History from 1970-79


  • Western Michigan University's schools are renamed colleges. The School of Education is renamed the College of Education, with James E. Griggs as its dean. The School of Applied Arts and Sciences is renamed the College of Applied Sciences and still contains the departments of home economics and industrial education.
  • A display for the reading center and clinic in 2006.

    A display for the reading center and clinic in 2006.

    The Psycho-Educational Clinic is renamed the Reading Center and Clinic.
  • On March 11, students demonstrate in front of the Administration Building over the administration's rejection of the student election that approved the constitution of the new Associated Student Government. That evening, a group of students occupy parts of Sangren Hall.
  • WMU enrollment peaks at over 22,000; the College of Education reaches its all-time peak enrollment as well, with over 6,000 students.
  • The College of Education's Urban Education Project operates from 1970 to 1972. It is an interdisciplinary, experimental program that opens teacher education students' social consciousness and gives them the skills they need to become teachers in urban environments.
  • The dance program of the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation transfers to the College of Arts and Sciences, as dance is now a performance art rather than taught as a physical education activity.
  • The Career Opportunities Program prepares students from inner cities to become teachers in elementary schools in the inner city.
  • The Department of Home Economics' undergraduate program in fashion merchandising is the largest undergraduate program in the College of Applied Arts and Sciences.


  • Dr. John Sanberg

    Dr. John Sanberg

    Dr. John Sanberg becomes the new dean of the college, replacing Dr. James Griggs.
  • North Central Association grants full accreditation to College of Education doctoral programs.
  • The fall enrollment in the College of Education is 6,100, which is 14 percent of the total university enrollment.
  • The Center for Directed Teaching is established.
  • The Educational Resources Center, a laboratory for learning and teaching the production of audio-visual materials, opens in Sangren Hall.


  • Students in the library in 1972.

    Students in the library in 1972.

    The Reading Clinic and Center sponsors week-long reading institutes from 1972 to 1977.
  • The Institute of Blind Rehabilitation and Mobility becomes a department independent of the Department of Special Education.
  • The Department of Counseling and Personnel takes over its own doctoral program from the Department of Educational Leadership.
  • Research Evaluation Development Center established by the College of Education.


  • The WMU Para School Learning Center opens on Kalamazoo's north side. It provides after-school tutoring and support services to at-risk public school students and their families.
  • A view of Sangren Hall in 1973.

    A view of Sangren Hall in 1973.

    College of Education undergraduate enrollments have begun to decline, but master's degree programs in educational studies maintain stable enrollments and from 1973 through 1976, 73 percent of all WMU doctoral degrees are earned in the College of Education.
  • In December the Reading Center and Clinic moves from east campus into permanent quarters in Sangren Hall.
  • The College of Education opens its Office of Educational Orientation and Advisement for advising undergraduates whose majors are in the College of Education departments and for giving information to graduate students. To the present time, the College of Education is the only WMU college to require one-to-one (individual) advisement of all freshmen.
  • College of Education personnel conduct the first of NASA's annual summer workshops on campus for teachers of all grade levels.
  • The Evaluation Center is established in the College of Education.


  • The Department of Special Education's doctoral programs become independent of the Department of Educational Leadership.
  • From 1974 to 1977, the College of Education conducts a doctoral level program in educational leadership in cooperation with the University of Guam on the Guam campus. Subsequently, twenty Guam students complete residency and dissertation requirements for doctorates on the WMU campus.


  • On Aug. 22, the Department of Physical Education for Men and the Department of Physical Education for Women merge under the new name: Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The department implements a school health major (although school health classes had been taught in the department for decades.)
  • The Department of Teacher Education begins a master's program in early childhood education.
  • Air conditioning is installed in Sangren Hall.


  • The Board of Trustees in January appoints WMU's Title IX coordinator in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, giving women's sports equal status and funding to men's. The same year, WMU's athletics program separates from the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation to form the WMU Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
  • On Sept. 9, the formation of the new College of Health and Human Services is announced. Two departments from the College of Education, Speech Pathology and Audiology and Blind Rehabilitation and Mobility, become part of the new college.
  • The Department of Educational Leadership implements an Ed.D. program at Selfridge Air Force Base near Mt. Clemens, MI. Twenty-six doctoral students are admitted the first year.
  • NASA bases its regional two-week Bicentennial Project in the College of Education, which also becomes one of the first of NASA's regional research and educational centers.
  • From 1976 to 1987 the College of Education's Science and Mathematics Education Center operates on Sangren Hall's second floor. It provides consultative services to educational institutions on all levels and encourages research and consultation by the college's faculty and staff.


  • The Department of Special Education is the only department in the College of Education that offers four degrees: B.S., M.A., Sp.Ed. and Ed.D. Its graduate programs include early childhood education; learning disabilities; and administration and supervision of special education programs and services.
  • The Department of Education and Professional Development is created from the combined the Department of Directed Teaching and the Department of Teacher Education.
  • The College of Education now offers separate doctoral degrees in educational leadership, special education and counseling and personnel. In conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences it offers a doctorate in science education. Also, the Ed.D. in counseling psychology is approved this year.
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education grants the College of Education full accreditation through 1982, including its doctoral programs.


  • The Department of Special Education adds to its graduate programs a master's degree for teachers of the gifted and talented.
  • The Center for Community Education Development, which was begun in 1967 as the Community Development Center by the Department of Educational Leadership, is renamed the Center for Community Leadership Training. Its purpose now is to build "community" in government, business, industry, social service agencies, health maintenance organizations, universities, state departments of education and schools.