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Sunday, December 5, 2021

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Edward Lawyer Hardy played a major role in transforming the San Diego Normal School into the San Diego State Teachers College. Edward Lawyer Hardy played a major role in transforming the San Diego Normal School into the San Diego State Teachers College.
 


Decades Ago at San Diego State

Special Collections and University Archives detail when SDSU changed from a "school" to a state college in 1921.
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Special Collections and University Archives took a break this summer from its weekly feature “Decades Ago at San Diego State.” In the category of “while you were away for the summer,” this story reports on an important event in State’s history that happened over the summer 90 years ago — when SDSU changed from a “school” to a state college — in July of 1921.

When Edward Lawyer Hardy became president of the San Diego Normal School in 1910, he aimed to expand the teacher training school program from two to four years to achieve the status of a state teachers college.

Hardy wanted to increase the requirements for the teaching credential, raise the status of the profession and improve the quality of the teaching candidate by creating a more “full-rounded personality.”

In January 1918, Hardy submitted to the school’s Board of Trustees a plan to achieve full college status by placing the school under the control of the California State Department of Education. Exactly three year later, the California legislature passed a statute changing normal schools to teachers’ colleges under the management and supervision of the State Department of Education.

On July 28, 1921, the San Diego Normal School became the San Diego State Teachers College, signaling the end of Hardy’s 11-year struggle for a college.

The “Paper Lantern”  student newspaper reported on the change somewhat uneventfully, perhaps because the first issue for the 1921 fall semester wasn’t published until October. The masthead of the newspaper indicated the change to college status.

The newspaper also reported a merger with the San Diego Junior College. This merger helped expand training from two to four years and was the result of the “Junior College Law” also enacted by the legislature in 1921, which removed the junior college from the San Diego High School.

The Edward Lawyer Hardy Memorial Collection is held by Special Collections and University Archives in SDSU’s Library. An online finding aid to the collection can be accessed here.

 
Decades Ago at San Diego State
Special Collections and University Archives detail when SDSU changed from a "school" to a state college in 1921.
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