The Cluster Colleges
In the 1960's under President Robert Burns, University of the Pacific started three schools that were unique in higher education in the United States. These were the cluster colleges. These colleges adapted the Oxford and Cambridge model to an American setting, integrating faculty and students into living and learning communities.
Raymond College, a liberal arts and sciences college that had no letter grades and no academic departments, allowed students to earn a bachelor's degree in only three years. Established in 1962, the curriculum was interdisciplinary, well before that became an academic buzz word. Students earned credit through teacher evaluations. Eventually, there weren't even required courses, and students were free to shape their own course of study.
Elbert Covell College, a liberal arts and sciences college also, was unique because all courses were taught in Spanish. Half of the students were from North America and half of the students were from South and Central America. Most students chose to participate in a semester abroad in Costa Rica. Established in 1963, Covell gave University of the Pacific a head start in international recruitment, an area in which the University continues to excel.
Callison College, established in 1967, was dedicated to the study of international relations and required students in the sophomore year to spend a year abroad in Asia together with their fellow classmates. In the early years, the students went to India, and later they studied in Japan.
Raymond and Callison Colleges were closed in 1979, and the courses taught through Covell were finally transfered to other schools in 1986. However, their emphasis on global education continued in a new School of International Studies, established in 1986, the first university-based undergraduate school of international studies in California.
The learning community concept of the cluster colleges was strengthened in College of the Pacific, the liberal arts and sciences core of the University, recognized for preparing responsible citizen leaders who will contribute in lasting ways in their careers and communities.