Wilson Campus School. Collection, 1917-2002
Scope and Contents
The Wilson Campus School collection documents the history of the Mankato State
College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) laboratory school, a K-12 public
school run by the college. In 1968, the school format changed from traditional to a
nontraditional structure. This collection primarily documents the nontraditional
experience at Wilson Campus School from 1968 to 1977, though information from the
prior traditional years is also included.
Following the closing of the school, the records were dispersed among several individuals and institutions. The materials were gathered from these diverse locations in 2000 to create this collection. Additionally, personal recollections, research, and information about Wilson following the closing of the school were also maintained and included in the collection.
The Wilson Campus School collection is divided into several series and sub-series. Each series and sub-series is organized in alphabetical order.
- 1917 - 2002
- Wilson Campus School (Mankato, Minn.) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Use
There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.
Biographical / Historical
The Wilson Campus School, which was built on the new upper campus in 1959, was the
laboratory school of Mankato State College. Prior to that time, the college elementary
and secondary school was located on the original lower campus. The laboratory school at
MSC was designed as a K-12, Mankato District 77 public school that offered MSC
Education students opportunities for observing and student teaching.
Until 1968, Wilson Campus School was a traditional school. It offered courses and schedules similar to those found in other schools in the state. In the early sixties, student activities were expanded with the organization of music and athletic programs as well as Forensics, Drama, and Debate.
In 1968, significant change occurred at Wilson Campus School when it became a public non-traditional school. Led by Director, Don Glines, the school went to a 12-month schedule, no required classes or report cards, variable daily schedules, individual programs and curriculum, and multi-age activities to name a few of the changes. The school received national recognition when the National Observer wrote that Wilson was "probably one of the most innovative publicly funded schools in the country." Glines left the Wilson Campus School in 1972 to co-direct the Studios for Educational Alternatives (SEA) in the MSC College of Education
In 1974, the Minnesota Legislature decided to close the laboratory schools at all of the state colleges and the University of Minnesota, except the Wilson Campus School because of its unique, non-traditional format. That same year, the Minnesota Higher Education Coordinating Committee recommended the MSC Lower Campus be closed and the entire campus be located on the Highland (Upper) Campus. Despite much local (Mankato) protest, the State Legislature narrowly approved a recommendation to close the Mankato lab school and re-use the facility for university purposes. The Wilson Campus School closed in 1977.
Information for this note was obtained from the collection and Faust, Claire. Mankato State University: The Second Century the First Twenty-Five Years, 1968-1992, Mankato: The University, 1992.
Orville Jensen, Instructor and Don Glines, Director, Wilson Campus School
5.50 Cubic Feet (4 Archives Boxes 3 Hollinger Boxes 1 Audio Cassette Box)
Language of Materials
The Wilson Campus School collection documents the history of the Mankato State College (now Minnesota State University, Mankato) laboratory school. Wilson was a K12 public school sponsored by the college in conjunction with Mankato District #77. In 1968 it changed from a traditional to a non-traditional format. This collection primarily documents the non-traditional experience at Wilson Campus School. There is also information about the school, alumni, and faculty following the close of the school in the collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Materials in this collection were donated by Dr. Don Glines, Mr. Orville Jensen, Dr. Donald Darling, and the Minnesota State University, Mankato, College of Education from 1999-2002. Additional materials were pulled from the College of Education accession.
- Wilson Campus School. Collection, 1917-2002
- Daardi Sizemore
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- 2010-12: Heather Harren added to collection
Part of the Minnesota State University, Mankato University Archives Repository
Minnesota State University, Mankato
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US