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September 07, 1972 - Image 78

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-09-07

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Page Four


Thursday, September 7, 1972

Page Four THE MICHIGAN DAILY rhursday, September 7, 1972



The University has recently
initiated several innovations to
personalize its academic a n d
residential programs.
These reforms include t h e.
Residential College, the Pilot
Program, the Couzens Program
and other smaller projects that
academic pursuits.'
These programs offer students
not only innovations in educa-
tional format, but more import-
antly, a chance to live to-
gether nd ,work together, and
get more out of the University.
They provide the environment
of a small, liberal arts college
in the middle of the sprawling
University. They are "an alter-
native - not for everyone, but
perhaps the perfect solution for
you. ,o
Since the founding of the Res-
idential College and the Pilot
Program, the University has wit-

nessed a definite trend toward
establishing more classes in the
At present, most of the Uni-
versity's dorms conduct as least
a few classes. Supporters of the
trend say that such classes af-
ford greater educational possi-
bilities by allowing students to
take clases with the people they
deal most closely with - the
fellow residents of their dorms.
Having clases in dorms en-
courages out-of-class discusison
and facilitates work on group
projects and assignments.
But more importantly, classes
in dorms can help alleviate
some of the impersonality of the
Instead of feeling lost in large
classes full of strange people, a
student can now attend smaller
classes with familiar faces. The
founding principle behind RC


and the Pilot Program is being
well received across campus.
Not everyone,-however, agrees
with the trend toward classes in
dorms. Some feel that students
who take most of their classes in
their own dorms tend to become
isolated from the mainstream of
campus life.
But nevertheles the trend con-
tinues. Classes are currently be-
ing held in West Quad, Stock-
well, Mosher-Jordan and other
dorms, in addition to the exper-
imental Residential College and
Pilot Program.
Most of these classes are de-
signed to suit the academic pro-
grams of most of the dorm's
residents. For example, the Pi-
lot Program consists of liberal
arts while the classes in t h e
Couzens Program are geared to-
ward nursing and engineering.
claimed the program did not
take into account the needs of
individual students. At present
RC still requires freshman sem-
inar and a foreign language pro-
ficiency, but indications a r e
that these programs may also
soon be eliminated.
RC's pass-fail program is the
totally non-graded system on
campus. An RC student receives
both a P or F and a written
evaluation from the instructor
of the student's performance.
The system was designed to
eliminate the pressured /c o m-
petition from one school. It has
however, been widely criticized
because RC instructors gener-
ally fail a smaller proportion of
their students than regular in-
The RC clasroom environment
itself is perhaps the most signi-
ficant innovation undertaken by
the college. Lacking much of Lhe
formal structure of conventional
sessions, RC classes are report-
ed to place less pressure on the
individual to "perform."
The classes are largely stu-
dent-run. Advocates of the sys-
tem say this gives students more
incentive to participate in dis-
cussions and outside research.


Supplement Co-Editor
In the mid-60's, a group of
University faculty members con-
ceived the idea of a smaller lit-
erary college as an alternative
to the large, and often imper-
sonal Colege of Literature, Sci-
ence and :the Arts.
These professors envisioned
the new college as a place where
liberal arts students could live
and work in close conjunction
with faculty members. They saw
it as an oasis of small-college
life within the giant University. "
In the fall of 1967, these pro-
fesors finally saw their dream
becoming a reality. The Univer-
sity at that time began convert-
ing East Quad, formerly inhab-
ited largely by engineering stu-
dents, into an ambitious project
of educational innovation: the
Residential College (RC).
During that summer, the larg-
er rooms, of the dorm were con-
verted into classrooms and of-
fices, and subsequent remodel-
ing the following summer added
an auditorium and more class-
room space.
RC, the first self-contained
study unit at the University,
came as a shock to more tradi-
tional faculty members. RC be-
came far more than just a
dormitory with conventional
class rooms. It became a test-
ing ground -for then-revolution-
ary educational concepts.
RC's programs included a to-
tal use of the pass-fail grading
system, with most clases con-
ducted il small, unstructured
seminars to give students as
much oportunity to participate
as instructors, and a required
"core" curriculum.
Last May, RC saw its second
graduating class. One year ago,
the first group of graduates
seemed to have no more diffi-
culties with graduate school ad-
missions or career opoprtunities
than did regular LSA students.
It is anticipated that last year's
class will likewise encounter no
special problems.
Most of those involved with
RC wholeheartedly supported
the college's programs. While
citing some faults, they men-
tioned its achievements as exam-
ples of successful educational
The Residential College is
controversial in three main as-
pects - the curriculum, t h e

