Experimental College History

What is the Experimental College Pilot Program of Fall 2017?

Four SF State students are teaching courses this fall for one unit each under the 699-designation.  These course meet once a week for two hours.

  • PLSI 699.15 – Limiting Democracy, a study of Noam Chomsky
  • PLSI 699.17 – Syrian Refugees – Analysis of Global Issues
  • PLSI 699.18 – Community Organizing in the Digital Era
  • PLSI 699.19 – Cybersecurity, World Affairs & Social Implications in the Digital World

What is the purpose of the Pilot Program?

The four Exco courses during the fall of 2017 were evaluated at the end of the semester by the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning with the intention of developing a structure to support the expansion of such courses.

How did the Exco Pilot Program come into being?

Since 2012, SF State students have been interested in reviving the ‘65-69 SF State Experimental College. In 2015, Kathy Emery started teaching a political science course partly based upon the Experimental College archives in our library (PLSI 395). The students in the Spring 2017 semester of PLSI 395 opened up student class presentations to the public and an SF State professor, Chris Bettinger, attended some of the presentations.  Chris was inspired to convene four faculty – Kathy Emery, Trevor Getz, Chris Bettinger and Phil Klasky – for the purposes of discussing the possibility of reviving SF State’s Experimental College. These four faculty worked on a proposal for a pilot program for the Fall 2017 semester that was approved by the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning.

What is the mission of Exco?

SF State Experimental College fosters self-empowerment by promoting student-run, co-learning environments driven by critical, non-authoritarian, intersectional pedagogy; resistance to white supremacy; and, caring for the community.

How can I access the archives of the original Exco?

The archives are open from 1-5 pm  — if you want to look for more pictures (you can take them of the original documents with your phone) email Meredith Eliassen -eliassen@sfsu.edu -(the exco archivist) to make an appointment (she can then pull the archives out for you ahead of time.)