Personal Statement

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:

  1. Evaluate progress and discuss successes and failures;
  2. Provide time to search for meaning;
  3. Provide situations for motivated students to achieve their goals;
  4. Provide opportunity for satisfying personal and social relationships;
  5. 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;
  6. Be based on key situations that are part of daily life;
  7. Be imaginative, creative, and bold in design.

Read an article and interview with the late Evalyn Bates from the 2007 spring Clockworks issue.