History from 1960-69


  • A book fair in the 60s.

    A book fair in the 60s.

    WMU becomes a pioneer in the development of specialist, or sixth-year, degree programs, as the School of Education introduces Specialist in Education degrees in school administration and in school psychology.

  • Educational Leadership faculty join with faculty from four other Michigan universities in the development of a graduate program at Flint, Michigan, as part of the community education program supported by the Mott Foundation.

  • The Psycho-Educational Clinic publishes the professional journal Reading Horizons. Internationally respected, it continues to the present day to be published in the College of Education.

  • The State Limited Teaching Certificate curriculum and the two-year rural elementary curriculum are terminated, but a shortage of adequately prepared rural school teachers remains acute.

  • The Department of Pupil Personnel and Guidance introduces two special courses in individual counseling, in keeping with the national trend begun in the 1950s toward creating the specialty of counseling psychologist. This trend is based on the premise that guidance teachers also do individual counseling that uses psychological principles and that community agencies provide counseling as well.


  • WMU receives a grant from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare to establish a teacher-trainee program for mobility specialists for the blind, the only such program in the world. It is housed in one of the former residential houses on Walwood Place.

  • The first counseling practicum laboratory is set up in two rooms in the downstairs of Orr House (on Walwood Place).


  • Specialist in Educational Counseling degree initiated.

  • School of Education now offers twenty different curricula.

  • Oct. 19. WMU's Computer Center opens in Wood Hall, consisting of an IBM 1620 and auxiliary equipment. Open to faculty, staff and students.


  • As the decade of the sixties begins, Western has a national reputation as a teacher-training institution. Its educators are, for the most part, in the traditional mold. But with expanding social awareness in the United States, demands for educational change and young faculty with innovative ideas coming into the School of Education, the sixties (continuing into the seventies) are a time bursting with experimentation, new programs and projects. The following terms and programs of the times came and some went, but they left their marks: individual differences, individualized teaching, experience-based learning, open classroom, teacher corps, urban education, teaching the disadvantaged, Kalamazoo Project, and early childhood, to name a few.

  • Dr. James Griggs becomes dean of the School of Education.
  • The Department of School Services within the School of Education is organized, consisting of graduate programs only: educational leadership, special education, guidance and personnel, blind rehabilitation and mobility.


  • Paul Sangren

    Paul Sangren

    Sangren Hall is completed and the School of Education moves its offices and departments (except for Physical Education) into it from East Campus. The building includes the Educational Resources Center, and Guidance and Personnel's Consultation Center (training lab).

  • WMU awards its first Specialist in Counselor Education degree.

  • The School of Education reorganizes into Department of Teacher Education; Department of Physical Education (which includes men's physical education, women's physical education, intramurals and athletics); and the Department of School Services—which includes educational administration and supervision; guidance and personnel services; and the Center for Orientation and Mobility Training (for the blind), which is part of special education.

  • 1964-72 National Defense Education Act funds institutes: one year for new counselors, one summer for upgrading partially trained counselors.

  • Board of Trustees in 1964.

    Board of Trustees in 1964.

    Western's cross country team wins NCAA Division I championship. Repeats in 1965. Athletics at this time are still part of the Department of Physical Education.


  • School of Education lays groundwork for the Ed.D. in educational leadership.


  • Two of WMU's first five doctoral degree (Ed.D.) programs, offered for the first time this year, are in educational leadership and special education.

  • University High School closes; most of its faculty are absorbed into the Department of Teacher Education. All supervised teaching is transferred to public schools.

  • Master of Arts in teaching of reading is offered.

  • The American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education confers its distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence on the Educational Resources Center.

  • Home economics, and career and technical education (still part of the School of Applied Arts and Sciences) move from McCracken Hall to permanent housing in the Engineering and Technical Building (renamed Kohrman Hall in1980).

  • The Department of Special Education and the Institute of Blind Rehabilitation (renamed from Center for Orientation and Mobility) separate from the Division of School Services but remain departments within the School of Education.


  • The Mott Foundation makes a major grant to the School of Education to develop a regional Community Education Development Center, which is accomplished by the Department of Educational Leadership. A community school program makes use of school buildings evenings and Saturdays by presenting classes and activities that meet the needs of members of the community at large. The center develops and promotes such programs and trains persons to administer them.

  • The School of Education, in cooperation with other schools on campus, designs a specialist degree program to prepare teachers to teach the following subjects in community colleges: business, English, history, librarianship, mathematics and science.

  • The Department of Special Education, now independent of the Division of School Services, obtains its first chair.

  • The author of the Second Annual Report of the Department of School Services refers to the secretaries as "girls," and in citing the department's insufficient office and classroom space looks to the future when "some new buildings are opened which will take some departments out of Sangren Hall. This is likely to be several years in the future."


  • WMU confers its first two doctoral degrees, one Ed.D. in counselor education and one Ed.D. in educational leadership.

  • The doctoral program in counseling and personnel becomes independent of the Ed.D. in educational leadership.

  • On April 5, black students occupy the Student Center following the assassination of Martin Luther King the previous day. President Miller negotiates with and satisfies them. One result is the MLK Scholarship program for black students, which still benefits many students in the College of Education as well as other WMU students.


  • The steps of Sangren Hall in 1969.

    The steps of Sangren Hall in 1969.

    On June 30 the remainder of the Campus School, the elementary portion, closes. Most of its faculty remain in the School of Education.

  • The School of Education and the Department of Linguistics in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences develop a linguistics major for a Master of Arts degree in teaching in the community college.

  • The Department of School Services is divided into the Department of Educational Leadership and the Department of Counseling and Personnel.

  • The Department of Physical Education introduces a curriculum in adaptive (special education) physical education. This is the first such certified program in the United States. The department also offers to persons who do not necessarily have teaching certification separate master's degrees in the areas of sports science, sports studies (coaching and administration) and athletic training, as well as master's degrees in the emphasis areas of the teaching of physical education and special physical education

  • From 1969 to 1975, the Department of Special Education uses a grant from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct in-service education for teachers of children with special needs in Indian boarding schools on the reservations, to which the teaching faculty travel.