Existence of a Saga: A Kalamazoo College Case Study
Weseman, Emily S.
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This project examines the theories of sociologist Burton Clark as they relate to the organizational saga in a liberal arts college. Clark's theories were examined in depth and outlined for application purposes. The goal of the research is to determine if Kalamazoo College deserves its claim of a 'Distinctive College' and if the college's innovative K-Plan curriculum acts as an effective saga. Further, the study aims to determine if the K-Plan was a more effective saga when it operated on its alternative year-round calendar. The information used in this research was obtained through semi-structured interviews with former students of Kalamazoo College. The students made up two sample groups; one group that attended Kalamazoo College while the K-Plan still operated on the year-round calendar and another that attended Kalamazoo College after the year-round calendar had been phased out. The information found strongly shows that the K-Plan is an effective saga. It additionally shows no real difference in the two sample groups. Meaning Kalamazoo College did not lose its saga when it switched to a standard academic calendar. The future of the college however is uncertain. With radical changes in administration and a new found interest in the overall challenge of the school and student life, not to mention a few minor financial problems, the college is in a good place to develop an entirely new saga. However, only time will tell.