General College records
Scope and Content
This collection contains the administrative files of General College at the University of Minnesota. The materials include general correspondence, reports, faculty meeting minutes, assembly minutes, committee reports and papers, speeches, institutional research papers, comprehensive examinations, curriculum and course descriptions, enrollment statistics, executive council minutes, articles and correspondence of staff and faculty of General College, college policies, projects and programs participated in by the college and financial records.
The collection also contains historical materials regarding the founding of General College, information on the reading room and writing laboratory, and materials regarding the interaction of General College to other University of Minnesota colleges and departments.
- University of Minnesota. General College (Organization)
Language of Materials
Collection materials in English
Use of Materials
Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.
Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.
The Junior College was established by the University of Minnesota Board on Regents on February 11, 1932, with Dr. Malcolm S. MacLean serving as its director. The Junior College was established to "train intelligent and enlightened citizens by means of synthetic, general, over-view courses." The college offered a two-year course of study in the general sciences and liberal arts, focused upon students who did not wish, nor could afford, a four-year college degree. The aim of the curriculum was "student-centered" rather than "subject-centered." Courses were offered that could stand alone, and relationships between fields was emphasized. Students completing the two-year course of study graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. In 1933, the Regents changed the name from Junior College to General College (GC).
Unlike many other schools across the state, the only entrance requirement for General College was completion of a high school education. The majority of students who entered general college were there to complete the two-year course of study, while some did continue on to earn their four-year degree in other colleges within the University and other academic institutions. Horace T. Morse was appointed as the first dean of General College in 1946, promoted from his position as director. Dean Morse was known as a leader in the field of higher education. During his tenure as dean, enrollment in General College increased from 980 in 1940 to 3767 in 1965. In 1966, Dean Horace T. Morse died suddenly; he was succeeded by associate dean Alfred Vaughan.
As junior colleges were established across Minnesota in the 1960s, the role of General College was questioned. The college responded by focusing on serving under represented populations, such as ethnic minorities and low-income students, and distinguishing itself from the junior colleges by providing a "terminal" education and preparing students for employment. Programs of general education along with vocational and occupational training in fields such as dental assistants, practical nursing, retailing and selling, and recreational leadership were offered by GC.
In 1970, the Board of Regents permitted GC to begin offering a four-year course of study leading to a Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.) or Bachelor of Applied Studies (B.A.S.) degree. Unlike traditional baccalaureate degrees, students completed traditional coursework along with work experience, independent study, participation in community projects and other non-traditional educational opportunities to earn their degree. Richard Bailey was appointed as dean in 1975, replacing retiring dean Alfred Vaughan.
In 1987, University President Kenneth Keller's program “Commitment to Focus” targeted General College for elimination. Instead of elimination, the college was reorganized. It stopped offering A.A. and bachelor's degrees, and became the primary entrance point at the University for underprepared students and prepared them for acceptance into one of the degree granting colleges at the University. To ensure that students enrolling in General College had the potential to earn a baccalaureate degree, the open enrollment policy in place since the founding of GC in 1932 was eliminated.
In addition to reorganization of enrollment and educational goals, GC began to focus on faculty research on developmental education. To support this endeavor, the Center for Research on Developmental Education and Urban Literacy was founded within General College. In 1989, David Taylor was appointed as dean of GC.
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents voted in May 2005 to close General College and turn it into the Postsecondary Teaching and Learning department within the College of Education and Human Development effective June 1, 2006.
89.0 Cubic Feet (89 boxes (84 record cartons, 3 hollinger, 2 oversize))
This collection contains the administrative files of General College at the University of Minnesota. Contents of the collection include general correspondence, reports, faculty meeting minutes, assembly minutes, committee reports and papers, speeches, institutional research papers, comprehensive examinations, curriculum and course descriptions, enrollment statistics, executive council minutes, articles and correspondence of staff and faculty of General College, college policies, projects and programs participated in by the college and financial records.
The collection retains the subject headings provided by General College at the time of transfer. Overall the arrangement is in alphabetical order, then in chronological order.
Source of acquisition
The collection was transferred to University Archives from 1954-1991. An additional deposit of 61 boxes was made by General College in July 2006.
- College students -- Minnesota. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Education, Higher -- Curricula. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Education, Higher -- Evaluation. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Education, Higher -- Research. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Educational counseling Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- General Education -- Minnesota. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Hansen, Evelyn Unes
- MacLean, Malcolm S. (Malcolm Shaw), 1893-
- Morse, Horace T., 1905-1966
- University of Minnesota. Continuing Education and Extension
- University of Minnesota. Junior College.
- University of Minnesota. University College
- Vocational education -- Minnesota. Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- General College records, 1920-2006
- Karen Spilman
- August 2005
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English