History of Mathematics at GVSU
The Cluster Colleges

Phone: 616-331-2041
Ted Sundstrom

Department of Mathematics
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI 49401

One of the distinctive features of Grand Valley during the 1970’s was the cluster-college concept. By 1973, there were separate semi-autonomous, degree-granting undergraduate colleges at Grand Valley State Colleges. According to the 1973-74 catalog for Grand Valley State Colleges, “Grand Valley has adopted the cluster college approach to education, which allows students the opportunity to study within small academic units.” 


During this time, there were four colleges – the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), Thomas Jefferson College (TJC), William James College (WJC), and College IV (CIV). (College IV was renamed the Russel H. Kirkhof College in 1978, who was a neighbor of Grand Valley and whose generous gifts made possible an endowment for the college that bears his name.) Each college had its own educational philosophy, dean, faculty, grading system, and admissions standards. Information about the development of these colleges, the closing of Thomas Jefferson College in 1980, and eventual merger into one college in 1983 can be found at the History of Grand Valley State University web site (http://www.gvsu.edu/gvhistory).

  Last Modified Date: March 5, 2008
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