12,000. University College introduced the Alternative Freshman Year program in 1976, offering intensive training in math and writing to students who did not qualify for entry into Northeastern's day colleges.

In the 1980s, accreditation concerns resulted in significant revisions to University College's business courses. The accreditation committee had mandated stricter conditions such as higher entrance requirements, increased participation by the full-time business faculty in the preparation of University College programs, classroom location restrictions for higher-level courses, and implementation of standardized testing procedures. The result was a 25% decline in enrollment in the business program but an increase in its prestige and the revenue it generated.

Another important development in the 1980s was the separation of the Center for Continuing Education from University College and the center's incorporation into the Division of Continuing Education in 1986. This allowed University College to focus on degree and certificate programs while the Center for Continuing Education dealt with non-credit programs. Later, however, Northeastern reversed course and decided to consolidate its adult education programs and in 1995, the Division of Continuing Education became part of University College.

The 1990s posed challenges for University College. Fewer students under the age of 30 were seeking part-time education, and it faced competition as other area colleges and universities introduced part-time programs. Enrollment -- which had peaked at 14,000 in 1980 and dropped to 10,700 in 1989 -- fell to 7,500 by 1996. Despite this drop, low overhead and tuition increases enabled University College to continue. During the 1990s, downtown and suburban satellite campuses expanded and overseas programs were introduced. At the same time, the Alternative Freshman Year program became smaller and more selective. In 2003 University College changed its name to School of Professional Continued Studies. It continues on the quarter system and offers undergraduate, graduate, graduate certificate, and professional development programs for adult, part time, and graduate students. The School also provides online and distance learning through the Lowell Institute.
Chronology
1960-1961Albert E. Everett
1961-1963Albert Hanson
1963-1966Lawrence Allen
1966-1969John S. Bailey
1969-1978Kenneth Ballou
1978-1997John W. Jordan
1997-1998Arlene T. Greenstein, Interim Dean
1998-2001Leon M. Zaborowski, Vice Provost Adult and Continuing Education and Dean, University College
2001- 2003Judith Stoessel, Interim Dean
2004-Kevin Currie, Senior Associate Dean of Adult and Continuing Education
Bibliography

Feldscher, Karen. The Curry Years: Smaller but Better; Northeastern University, 1989-1996. (Boston: Northeastern University Publications, 2000).

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University: An Emerging Giant, 1959-1975. (Stoughton: The Alpine Press, 1982).

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University, Coming of Age: The Ryder Years, 1975-1989. (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995.)

Marston, Everett C. Origin and Development of Northeastern University, 1898-1960. (Boston: Cuneo Press of New England,1961).

Woods, James A. "A Cooperative Idea: Extraordinary Vision" in Expectations, Boston College: Advancing the University from Within. (Boston: Boston College, 2004), pp. 57-67.