For many current and recent alumni at Keene State College (KSC), the ideals of the liberal arts college is all they have ever known.

It was not until March 1965 that The Monadnock (The Equinox’s former name) reported that KSC would offer Liberal Arts degrees.

The Board of Trustees of the University of New Hampshire voted for the approval of the bachelor of arts degree curriculum in five subject areas.

At this time, KSC was set to offer degrees in the major fields of English, history, mathematics, biology and psychology for students who would enroll and be accepted for the 1965-66 academic year.

This liberal arts program was in response to New Hampshire General Court which constituted KSC and Plymouth State University as autonomous categories within the University System of New Hampshire.

The intention was to drive both colleges to steer away from teacher’s colleges and look towards becoming multipurpose colleges.

Alongside these revisions, Dr. Roman J. Zorn, the president of KSC during this time, said that, “the liberal arts curriculum will produce stronger academic departments throughout the college which inevitably will make our teacher programs ever better.”

While the changes to college were to expand the programs, the main focus was still to be on teacher education.

Much like the requirements for students at KSC today, students that were enrolled in the new bachelor of arts program had to complete general education courses, much like the integrated studies courses as well develop a field of concentration. The total program required 122 hours of studies with a “C” or better.

Of these 122 hours, 55 of them were to be part of the general education courses where students would take courses in English composition and literature, history of civilization, modern foreign language, social studies, humanities, sciences and physical education.

KSC would also accept up to 60 transfer credits from junior colleges as long as the credits that students wanted to transfer received a “C” or better for those credits. At the very least, one year the student’s academia, 30 to 32 hours of credits, had to be completed while in residence at the college.

Mary Curtin can be contacted at

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