Supplement Co-Editor
Similar to the Residential
College and the Pilot Program,
Couzens Program is an educa-
tional experiment combining
residence hall living and aca-
demic life.
Unlike the other two pro-
grams, however, Couzens' cur-
riculum encompasses a broader
range of interests.
The Residential College and
the Pilot Program both concen-
trate on liberal arts. But near-
ly half the men and women
living in Couzens are, enrolled
in other colleges, such as En-
gineering, Nursing and Archi-
tecture and Design.
Couzens has developed a pro-
gram its sponsors hope is bear-
ed to the varied interests of its
This year, Couzens will have
seven teaching fellows on their
staff who will offer innovative
courses designed to "humanize"
t h e University's educational
Couzens is also beginning ai
program of regular classes in
the LSA and Engineering col-
leges reserved for Couzens resi-
dents. It is hoped that by par-
ticipating in these classes and
in the dormitory's extracurricu-
lar activities, Couzens residents
will be able to change the pro-
grams to suit their own needs
and interests.
Couzens residents last spring
staged a demonstration to pro-

pa ss-fail program and the RC
classroom itself.
During its initial years, RC re-
quired all students to complete
a stringent "core" curriculum to
provide them with a common
base of knowledge.
This core program consisted
of a selection of liberal a r t s
courses which would fulfill the
college's distribution require-
ments: English composition, con-
centrated study in a foreign
language, social sciences a n d
humanities. Unlike the literary
college, RC did not impose a
natural science requirement.
RC however disbanded the
core program about two years
ago, as students and professors

"Too often, a first year stu-
dent taking introductory courses
is unchallenged. His classes are
too large, the teachers boring
or unavailable and the subjects
stilted and irrelevant" says Tom
Lobe, coordinator of Pilot Pro-
gram, a division of the Literary
For a freshman anxious to
avoid this route but somewhat
hesitant to immerse himself
into the Residential College's
(RC) total living - learning ex-
perience, Pilot Program at Alice
Lloyd Hall offers underclass-
men an equally intriguing,
though not "total," alternative
to the traditional freshman
Selected on a first - come,
first-serve basis, the some 450
freshmen who enter Alice Lloyd
each fall find themselves in an
RC - like atmosphere where
nothing is unusual - from the
painted bust of Alice Crocker
Lloyd in the lobby to thecoed
bathrooms on the sixth floor.
Unlike RC however, Pilot par-
ticipants are not obligated to
participate in any Pilot course
or activity and are free to take
advantage of as much or as lit-
tle of its academic program as
they choose.
Throughout its ten-year his-
tory, the most prominent as-
pect of the Pilot program has
been its cluster of unconven-
tional course offerings taught
by resident graduate students
and conducted in the dorm.
These seminars, limited to en-
rollments of 15, are usually in-
terdisciplinary approaches to a
specified problem such'as Alien-
ation and Meaning, Imperial-
ism, Anarchism or Death.

Pilot classes are taken as
electives by Pilot students and
are all graded on a pass-fail
In addition, these classes are
open to non-Pilot students
where roomnallows.
Pilot also promotes various
non-credit classes and lecture
series on topics of current con-
cern. Recently, Pilot instituted
a program of one- and two-
credit directed reading semi-
nars where a student may re-
search a subject on his own
with the approval of a resident
The resident fellows at Alice
Lloyd are housed throughout

the dormitory and serve as per-
sonal and academic counselors
to the students who live near-
Pilot Program has come un-
der attack in recent years for
its lack of strict academic stan-
dards. Often, Pilot teaching fel-
lows change the format of their
seminar during the term and
often, because of their close
relationship with their students,
they are nowhere near as de-
manding in their assignments
or grading procedures as regular
LSA teaching fellows.
Pilot students and staff coun-
ter these observations by saying
that the more relaxed standards
force students to become more
academically independent and
self - motivated, as they are no
longer forced to conform to a
professor's set of standards.
Meanwhile the Pilot Program
continues to flourish. The dorm
has one of the longest waiting
lists on campus, and each year
turns away many students. Pilot
students enjoy the community-
like atmosphere, while not feel-
ing isolated by being forced to
attend only Pilot courses.

test what they called a misallo
cation of space needed for class-
The 70 protesters marched to
the offices of several Univer-
sity administrators and de-
manded that some additional
classroom space be turned over
to them.
The administrators favorab-
ly received the Couzens resi-
Most Couzens residents con-
sider the program a success,
their only complaints being that
it should be expanded.


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