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Whole number of graduates since organization of institution....
22 Number of professors and instructors...
6 Value of buildings, furniture and grounds...
$35,000 Number of volumes in libraries....
500 Value of libraries.....
$1,000 Value of apparatus....
$1,000 Charge per annum for tuition in regular course. ...
32 Room and necessary incidental expenses, per annum.
190 Average of total annual expenses, per student....
230 Date of annual commencement..
. Second Thursday in June.
[Greenville, Bond County. Founded 1957.)
Rev. J. B. WHITE, A. M., Principal.
Almira College was incorporated Feb. 13, 1857; bas had an average of one hundred and twenty-four female pupils and a competent corps of teachers. It has been in operation as a first class school, under the management of thirty trustees, a majority of them being Baptists. In the fall of 1867, the Baptist General Association of Illinois, through a committee appointed for the purpose, solicited“ proposals for the location of a female college of which the majority of the trustees shall be of the Baptist denomination, and three of whom shall be appointed annually by that body.” And in the spring of 1868 the committee of the association approved, accepted and adopted the proposal of the trustees of Almira College to "bring the control and future management of the institution into practical conformity to the wishes of the General Association.” The main building is 144 by 44 feet, four stories high, built of brick ; estimated worth $50,000. • The college is intended exclusively for females. There is a regular collegiate course of study occupying four years, an English or normal department, and a preparatory department. The course embraces instruction in French, German and music, vocal and instrumental. Virgil and Horace are read in the Latin department, and the Anabasis and Testament in the Greek. Total number of pupils for the year 1867-8 is 141.
Years occupied in regular course of study.
4 Number of pupils pursuing a full course..
80 Number of pupils pursuing a partial course Number of pupils in preparatory department. Number of pupils graduating during the year... Whole number of graduates since organization of institution. Number of professors and instructors.... Value of buildings, furniture and grounds..
.$125,000 Amount of endowment, exclusive of buildings, etc..
25,000 Number of volumes in libraries.
453 Value of libraries
$763 Value of cabinet, etc.
2,723 Charge per annum for tuition in regular course, with room and board. 168 Average of total annual expenses, per student.
168 Date of annual commencement..... Wednesday before the third Thursday in Junt.
Rev. Lucius H. BUGBEE, President. The North-Western Female College was organized under a charter from the State of Illinois, Professor W. P. Jones, Jr., being the originator of the enterprise. At the end of two years the first building burned down; but a new one was immediately erected. The management write that in September, 1866, the school opened full and each successive year has witnessed increasing patronage and success. Its course of study is now among the most thorough and extensive of any college for young ladies in the country. There must ultimately be built up at this point a great and successful college for the education of woman. In the meantime this institution will doubtless be kept up to a high grade of scholarship and requirement.
Years occupied in regular course of study......
Value of buildings, furniture and grounds..
40 Fourth Thursday in Juno.
YOUNG LADIES' ATHENÆUM.
[Jacksonville, Morgan County. Founded 1864.)
Rev. William D. SANDERS, D. D., Superintendent. The Athenæum was begun mainly as an experiment to test, in the education of young women, a new method, though other local causes conspired. The originator of the school, Dr Sanders, had long been a teacher under the old and familiar methods, and was, hence, familiar with them, both in their excellences and their defects; and when the methods of arrangement, classification and grading already spoken of as in use in Illinois College (p. 220), were adopted there, he determined to try them in another field. Hence, came this institution—not merely to make one school more, but to extend the operation of methods, believed to be, at once, philosophical and practical, and specially accommodated to the highest ideal of a perfect school. Almust the entire faculty of Illinois College shared, at first, in the teaching of this echool and assisted its founding.
Such hospitality is due to new ideas and plans in education, and to suggestions which even plausibly promise improvements, that as much space as the nature of this report can allow will be given to the statement of what is claimed as constituting the novelties or the special excellences of this school. They deserve the notice of all thinkers and students of education; and such as desire a faller statement, can obtain it from the Superintendent of the Athenæum. This department offers them, without comment, as desirable information :
1. While offering systematic courses to those who desire to pursue them, namely, a higher English and a classical, for which diplomas are given, the Athenæum enforces no arbitrary and inflexible course of study. It carries out as far as is practically
possible the principle of the suggestion of William Godwin, three-quarters of a century ago, that the best education must regard the need of each pupil, singly, and will cramp none by a forced classification or prescription of a course. Says Dr. Sanders:
“It aims to furnish facilities for the advantageous prosecution of all the studies pursued in the oldest American colleges, and also of such other studies as may be judged requisite to the highest and best womanly culture. Each pupil is at liberty, with the consent of her parent or guardian,
1. To take a cor.rse which shall embrace all these studies ; or
2. To select such as her circumstances, or health, or plan of life, or special necessities, or taste, or peculiar capacities, may render the best for her.
