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Experimental Schools in the United States

Minot State University

Old Main, Minot State University

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, many experimental schools sprouted up around the United States in response to demands for a new type of education, coming especially from liberal educators and students. Supporters of progressive education wished to see more of the responsibility for education transferred to the students. This required enhanced communication pathways to open up discourse and understanding between faculty and students and allow for a more open system of general education. The new system was to be less formal and structured, while still retaining academic rigor. An open system of general education would, by design, empower underclassmen to select their own classes.

This system of wide-ranging electives is commonplace in today's general education programs, which aim at developing the “well-rounded individual."  During the early 1970s, academic freedom in general education had only begun to make headway, and did not yet exist at Minot State College (MSC). But by that time, the college would begin to experience the ways in which the youth movement that had begun in the previous decade sparked calls for increased student choice when it came their own academic studies.  This effort is best illustrated at MSC by the Experimental College (EC).