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University College records

Identifier: A050

Scope and Content Note

The collection is roughly 1.35 cubic feet and dates from 1960 to 2005 with the bulk of content dates from 1970 and 1990. This collection documents University College and its academic programs. It includes brochures, course offerings, financial information, correspondence, and handbooks; a number of these are joint publications of University College and either Lincoln College or the Lowell Institute. Brochures on individual academic programs are filed under the program name. The collection also includes surveys of students and prospective students, packages of promotional material, guides to programs, and "Memoro," a yearbook produced by University College in 1962. Included in the course and program information is material on Women's Career Program, programs through the office of international affairs, and multi-media courses. In the folder "Class Day Exercises" researchers will find material on: Class Day Reception, Spring Reception, Senior Awards Banquet, Academic Awards List, and Academic Awards Banquet.


  • Creation: 1960-2005


Conditions Governing Access:

Records are closed for 25 years from the date of their creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Established in the fall of 1960, University College is a part-time undergraduate division of Northeastern and is accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In its first year, 4,000 students enrolled. With an open admissions policy, University College's mandate was to educate adult students with previous work experience, part-time students working toward an undergraduate degree, and full-time students who had varied scheduling requirements. Because of traffic and parking concerns, the college soon began offering courses outside of Boston in Burlington, Framingham, and Weymouth. By 1975 University College had also made use of educational facilities in other locations, including Ayer, Bedford, Bourne, Boxford, Haverhill, Lynn, Lynnfield, Milford, Norwood, Reading, and Springfield. In the early 1970s, University College expanded its adult day and full-time programs. Traditional part-time programs also grew, with degrees being offered in almost 40 fields of study. By 1975 enrollment had tripled to 12,000. University College introduced the Alternative Freshman Year program in 1976, offering intensive training in math and writing to students who did not qualify for entry into Northeastern's day colleges.

In the 1980s, accreditation concerns resulted in significant revisions to University College's business courses. The accreditation committee had mandated stricter conditions such as higher entrance requirements, increased participation by the full-time business faculty in the preparation of University College programs, classroom location restrictions for higher-level courses, and implementation of standardized testing procedures. The result was a 25% decline in enrollment in the business program but an increase in its prestige and the revenue it generated.

Another important development in the 1980s was the separation of the Center for Continuing Education from University College and the center's incorporation into the Division of Continuing Education in 1986. This allowed University College to focus on degree and certificate programs while the Center for Continuing Education dealt with non-credit programs. Later, however, Northeastern reversed course and decided to consolidate its adult education programs and in 1995, the Division of Continuing Education became part of University College.

The 1990s posed challenges for University College. Fewer students under the age of 30 were seeking part-time education, and it faced competition as other area colleges and universities introduced part-time programs. Enrollment -- which had peaked at 14,000 in 1980 and dropped to 10,700 in 1989 -- fell to 7,500 by 1996. Despite this drop, low overhead and tuition increases enabled University College to continue. During the 1990s, downtown and suburban satellite campuses expanded and overseas programs were introduced. At the same time, the Alternative Freshman Year program became smaller and more selective. In 2003 University College changed its name to School of Professional Continued Studies. It continues on the quarter system and offers undergraduate, graduate, graduate certificate, and professional development programs for adult, part time, and graduate students. The School also provides online and distance learning through the Lowell Institute.


Albert E. Everett
Albert Hanson
Lawrence Allen
John S. Bailey
Kenneth Ballou
John W. Jordan
Arlene T. Greenstein, Interim Dean
Leon M. Zaborowski, Vice Provost Adult and Continuing Education and Dean, University College
2001- 2003
Judith Stoessel, Interim Dean
Kevin Currie, Senior Associate Dean of Adult and Continuing Education


1.35 cubic feet (2 containers)




Northeastern's University College was founded in 1960. With an open admissions policy, its mission was to educate adult students with previous work experience, part-time students working toward an undergraduate degree, and full-time students who had varied scheduling requirements. Soon after its founding, the school began offering courses at satellite campuses. Enrollment was 4,000 in 1960, grew to 12,000 by 1975, peaked at 14,000 in 1980, and then declined to 10,700 in 1989 and 7,500 in 1996. The name of University College changed in 2003 to School of Professional Continued Studies.


The collection documents Northeastern's University College and its academic programs. It includes administrative records, brochures, course materials, handbooks, student surveys, promotional materials, correspondence, and the 1962 yearbook "Memoro."

System of Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Physical Location

30/1, 30/4


  • Feldscher, Karen. The Curry Years: Smaller but Better; Northeastern University, 1989-1996. (Boston: Northeastern University Publications, 2000).
  • Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University: An Emerging Giant, 1959-1975. (Stoughton: The Alpine Press, 1982).
  • Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University, Coming of Age: The Ryder Years, 1975-1989. (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1995.)
  • Marston, Everett C. Origin and Development of Northeastern University, 1898-1960. (Boston: Cuneo Press of New England,1961).
  • Woods, James A. "A Cooperative Idea: Extraordinary Vision" in Expectations, Boston College: Advancing the University from Within. (Boston: Boston College, 2004), pp. 57-67.
Finding aid for the University College Records
Finding aid prepared by Brittany Lehman
November 2005
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Snell Library
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US