There is of course a natural order of studies which may be recommended as the general rule. This order is required, however, only when a desired study cannot be pursued to advantage without a previous mastery of some other study or studies: e. g., Nataral Philosophy or Algebra, must be preceded by Arithmetic. Any system which attempts to compel all to tread in the same beaten path is as mischievous as it is unphilosophical. A right system of education will regard the natural peculiarities, and previous opportunities and physical endurance, and the peculiar circumstances and plans of each pupil. The course of study which is the best for one may not be the best for another.
The Athenæum offers all its advantages for the prosecution of any study to any one who is capible of pursuing that study, regardless of her attrinments or deficiencies in other studies. It does not force the pupil to attempt the mastery of studies which she may have neither the talent nor the time nor the strength to master. It permits each to take that special course of study which is, all things considered, the best for her. It may be short or long; it may embrace many studies or few; it may include all the studies of the foregoing schedule: but whether short or long it may be the course best adapted to her peculiar wants. It sometimes happens that a pupil enters for a single term, and with a view to perfect her knowledge of a single topic. Every facility is afforded to such pupils.
“At the same time, it is earnestly requested of parents not to encourage or permit their daughiers to take up advanced studies until elementary studies have been thoroughly mastered. No knowledge of Philosophy, French, or Music can compensate for ignorance of these. It is better that our drugbters know how to read, write, and spell, and have a practical knowledge of Arithmetic, Geography, and English Grainmar, and know nothing else, than that they should understand Music, Astronomy, Logic, and kindred studies, and be ignorant of these elementary branches."
2. As a consequence of this first trait, the Atheneum classified upon a new system. This is its most evident change from the older and commoner systems. Dr. Sanders says:
Rejecting as unphilosophical and mischievous fashionable method of organizing technical classes, as Junior, Senior, etc., the Athenæum classifies for recitation purposes merely. It organizes no technical classes. For recitation purposes it puts
those together, in each study, who are together and who in that study can keep together. It thus puts each pupil upon her own merits. The slow are not compelled to be superficial in order to “ go on” with the quick ; and the quick are not held back by the necessities of the slow. The time required to complete any chosen course of study will thus depend entirely upon the pupil herself.
This method is commended by it justice and by its endency to insure thoroughness.
It is a wrong to the strong to class them with the weak ; for it compels them to spend three or four years in accomplishing what they could as well have finished in two or three. It is a wrong to the weak to compel them to keep slep with the strong; for they will either be disheartened and give up study in disgust, or they will, at the best, acquire only a superficial knowledge of that over which they are dragged so rapidly. Under the common system of technical classification there is no escape from this double injustice.
Besides, the new system tends to secure a much higher average of thoroughness. Under this system, scholastic standing is determined neither by the time the pupil has been in the institution, nor by the number of studies she may have attempted, but by what she has actually mastered.
The crying sin of the popular method is—superficialness. It is notorious that great numbers of the so-called “liberally educated,” whether men or women, are not educated. Not a few graduates of popular institutions can neither read, write nor spell correctly. And in many instances the fault was not in the student, but in the mistaken system under which the student was placed.
It is respectfully submitted that a method which bears such fruits, however venerable or popular, cannot be faultless. To yoke together the slow and the quick tends inevitably to educate the slow to the habit of contentment with imperfection. And this is a grave matter. The hubit of thoroughness is of far greater consequence than any amount of knowledge without this. To assign to a pupil tasks, in number or in length, greater than, with reasonable diligence, she can thoroughly master, is a great wrong. For this, repeated from day to day, will soon educate her to the habit of contentment with inferiority or mediocrity. A young lady educated thus, systematically, to be satisfied with imperfection will soon cease to aspire to anything higher. And wbat she is thus virtually forced to be in school life, she will probably be in all her subsequent career. As she was content to be a merely tolerable schol. ar, it is not probab e that she will ever aspire to be more than tolerable in anything. This vice of the popular system deserves the most serious consideration of teachers and parents. The Athenæum is a practical protest against this mischievous method.
Its arrangements all look to the one end of thoroughness. The quick may go as rapidly as they choose, if only they will go thoroughly; and the slow may go as slowly as they choose, if only they will go thoroughly. The aim is an actual education, and not a sham ; an absolute mastery of every topic, and not a mere "going over it" within a given time.
Transfer from one rank to another is effected through examinations, which are the only means used to determine rank and the right to advancement. Dr. Sanders says:
“A rigid examination by written questions and answers is made the test of the pupil's mastery of each subject. Upon the completion of each study an examina