Date of Graduation
Higher education has frequently been confronted with the need to seek alternatives and innovations in terms of its curricular and instructional practices. Thomas Jefferson College, one of four undergraduate cluster colleges at Grand Valley State Colleges, provided an alternative to traditional liberal arts colleges from 1968 to 1980. This document provides a qualitative perspective of the curricular development and pedagogical practices of Thomas Jefferson College within the historical context of the era. The analysis of documents from the archives at Grand Valley State University and interviews of former students, faculty, and administrators provides evidence of the curricular and pedagogical developments of the school. Included in the results are the early planning of the school, the implementation of the plan, radical changes that occurred, and evidence of a student-generated curriculum and a personal form of pedagogy. The conclusions define a cyclical generative collaborative curriculum development process which was used at Thomas Jefferson College and makes recommendations for productive applications of the model. In addition, the importance of community in the academic environment is discussed in relationship to Thomas Jefferson College and in a broader context. Unique to this study is the role of the researcher. A personal perspective is incorporated in the document, the author being an alumna of Thomas Jefferson College.
Hines, Virginia Elaine, "Thomas Jefferson College: The rise and fall of ultra-liberal arts at Grand Valley State Colleges." (1994). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9039.