The most sweeping curricular changes in decades went into effect with the opening of college. Intended to strengthen general education, reinforce the traditional liberal arts and emphasize the interrelatedness of disciplines, the new program discarded the “major,” as such. Students, working with faculty advisors, were expected to work out individualized programs of study that could cut across disciplines, departments and divisions. If a student’s interest fell outside a single discipline or department, the advisor helped her plan related studies for her course of study. Ideally students were discovering and concentrating on a theme or a subject and not majoring in a department.
Some requirements remained, and two were strengthened. Students were now required to study in each of five major fields: natural sciences, social sciences, historical development, arts and foreign languages. Within natural sciences, students were required to study both a physical science and a biological science. But only forty points, one-third of the total required for graduation, needed to be taken within a single department.
Another departure from traditional studies in the new plan was the granting of credit for “collateral studies.” Students could gain credit toward graduation for fieldwork, work in the community or summer work. Such exploratory, self-guided study added a practical element to a student’s program and provided experience upon which to base further modification of her program of study.