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Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program in Social Change : Records, 1969-1979


9 file boxes


These records of the Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program in Social Change were given to the University of Massachusetts/ Boston Archives by Elizabeth Bouvier, a former student and faculty member of G-C, in November 1987. Bouvier added a few folders in April 1993.


The Cambridge-Goddard Graduate School for Social Change began in the fall of 1970 as a collaboration between Goddard College and the Cambridge Institute (later the Cambridge Policy Studies Institute). The Cambridge Institute withdrew its sponsorship mid-way through the first year. The 1974-75 school year opened with a new name: the Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program in Social Change. Whether Cambridge-Goddard or Goddard-Cambridge, the graduate school/program will be referred to in this finding aid as "G-C." G-C's relationship to Goddard College, an experimental college founded in 1938 in Plainfield Vermont, changed, sometimes each year. Technically, G-C was one of Goddard College's external degree programs.

G-C's purpose was to "provide training and certification for those interested in combining the theory and practice of social change; for those whose educational goals cannot be pursued in the established universities and conventional graduate programs; and for those presently engaged in social action who desire to deepen their own intellectual resources." The M.A. was intended to take one year and required one year-long project, rather than several semester-long courses. G-C also offered a series of short courses to help people work toward teacher-certification. The school year ran from September to August. The student body stood at 66 in 1971-72 and at 100 between 1972 and 1974. During the same period, there were approximately thirty faculty members and twenty projects each year.

Projects, also called "seminars," "ovulars," or simply "courses," focused on one issue or topic, such as: "Struggles in Housing," "Organizing Women Office Workers, "Corporate Power Analysis and Application," "Social and Community Psychology," and "Feminist Film Project." Most students applied directly to and were admitted by a project, which was organized and facilitated by one or two faculty members and consisted of five or more students. Applications from students without a B.A. were also reviewed by the non-B.A. committee. Projects often consisted of intensive readings and discussions, a collective or individual research project often including work with community organi-zations, and a written final report or thesis. Some students chose to complete a self-initiated study program rather than a project.

Projects were divided topically into large categories. The categories changed over the course of G-C's history, but included Imperial U.S.--At Home and Abroad, U.S. Social and Cultural Issues, Feminist Studies, and Third World Studies. In 1971 Feminist Studies (FS), an outgrowth of the 1970-71 Women's History seminar, became its own program. Third World Studies (TWS) also had some degree of autonomy and became a program in 1978-79. TWS and FS often had their own staff coordinators. The Women's Council appears to have governed FS, while the Third World Council guided TWS even before it became a program.

G-C's governing body was the People's Council. Each project sent a representative to the Council, and took turns chairing the meetings and printing the newsletter (which included the minutes). Most projects were also represented on standing committees.

G-C's staff included the core faculty members, work-study student assistants, and office coordinators. The core faculty consisted of two or three members of Goddard College's faculty. Goddard College referred to the rest of the project leaders as "field faculty." The core faculty helped administer G-C, joined Goddard College's other off-campus program faculty on the external degree committee and the graduate council, and served as G-C's voice at Goddard College. Office coordinators, responsible for G-C's record keeping, also were in contact with the college.

New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, an accreditor, started an extensive audit of Goddard College beginning in the spring of 1972. NEACSS reaccredited Goddard in December 1975. The review included G-C and Goddard self-studies, an examination of G-C by Goddard, and investigations of both institutions by external authorities from NEACSS. Goddard College and G-C also faced an accreditation review by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

G-C constantly fought for financial survival and with Goddard College over curricular and monetary matters, and for autonomy. Over its nine year history, G-C's experimental curriculum and egalitarian student-faculty relationships gradually formed their own institutional norm. At the same time, G-C attempted to be responsive to changing student and community interests and engaged in a great deal of self-criticism. Some combination of G-C's internal battles, disagreements with Goddard College, and Goddard College's own fiscal problems led G-C to cease existing after the 1978-79 school year. Goddard College discontinued all but a Feminist Studies core faculty member and part of the Feminist Studies program.

Scope and Content

The Goddard-Cambridge Graduate Program in Social Change records consist of files kept by a variety of faculty and staff members throughout the school's history, and one student. Although most of the original folder headings were maintained, the arrangement of this collection was created by the processor since the files exhibited little or no original arrangement when they arrived at the Archives. The collection is divided into four series: Publications, General records, Chronological records, and Students' files.

This collection contains material that documents G-C's nine year history, changing self-definition, relationship with Goddard, and its students' interests. This collection also provides some information about G-C's operation and demise, and documents a 1970s alternative graduate program. Although much of this collection provides the view of G-C that the school presented to outsiders (such as accreditors and Goddard College) or potential students, there is also documentation of G-C's internal debates and the way it functioned.

Although it includes some general information about students, this collection does not contain official student records. Goddard-Cambridge's student records apparently were transferred to Goddard College.

    Series I: Publications, #1-16, consists of catalogs, journals and other material published by G-C or written by G-C students or faculty. This series also includes a student project and other items from the Feminist Studies library.

    Series II: General records, #17-28, consists of files including graduates' names, project names and graduation dates, as well as letters of verification of graduation, information about the Feminist Studies program and students, and other material.

    Series III: Chronological files, #29-208, includes correspondence, reports, minutes, notes, a sign (#208), and other material. Files pertaining to a particular year are filed with that year, even if they were created the previous year (such as planning and advertising records). Although every record type/topic does not exist for every year, the records are divided within each school year as follows:


  • Feminist Studies (FS)
  • Third World Studies (TWS)
  • Administration
  • General
  • Accreditation
  • Goddard College

Series IV: Students' files, #209-211, consists of files kept by B. Ann Crisafulli, a student who attended G-C. Her files include discussion questions, notes, reports, and position papers from the 1972-73 "Women and Socialization," or Feminist Studies, ovular.