Evalyn Cora Bates was one of the first two graduates of Goddard College’s four-year undergraduate program in 1943. Her 1957 graduate thesis from the University of Chicago — “Development of the Goddard College Adult Education Program” — was the first clear articulation of a low-residency, progressive education program.
In 1963 the Adult Degree Program was founded at Goddard College largely because of Evalyn’s vision and hard work. It formed the basis for the many low-residency adult degree programs around the country.
Evalyn Bates opened the door to higher education to thousands of adult and non-traditional students, so we are proud to have her name grace our front door. Her thesis proposed that the Goddard model of education would:
- Evaluate progress and discuss successes and failures;
- Provide time to search for meaning;
- Provide situations for motivated students to achieve their goals;
- Provide opportunity for satisfying personal and social relationships;
- Encourage students to become who they truly are, expand their potential, and increase confidence with peers, allowing for continual life growth benefiting the individual and society;
- Be based on key situations that are part of daily life;
- Be imaginative, creative, and bold in design.