The collection consists of correspondence, classroom material, printed material, reports, minutes, and proposals. The material primarily concerns staff, students, administration, program planning and outcome, budget, and participating high schools. Like materials relating to the Secondary School Science Project and Princeton-Trenton Institute are also included.
PCSP curriculum and the instructors' ideas for and reflections on the curriculum are particularly well documented in reports. Also of interest are materials relating to specific classes and students, which in some cases reflect the progress of and changes observed in students during their time in PCSP and afterwards. The records are comparatively sparse for the years following Judson's departure as program director after the 1966 session, but the 1977 "Survey of College Retention and Attrition in the Princeton Cooperative School Program" provides somewhat detailed information on PCSP sessions from 1966 to 1975.
Established in January 1964 as the Princeton Summer Studies Program, the Princeton Cooperative School Program (PCSP) was an Upward Bound program with the purpose of increasing the pool of qualified college applicants from those "disadvantaged by race, economics, or both." Sheldon Judson, Knox Taylor Professor of Geology at Princeton, served as program director from 1963 to 1966. Judson was also chair of the Secondary School Science Project, "Time, Space, Matter," another Princeton program which supplied the science curriculum for the PCSP.
The PCSP was divided into two phases: a six-week summer residential program on the Princeton campus and an individualized follow-up program that lasted through each student's senior year of high school. African-American students selected from the Princeton, Burlington, Trenton, Hightstown, Newark, and Jersey City, New Jersey school systems were the program's primary participants. Students were selected for participation in the spring of their sophomore year and were nominated by their teachers on the basis of strong personalities and the potential to achieve in the areas of social or intellectual leadership. Classes in English, science and math formed the core of the curriculum, along with social studies, language arts, and creative arts. The PCSP was primarily staffed by university and high school faculty, but Princeton undergraduates and some graduate students served as teaching assistants. Teachers from a Princeton University administered program for high school teachers, the Princeton-Trenton Institute, also participated.
PCSP students spent most of the day in class, and devoted late afternoons to athletic activity. In the evenings, students were expected to complete homework and participate in student government meetings. On weekends, participants often went on field trips. Some students held campus jobs. The PCSP was supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and in part by Princeton University and the National Science Foundation. The program was phased out after the 1976 summer session.
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Princeton Cooperative School Program Records; 1958-1977 (mostly 1963-1966), Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.