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Transitional Year Program collection

Identifier: 02-MWalB00182A

Scope and Contents

The Transitional Year Program collection is arranged alphabetically within loose chronological groupings and includes material related to running the program.  As many current and past TYP students are minorities, several files contain material on affirmative action programs and the recruitment of talented minority students, as well as attempts to lure qualified staff to the program.

Correspondence between TYP directors and university administration, community groups in Boston and New York, and state and national education agencies represent a large part of the collection.  Newsletters, university publications and student assignments also appear in much of the collection. Many documents in the collection appear on mimeograph masters.

The collection contains many requests for information about the TYP from prospective students, institutions, and Brandeis alumni. Material surrounding the program’s efforts to administer the PSAT and SAT for TYP students and payment forms to the College Board (CEEB) frequently appear throughout the collection.

TYP directors collected many university meetings minutes, which are most complete in the first few years of the program, roughly 1969 to 1974.  The collection reflects the program's involvement with a wide variety of student issues including health, financial aid, and housing.

This collection will be of interest to researchers studying the Afro American Society and the African American Studies Department at Brandeis University as this collection contains information pertaining to both. Also included in the collection is documentation on minority student activism which helped to create the AAAS Department and in making changes to the TYP Program.

In an effort to learn more about the TYP accomplishments, the President's Office ordered Thompson Williams, who had returned from a deanship in the university to head the TYP, to define the program for the administration. Thompson's effort is explored in Box 7 and Box 8.  The student newspaper, "The Justice," also wrote several articles on this topic and other TYP-related issues, some of which appear in the collection.

Director Williams faced considerable pressure to shut down the program in 1979 and was given a year to compile statistics on the TYP's success. In 1980, surveys went out to colleges and former students.  These surveys along with their response are housed in Box 9.

While most of the collection contains printed documents, Box 16 contains generic reel-to-reel tapes in addition to files.


  • 1968-2009
  • Other: Date acquired: 2000-05-31


Conditions Governing Access

Some material is restricted including exam results, class and student lists, student bills and stipends, grades, disciplinary actions against students, résumés, and letters of recommendation.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests to reproduce or public material from the collection should be directed to the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.

Biographical / Historical

Brandeis' Transitional Year Program is the oldest continuous program of its kind in the country. Established in 1968, it was renamed in 2013 for Myra Kraft, a 1964 Brandeis alumna and trustee. The program was designed as a post-secondary educational bridge for students who have shown academic promise but have had limitations in their pre-college academic opportunities. Brandeis University named Professor Jerry Cohen as the first director, and then in 1969 Christopher Douglas became the first African-American director of the program.


16.00 Linear Feet

16 record center boxes other_unmapped

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically within chronological groupings in one series.  1. Transitional Year Program Files and Correspondence, 1960-2009.

Source of Acquisition

Donated by Thompson Williams, Jr., Director Transitional Year Program

Related Materials

Two folders of TYP material are housed with the Robert Pryor Collection; Professor Emeritus of English at Brandeis University.

Other Descriptive Information

Addenda to this collection may not be listed in the finding aid, but may be available for research use. Please contact us for more information.

Dory Codington
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Brandeis University Repository

415 South St.
Waltham MA

About Us

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections Department at Brandeis University consists of two collecting units, the University Archives and Special Collections. University Archives documents the history and development of Brandeis University and its faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Special Collections features a broad array of unique primary source materials across a wide range of disciplines that support research, teaching and learning at Brandeis. Learn more about our collections