Chicago Teachers College Records

Institution: Chicago State University - Archives and Special Collections
9501 South Martin Luther King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: 773-995-2586
Date: 1935-1968
Extent: 5.63 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Chicago Teachers College came into existence in 1938 under the leadership of a new president, John A. Bartky. It recently had adopted a four-year curriculum, completing the transition from school to college. Bartky had ambitious plans for invigorating instruction by a new commitment to the liberal arts and a doubling of the time devoted to practice teaching. In addition a Master of Education degree was offered for the first time. However, Bartky’s reforms were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II, which depleted the faculty and student body alike. Bartky himself enlisted in the Navy in 1942, and never returned to the college. In his absence, the Chicago Board of Education reversed most of his curricular innovations.

As the demographic composition of the south side of Chicago changed, increasing numbers of African-American students began to attend the College. By 1950s, nearly 30% of the student body was black. At the same time, three branches of Chicago Teachers College opened elsewhere in the city; these eventually became Northeastern Illinois University.

Scope and Content Note:
The collection contains catalogs, information bulletins, financial records, faculty meeting minutes, correspondence from the Chicago Board of Education, and graduate lists. Extensive records from faculty committees such as the Committee on Public Education are included from the early 1950s, as well as substantial amounts of material from the library. Especially notable is the 16 page letter from a niece of Sarah and Margaret Byrne, who were among the earliest students at Cook County Normal School. The letter describes in part the early years at CCNS.

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