Insistent Change: Columbia’s Core Curriculum at 100


1960s: "The Times, They Are A-Changin'…."

As pressure for early specialization grew in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the College shifted from "maturity credits" to a "majors" system and students began complaining that CC-B was preventing timely completion of requirements. In 1961, the second year of CC – never as popular as CC-A or Humanities A – became optional, virtually eliminating the modern social sciences (and their faculty) from general education at Columbia.

The war in Vietnam, the military draft and civil rights setbacks led to protests nationwide. At Columbia, the student occupation of five campus buildings in April 1968 marked a sea change in relations among Columbia administrators, faculty, and students. 1968 also proved to be a pivotal year for Contemporary Civilization. CC-B was now cut entirely. CC-A became simply "CC" and resumed the following year with a syllabus devoted to "Revolution."

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