History & Vision
History of Cambridge College
In 1971, a small group of educators dreamed about a college which would serve working adults who did not have ready access to higher education. Out of this dream Cambridge College was born, first as the Institute of Open Education at Newton College of the Sacred Heart, then as part of the Antioch University Network, and finally in 1981 as an independent institution.
At first, one course of study was offered: a master’s degree program for teachers, with a focus on urban schools. The mission and philosophy of the College drew attention quickly. Students from businesses, non-profit and social service agencies, and other professions became part of this adult learning community. Thanks to the commitment of its faculty, the generosity of its friends, and the achievements of its graduates, the College now offers a broad range of academic programs that strategically serve urban communities.
The National Institute for Teaching Excellence (NITE) began in 1990, when the College first brought educators from across the United States to an Urban Education Program in Cambridge. NITE students live and learn together for an intensive summer institute. They share experiences and resources, and learn new ways to create supportive and stimulating learning environments in which diversity is welcomed and each student’s learning style and learning experience is supported. Students return to their school systems renewed and empowered, continuing their academic programs at home.
NITE was the College's first endeavor to serve students outside New England. Regional centers now bring Cambridge College’s programs to working adults in Springfield and Lawrence, Massachusetts, and in California, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Virginia.
Originally, all Cambridge College students earned master’s degrees. Bachelor’s degrees were first offered in 1994 and have grown and diversified since. The College now develops educational leaders for our nations’ schools with Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies programs, which began in 2000, and a Doctorate of Education program, which began in 2006.
When Cambridge College was founded in 1971, it was one of the few schools designed especially for working adults. Ever since, Cambridge College has remained a leader in adult education, and its approach to education is now widely embraced.