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February 20, 1935

President MacCracken announced the plan approved by the faculty on February 18 for a sweeping revision of the curriculum. Supported by The Miscellany News and 82 percent of the student body in a written ballot conducted by the student curriculum committee, the plan was arrived at after consultation with numerous recent graduates. A key element, the introduction in the sophomore year of “tutorial guidance”—individual oversight of students’ academic programs—led toward a new comprehensive examination in their last term in college. A reduction in required classes in each year provided faculty time for tutorial work and allowed more flexibility in class periods and more continuous working time, including laboratory time, for students outside of classes. The new curriculum also allowed for the completion of the bachelor’s degree, with special permission, in three years.

The plan took effect in the 1935-36 academic year. “The majority of the seniors,” MacCracken said in announcing it, “who naturally did not look forward to taking the final comprehensive examination, warmly approved of its introduction, while the freshmen voted against it by an even larger majority.”

The Years