Re: DSM: "Sudbury Universities"

From: Alan Klein (
Date: Thu Jun 07 2001 - 19:49:22 EDT

In addition, The Union Institute, a graduate and undergraduate program for
mid-career people has just bought Vermont College to add its MA program. My
father has been a
Core Faculty Member" at Union for many years. PhD learners at TUI are the
chairs of their own doctoral committees, design their own interdisciplinary
programs (which may or may not include traditional coursework), and finish
by creating a "Project Demonstrating Excellence" (PDE), which may or may not
take the form of a traditional dissertation. In many ways the PDE is the PhD
version of a democratic school's "Thesis Defense" as a means of earning the
school's diploma. In the latter case, one is "proving" that one is ready to
take responsibility for oneself in the outside world. In the former case,
one is "proving" that one has the requisite knowledge and has made the
requisite contribution to one's field(s) to take one's place as a "Doctor of

I would also mention Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA. My daughter just
graduated from Hampshire. In many ways it is an undergraduate version of The
Union Institute.

Does anyone know if a significant number (or any) SVS students have gone on
to Hampshire, Vermont College, or The Union Institute?

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
> I have been involved in homeschooling and alternative schools since I was
> child. As an adolescent I went to Summerhill School in England and then
> spent a few years homeschooling before deciding I wanted to go to College.
> I could have gotten in to many traditional college's even with my
> non-traditional background, but I didn't want to - I wanted to find
> somewhere where I could continue to study independently and where my
> voice, curiosity, and independence wouldn't be squelched!! I found
> COLLEGE. I entered Vermont College's Adult Degree Program which is
> designed for adult students but occasionally has younger students (now
> Vermont College has a program specifically designed for traditional
> college-age students called New College) and found a school where my
> interests and experience drove my education. Students are only on campus
> one weekend a month or twice a year for a week long residency meeting with
> faculty mentors and students and planning independent studies. It is the
> most holistic higher education program I know of. What is exciting is not
> what I was able to study but how. Each semester I chose a topic I felt
> passionate about and created an independent study with the help of a
> faculty mentor. I chose the books, the essay topics, the route my study
> would take. I developed my ability to think, and make connections in the
> world and in the world of ideas. No grades, no high and mighty authority.
> The mentors are there to support and guide you. I've become good friends
> with many of them. Now I work here and love it. I'm proud of my
> alternative education and in this world that still cares about degrees I'm
> glad I have one and that it was such a joy to receive it. I joined this
> list serve because of my long time interest in alternative education, but
> was interested in how much children and parents and teachers are thinking
> about where their students can go on to College and receive a similiar
> holistic student driven education. I'm glad the topic has come up and
> to add to it. You can also receive teacher licensure through this same
> model of education and be living anywhere in the country. If anyone would
> like more detailed information about how Vermont College works I'd be
> to post a more detailed description or you can email me directly. Do
> people think about what Sudbury students will do when they finish and what
> their options are for higher education?


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