Designing the Colleges
A research institution with "a sense of belonging"
Even before the Santa Cruz site was selected, planners discussed accommodating 27,500 students within small communities of 250 to 1,000. Colleges would be attentive to the individual, allowing small classes to “induce serious intellectual achievement” and social and recreational activities to nurture “a sense of belonging.”
The college system would provide alternative options within the UC system and different experiences at UCSC.
UCSC provided an alternative campus;...people who didn't like...the massive, gigantism of Berkeley or UCLA would have...an extra kind of choice.
- from Clark Kerr, Oral History
The individual residential colleges should be located on the crest or knolls of high land, attempting to gain views, wherever possible, but taking advantage of trees and intervening ravines for separation and individuality....The colleges should be inward looking, with some aspects of a ‘walled city,’ expressing a concept of self-contained unity.
- from the Long Range Development Plan
The collegiate system
The UCSC college plan is often termed “unique,” but the collegiate system has a long history associated with liberal arts education. Begun in the medieval universities of Oxford and Cambridge with an American revival in the early twentieth century, the collegiate form remained a way to create smaller residential units in large private universities, e.g, at Princeton, Rice, the Claremont Colleges, Yale, and Harvard. In planning the three new University of California campuses in the 1950s, Kerr referred McHenry to previous discussions of a possible collegiate system for UC Berkeley. In addition to UCSC, colleges were developed at UC San Diego.
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