3.6 Cubic Feet
The College Within was a short-lived undergraduate program founded at Tufts University in 1971. It attempted to offer an an individualized, interdisciplinary program for students who couldn't function at their best in a conventional course framework. In 1970 John Wade Professor of Modern Languages Seymour Simches' proposal to create an entity called the College Within was approved. College Within was organized in modules of five to seven students, with a faculty member and two graduate students as advisors. Students were allowed to pursue more independent work and explore areas of particular personal interest. Students had to come up with a project topic, submit biweekly reports, and had to present their research once during the semester to their entire module. The length of the papers varied, with longer projects receiving more credits at the end of the semester. College Within met with problems after only one year in existence. The program experienced a fifty percent drop in enrollment after the first year, and by April, 1972, organizers were faced with the threat of mass desertion of the faculty. Many students didn't realize the amount of work necessary to keep up with the program, and a lack of publicity kept many upperclassmen from finding out about the program at all. Also, program administrators encountered a fear of unconventional programs among students worried about finding a job out of college in a tough market. Financially, College Within developed early problems. Although the program had won a $600,000 grant from the Spaulding-Potter Fund, it could only be used if Tufts raised matching funds. Tufts never solicited donors to match the grant, and it was lost.
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